Mommy + Me: Wellness Edition

From yoga to vitamins, here’s how to get your little one in on the wellness action.

Mommy + Me: Wellness Edition

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.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

Keep reading Show less
Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less

The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less