My husband and I have been working hard to make healthier choices together. We both aspire to be healthier so we can keep up with our kids (and the dog!) and ensure that we’re around for years to come. Making healthier choices isn’t always easy, but we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that unhealthy choices have a lasting impact. More importantly by being healthier ourselves we’re modeling better behavior for our kids who have in turn started working hard to get healthier, too.
Finding resources to help you lead a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but we’ve collected some of our favorite resources here.
Resources & Tips For Healthier Lifestyle
We’re not talking about dieting, but rather the food we eat. There are a lot of ways parenting can be challenging, but feeding your family 3 meals every day (plus snacks!) is a challenge for most of us. Keeping it healthy can be challenging especially after a long day, so we’re sharing some of our favorite resources that make healthier diets easier.
Meal planning: I am a big fan of meal planning. We share our weekly menus each week and have a year long menu plan that makes it stupid simple to plan your meals for a full year! Read more about our year long meal plan here, and find our weekly menus here for inspiration.
Yummly: My husband found this resource and it’s been a great way to find new recipes that fit our dietary needs. Read more about Yummly here.
Choose My Plate: Interested in figuring out how your diet stacks up to recommended guidelines from nutritionists? This resource is a great way to get a look at a balanced diet and includes tons of resources from the USDA. Read more at ChooseMyPlate.
Farmer’s Markets: Farmer’s markets are a great resource for not only finding delicious local ingredients and homemade treats, but also for learning how to prepare them. Farmers and the people that go to farmer’s markets are a great resource for finding recipes or learning what to do with that kohlrabi. Find local farmer’s markets here.
Exercise is key to physical fitness. There was a recent study done that shows you need to work a little harder to stay fit. According to the research you need to “reach at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and have around 20 to 30 minutes of that be vigorous activity.” (read more here) I share some things that have helped us get more active in recent months.
Do something you love: I recently coached a team of young boys via the STRIDE program (similar to Girls on the Run if you’re familiar) and at the end of the program they ran a 5k. Many of them went from no running at all to running over 3 miles! The program makes it fun to run. So much so that one boy asked me when we were going to start running even though we had run more than 2 miles that day! By incorporating games and fun lap counters into our running practices the boys learned to love running and challenging themselves.
Go on foot: Even in the most sprawling areas there are ways you can get more foot time in each day. Try parking as far as possible in the parking lot or at work go to a far away bathroom. Count steps it takes you to do certain things like walk your kids to the bus stop or how many steps you get in a typical grocery store trip and challenge yourself to go a little further.
Find a buddy: Our dog is our BFF when it comes to exercise. He loves long walks and will go for one anytime! My husband and I take a morning walk almost every day and the kids take one in the afternoon whenever possible.
Track yourself: Using a tracking device to see how many steps you’ve taken and track your exercise. It will help you get a sense of where you’re starting and a goal to push yourself.
Try something new: Whether it’s registering for a 5k or trying a new class at your local gym try out different exercise routines. Walking is fun and free, but you can find classes and groups for everything from ballet to basketball.
Alcohol is an important topic in our house. I drink occasionally while my husband doesn’t drink at all (and never has). Our actions show the kids there is a healthy spectrum to be on, and that you should never feel pressured to drink. It’s especially important for them to understand the implications of drinking underage because it can have a huge impact on their bodies.
Ask. Listen. Learn has some amazing resources available including:
How to talk: Learning how to talk to your kids and when is incredibly important. After all you can have a conversation with a 3-year-old, but a 15-year-old needs different info. Read more about how and when to talk alcohol from Ask. Listen. Learn.
Start a conversation: Starting a conversation can be challenging. While we take the approach that we do it situationally (when their questions come up or when a situation merits it) that’s not quite enough. You also need to find ways to start talking and continue your conversations between those real life moments. Read more about how you can start a conversation.
Teach them to say ‘no’: Saying ‘no’ isn’t as easy as it seems. We talk about it, model the behavior, and share stories about how we said ‘no,’ but in the end kids can never have too much advice on how to say no. Read more advice on teaching kids to say ‘no’ here.
These are just a few resurrect to get you started. There is so much more out there, but we found that just by getting started it made a huge impact on our health and well-being. I’m happy to say that has passed on to the kids as well.
What are some of your favorite resources? Have a blog post or website to share? Leave it in the comments.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ask. Listen. Learn.