It’s back-to-school season, and while most of us rush to find the best sales on the teacher recommended school supplies, it’s also important to keep an eye out for eco-friendly items. Not only do they help the environment, but they’re also better for our children’s health.
Growing up in the 80’s, it wasn’t hard to be active. Because social media didn’t exist and phones didn’t have call waiting, if I wanted to see my friends, I ran around the neighborhood to find them. If I couldn’t wait to share a big girly secret, I would walk miles to tell my gal pals or show up at their camp activities.
Today, kids of all ages (and I’m speaking of myself, too) often use technology as their main tool to socialize and communicate. As a result, we don’t have as many opportunities to be active as we once did. While I do enjoy the conveniences and pizzazz of our multi-media lives, I want to be sure to instill a love of activities filled with personal interaction for my son. In an effort to practice what I preach, here is a list of activities to keep a young kid (and his mother) fit while having fun.
In many areas of life, I believe we will all look and feel better if we eat more veggies…especially for our kids. While growing tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots truly drives home the message to eat more vegetables…we always start out small and take baby steps. So, to celebrate spring and Earth Day we set out to create our own easy indoor herb garden. I’m lucky to have a creative friend that loves to rally around wellness activities. Together with her kids and my son, we made shopping and planting our own herb garden a fun, family activity.
Picnics, beach days, adventures in the park and vacations often = a bad eating day or two or three. While, I do believe in “sometimes foods,” “sometimes snacks” and “sometimes days,” I still think a little bit of planning is key. Rather than feeling bloated and fatigued from eating tons of processed and sugar-laden foods, eating well nourishes your body providing energy and a feeling of being toned. Recently, I spoke about eating clean and being active on vacation, and now with school out I’m focused on healthy living with staycations and adventures near home.
When I was a little girl I used to garden aka pick weeds out of our vegetable patch. The constant swarming of mosquitos around my head on humid days in the garden made me less than a fan. It took years for me to ever consider growing my own plants, let alone food. Almost three years ago, I started researching the role nutrition plays in healing and preventing disease and found that my clean eating role models all garden. I wanted to try it again. However, I knew I needed to figure out growing food on my terms. My goal was to make it fun and not time-consuming so that my son would be inspired to eat more vegetables.
As a child, my mother was loving, thoughtful and wise, though the absolute strictest in the neighborhood. So as a result, I was naturally a semi-rebellious teen. She also served home cooked meals most nights and made us drink a cup of milk at each meal. Just to make her mad, I pushed for eating Hungry-Man salisbury steaks and diet soda whenever possible.
Now that I’m a parent, I often think about how I can motivate my son to make healthy choices. How do I find a balance between being “that parent” that doesn’t allow her kid to eat any junk food to one that feels defeated and serves whatever the child claims they will eat?