Posted on December 9, 2018
I had an epiphany the other day as I loaded the car from yet another grocery store trip. Produce is heavy! (That wasn’t the extent of it-stick with me here). Produce has some good, solid mass. When you pick a grapefruit you want one that is heavier than it looks. In this particular shopping excursion I had purchased 30 grapefruit, and they were all heavier than they looked. It took some muscle to just load up the grapefruit! I also had oranges, apples, bananas, pears, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, yams, squash, etc, etc, you get the idea. It had been awhile since I’d done a good shopping so I also had some healthy cold cereal that my kids will actually eat on those crazy days when we’re in a rush. After heaving the produce into the car that bag of cold cereal almost flew out of my hands as I loaded it up with the same enthusiasm.
“You are what you eat” rang loudly through my head. I thought of my children-they are all heavier than they look. They are solid kids-not fat-solid. Their cousin counterparts weigh much less than my kids and I’m always surprised when I pick the cousins up-they are so light!!
I thought of my kids and looked at the food in the back of my car. 85% of it was produce. Good, healthy, colorful, solid, delicious produce. This produce is the mainstay of what my children eat-and they are healthy kids! In my mind I saw my children being synonymous with the grapefruit I had just purchased. They are heavier than they look, just like the grapefruit I had so carefully picked out. Every time they eat they are taking nutrient dense food into their bodies and building strong healthy bones and muscles. They don’t drink milk or eat a lot of packaged food, and in that moment I committed to doing even better at making sure my children get the produce they need to keep growing strong and healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are a mainstay in our home, and the kids will often ask for their favorites when we go shopping. Just this week my eight year old begged for kiwi while my 6 year old begged for fresh green beans at the grocery store. You read that right-green beans!! My 3 year old was so sad that there wasn’t any corn on the cob in sight, but settled for strawberries this time.
It doesn’t take much to convince me to buy their favorite fruits and vegetables during our weekly shopping-after all, you are what you eat!
Posted on December 3, 2018
It’s a parents’ job first and foremost to take care of their children. This means providing and raising children in a healthy and safe environment and providing the best care possible. Raising healthy kids begins with having a healthy pregnancy. Having a drug and alcohol free pregnancy in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise is definitely the best start to raising healthy kids. Many women believe that drinking in late trimesters is not harmful to the baby, but according to the CDC, there is no safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant. The best way to avoid dangerous complications such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is by completely abstaining from alcohol throughout the pregnancy.
Breastfeeding is a great way to give infants a healthy head start. The CDC recommends breastfeeding as the ideal form of feeding and caring for infants. Breast milk provides infants with an array of nutrients and antioxidants necessary to develop a strong immune system.
It is also important to make sure children are receiving all necessary vaccinations and checkups. Vaccinations prevent against avoidable diseases and checkups ensure children are healthy and reaching the necessary growth checkpoints.
Providing a healthy balanced diet is an obvious must when raising healthy kids. Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are rich in essential vitamins and minerals essential for growth. It is extremely important that children are receiving the essential nutrients to grow and develop properly.
Though fast food can be convenient in a busy world, it is important to establish healthy eating habits at a young age. Child obesity is a growing problem that just leads to further heath issues with age including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Avoiding fast food restaurants and poor eating habits is especially important for children to ensure future healthy eating patterns.
Having a regular exercise routine is also a very important part of raising healthy kids. Involving kids in organized sports is often extremely enjoyable for children and beneficial in many ways. Sports provide a great and entertaining way to promote exercise. Organized sports also help children develop socialization skills. Active children often turn into active adults when regular exercise patterns are established at a young age.
And lastly, it is most important for parents to lead by example. Children learn by observation, so it is important for parents to represent a healthy active lifestyle for their children to follow, while constantly and consistently providing love and support for their children.