Healthy Family

It's Not Too Late To Have a Healthier Family, Right?

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I meet a lot of busy moms. 

A lot. 

I really can't tell you how often I have talks with moms who say things like, "It would be great if my kids would eat more veggies, BUT they already have some bad habits. Kind of too late, right?"

Moms often tell me a bit about their family lifestyle, sometimes with a lot of, "I know, I know, its bad!" (even though I promise, I am never judging) and then finally they ask what they really, truly want to know, "It is not too late to be a healthier family, right?" 

I know that sometimes the work it takes to create new healthy habits for yourself, your kids and maybe even your partner seems intimidating but it can be done.

SO OF COURSE IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

People make changes all the time. They make changes that can last the rest of their lives if they want them too. This includes children, who in my experience, are some of the most adaptable humans in the world. We can all change.

I, myself, haven't always been "super healthy mommy health coach lady". (Have you read my story? You can check it out here.) And if I can change, and continue to change (because, Honey, this is a journey, not a destination) then anyone can. Yes, even WHOLE FAMILIES! 

One thing to consider is your approach. You know your family best so I am not going to give you a script to use or anything like that. I will tell you what approach almost never works: that is the family meeting where you announce that you are completely overhauling all of their meals, habits, and creature comforts forever! 

Don't do that. 

Here is what you should do:

1. Read this list of 40 things you can do to have a healthier family right now (or at least in the very near future). There are 1,000's of ways to be healthier so don't stop with just this list. However it is a great place to start!

2. Pick one, two, but no more than three things from this list to focus on this week.

3. Get some accountability to keep you focused. This is a game changer so please don't skip this step. Accountability matters. Can I do that for you? Oh hell yes. As a holisitc health coach it is my life's work and I am passionate about it. I love this work so much I give away free breakthrough sessions. Yes I do!

But hear me when I say it does not have to be me. It can be your sister, your gym partner, even another health coach! If you want healthy changes that stick, you have to have accountability. Get some. 

Now for the list...

 

How to Have a Healthier Family Right Now

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  • Add an extra veggie to tonight's dinner.
  • Try a riced veggie with a meal this week.
  • Go meatless on Meatless Monday.
  • Try water instead of juice or soda.
  • Include one extra salad in a meal this week.
  • Try a new healthy recipe.
  • Swap out a sugary cereal for steel cut oats. 
  • Have fruit for snacks this week.
  • Add a new color to your lunch/lunchbox. (purple grapes, green beans, red raspberries?)
  • Take something you normally buy from the supermarket and make it from scratch at home. (Hummus, salsa, salad dressing?)
  • Add a veggie to breakfast.
  • Swap a cup of coffee for green tea instead.
  • Start filling at least half of any plate with veggies.
  • Make your own trail mix.
  • Try making your own bone broth.
  • Go on a walk after dinner even if it is chilly.
  • Walk or bike to school.
  • Play outside before starting homework. 
  • Say a family mantra in the morning.
  • Stretch. 
  • Try a new family activity like rock climbing, kayaking, or camping.
  • Include a multivitamin for everyone in your home, even you, Mom.
  • Cook together.
  • Make your own green juice.
  • Turn off the tech and read together.
  • Declutter and create space.
  • Add green plants that help detoxify your home.
  • Model self care.
  • Practice yoga together in the morning or evening.
  • Try kombucha.
  • Visit a farm and connect to where food comes from.
  • Reward the kiddos with something other than food. 
  • Spend more time outdoors.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Talk about the nutrients in food and why you need them.
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Wake up earlier.
  • Create a healthy meal plan as a family.
  • Pack snacks when out on adventures.
  • Celebrate every healthy victory! 

Remember, you are not tackling all of this. You are picking 1, 2 , or 3 things that you can manage this week. Next week, add something else! 

If you want to make things even easier, join our amazing email community right now. There is really no reason to do this alone. You can do this. 

 

 

 

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Healthy Kids Thrive In the Kitchen (Here Are 3 Ways to Get You Started!)

Do you remember the kitchen from your childhood? Do you remember how it was the heart and soul of the home? 

