I've noticed that many moms expect their kids to shovel veggies into their mouths, willingly take their vitamins, and get excited to go to their athletics class. They suffer huge waves of shock when their kids throw any food that's not white to the ground, spit out their vitamin and kick and scream when the iPad is removed from their pudgy and shockingly strong hands.
My kid, now almost four, is far from “easy," but the above scenarios just haven't been our struggle. Why? Because living healthy is simply part of my daily life and therefore it's part of his. We do it together. Now that I'm pregnant with baby number two, I'm confident that these simple and uncomplicated ways to make health a part of all of our daily lives will continue to serve me. Here's 5 tips that will help you create healthy habits...together.
1. Involve your little ones in all things food. I've always brought my son with me to the farmer's market or supermarket, and involved him in whatever I cook. I talk to him about the colors, texture and flavor of whatever we eat. I've taught him about “delicious combinations" of flavor, so he's curious to stack his fork with several ingredients to see how the collision of flavors taste on his tongue. All too often moms tell me that they have picky eaters at home, but confess that they don't really care very much about food themselves. Take the time to find your own passion for healthy food and bring your little one on the ride. Kids like to do most things, including food, with you.
2. Tell your kids why you take vitamins. I grew up in a family obsessed with supplements. My grandparents, now late into their 80s and still working out at the gym, were early pioneers of taking daily vitamins. The message passed down through the generations. When I give my son his daily vitamins, I explain to him that these are magic and give us even more strength to play, jump, and of course, to help us not get sick. Now pregnant, he watches me take my prenatals and I explain that I'm helping our baby get strong. Pure Encapsulations offers a hypoallergenic prenatal and toddler option--and any toddler mom can attest: the closer it looks to mommy's, the higher chance for success! Since they have no hidden fillers, coatings or artificial colors--plus they're also wheat-, gluten-, nut- and hydrogenated oil-free--it's comforting to know that Pure Encapsulations is totally safe for your little ones (even the one on the inside).
3. Move like you mean it. As a parent, I've realized that I can't fake it. If I genuinely love something, it's easy for me to share that with my kid. As a dancer and a yogi, it's been easy for me to do yoga with my son (basically since he was born), and now that he's a bigger boy we have nightly dance parties before bed. He gets a workout and is up on popular music. My husband played basketball as a boy and shares his passion for athletics with him. In the end, he gets to experience a genuine connection to being an active, moving person in a way that is natural to his parents.
4. Make rest a family ritual. In our house, we shut it down. Granted, our son has always needed his naps and even at almost four still sleeps for 2-3 hours each afternoon. And on the weekends, we all nap when he does! It revives all of us after a long busy week. Even when he stops napping (quelle horreur!), I still plan to give him quiet time in his room to relax, unwind and read a book. I think it's good for everyone. And with a new baby coming soon, napping isn't stopping in this household!
5. Show your kid what self-care looks like. My husband and I both workout, both get massages, and both hang out with our friends. We look out for one another and make sure that we both get that time. We know we're both better for it. And I've noticed that we both tell our son exactly what we're doing and why. “I'm getting a massage today because it makes me feel more relaxed," I recently shared with my son. “I'm heading to the gym so I can stay strong and play with you," my husband shared. I'm glad he gets to see two parents who put their health and happiness at the top of the priority list because kids learn by what they see. Don't you want your kids to know how important it is to take care of themselves, body and mind?
I hope these tips help you see how simple and yet, profound these small actions can be. The best part is every single person in your home benefits from them, and I believe that's the best way to live a naturally healthy life.
This post was brought to you by Pure Encapsulations.