As most of you know I have 3 kids that are 8 and under and trust me I get the juggling act that we go through from partner in marriage, to our professional life, (Engineer, Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, Head of Household, Advocate …etc), to mother/nurturer (we do have to keep everyone alive), cruise director (aka social calendar guru)…the list goes on and on! Trust me I am not trying to add-on more “mom guilt”, that we all experience for something at least once a day. However, as a mother I think a very important life lesson is to help our children understand what healthy living is where we teach moderation, not gluttony or deprivation. At the end of the day we have one body forever and it is much easier to learn healthy eating and exercise habits at a young age then trying to dramatically change later in life. I am not saying it can’t be done because I have seen people make dramatic and sustainable changes later in life for their health, but we all know it is harder to teach an old dog new tricks.
The 2 biggest areas that I see many families struggle with are meal times, and sustained family activity.
Many of us have kids that play sports so they are active in pockets of time but as a family are you creating the space to do something together? If not, try to walk or bike together, play a simple game of tag or basketball after dinner (trust me the dishes can wait, or better yet once or twice a week use paper plates so you don’t have the excuse of dishes). It is amazing what fresh air will do and how kids thrive under a routine. If everyone knows Friday is family night, where you end that evening with a walk, it not only will create that space of sustainable activity as a family it will reconnect you all as a family unit.
Eating out or take out can take the pressure off of “what I am going to feed these ravenous animals again” (which is how I feel about my 2 boys,1 girl, and hubby from time to time) but when you prepare the meal you know exactly what is going in it. Trust me I enjoy take out as well but if you feel your family eats out a lot already, start with 2-3 nights a week where you are eating in. Set yourself up for success by putting in 5-10 minutes to intentionally plan out your meals.
I know it can feel overwhelming at first to plan out meals, along with the intentional food prep. But isn’t it worth 5-10 minutes at the end of your day, start of your week or over your cup of coffee to avoid the 5:30 rush and stress of “Oh Crap, I have 5 people to feed and I have NO IDEA what I am going to feed them” feeling….We all get caught off guard from time to time, because life happens but if we can be a bit more intentional and mindful we can not only avoid excess stress for us but we can help create an environment of balance and health for ourselves and our families!
If you would like more personalized coaching to help identify the tools to you need to create sustainable meal planning please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complementary consultation session.
In Good Health!
Be Fit…Be Healthy…Be Mindful…Be Inspired