Not only did all the meals get created there and many meals get eaten there, but that is where major decisions were made, "heart to heart" conversations were had and where visitors might have been greeted. 

Today, in my own kitchen, it isn't much different. The same important things are happening there. The kitchen is also where homework gets done, art projects get praised, and blogs get written. (You and I are having this chat in my kitchen right now.) And very importantly, it is where lifelong lessons about food and nutrition are taught and learned.

As parents, raising healthy kids is a top priority for all of us. We don't want it to be a temporary thing either. My personal mission is to raise lifelong healthy eaters. I try to move beyond the idea of "eat what is on your plate because I said so" and try to develop a basic, kid-friendly understanding of the importance of healthy eating. I believe that the more we talk about nutrients, the importance of "eating the rainbow", why real food is more beneficial for our bodies and minds than processed food, as well as other things, the more likely my kids become flourishing, healthy kids now and flourishing, healthy adults in the future.

One of the best places to help healthy kids thrive in the way I am describing is in the kitchen. Bring them right into the heart and soul of the house! Let them watch, let them observe, let them question. 

And then let them cook. 

Kids of all ages can be hands on with food prep to some degree. It just takes a little planning, maybe a little preparation before you invite them in to join you, but it can be totally manageable. This is a rich learning experience for them and we should try to do this as often as we can. 

Besides... it is FUN! If you are doing it right, you will share lots of laughs, good conversation and great quality time together. I am going to help you do that.

Before you jump up and call everyone into the kitchen, I want to share some things you should think about FIRST. 

Let's get those kids into the kitchen!

Here are 3 ways to help get you started:

  1. Set Up Beforehand

You don't have to necessarily do much, but taking a few minutes to set up a few things means that you can focus on the kids and the food more instead of details that can be taken care of beforehand. 

How much of this you do really depends on the ages of your children and their familiarity with the kitchen. With younger children you may take out all the ingredients and tools, have everything already measured and ready to be poured into a bowl for mixing. With older kids or kids more familiar in the kitchen, they may take out the ingredients as you read them or they read them off, they may do their own measuring, and so on. 

No matter how much or how little you do, there is always something to do beforehand. Some additional things may include:

  • Taking out extra dish- or paper towels in case of spills.
  • Clearing off the cooking area, including the sink and oven if necessary.
  • Deciding on a recipe.
  • Setting out all the kitchen tools required.
  • Taking ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.

2. Create work stations and set up some rules

The last thing we want is kids running into the kitchen, pushing for a first chance to use the peeler and having a screaming match break out. When my kids come into the kitchen, everyone has an assigned spot and job to begin with. We may rotate. We may not. But it is very clear as to who is going where right from the beginning. 

Rule are important, too. The kitchen can be a dangerous place without rules. So we establish some right from the beginning, then change or add to the list as need arises.

Some rules you might include are:

  • Wash your hands before and after cooking.
  • Tie your hair back.
  • Use your apron.
  • Never touch the stove, it might be on.
  • Ask before adding an ingredient.
  • Only use the stove or a knife when Momma is with you.

Use rules that make sense for your kids and kitchen. 

3. Relax and have FUN

If you can accept that messes will be make, shells might make it into the dish and an ingredient might be accidentally left out, then you have the right frame of mind to relax and enjoy the experience with your kids. The most important thing is not that the final product turns out perfect. The much more important thing is that kids are having a rich, hands on experience in the kitchen with YOU. What they learn will stay with them for a long time. They are more likely to connect healthy food and healthy eating with warm, positive feelings by the opportunities you give them to be hands on in the kitchen. So relax, smile, laugh off the "oopsies" and "uh oh's" and have FUN! 

 

All month long in the exclusive membership site, The Real Moms' Inner Circle, there are many more ideas around the theme of KIDS IN THE KITCHEN. We have informative videos, recipes, strategies for even the busiest moms and weekly healthy challenges to keep you on track!

If you need some new ideas and a little accountability, check out the Real Moms Inner Circle TODAY! 


Thank you for reading. If you are feeling inspired to head into the kitchen with your kiddos, enjoy and have fun! And don't forget to tell us about it! Post about your kitchen adventure or ask any questions right here on the Real Moms, Real Health Facebook page

 

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