It happens more than we care to admit. Sometimes our lives are just not that exciting to our kids and they get bored easily. Or maybe it’s been raining for days on end and the kids are suffering from cabin fever. That’s it, we will just say that is what it is. When my kids announce loudly (it’s always loud and dramatic, isn’t it?) how bored they are, I have an activity jar of things they have to do. It doesn’t matter what they pull, they are committed to doing it. Here are suggestions of things you can put into the jar and save your own sanity in the process.
We all know that kids can be picky eaters. One day they like bread and the next day, they hate it. When we’re trying to appease them but also put a well-balanced meal on the table, we often forget about our own health and needs.
Good eating as a parent can be tough. If your kids won’t eat the same meal you’ve prepared for you and your partner, you may fall into the trap of just cooking what they will eat and you eat it too.
Kids food, in general, isn’t the freshest, most nutrient-rich food out there. It’s not doing your kids any favors and it isn’t giving you the energy you need to keep up with them.
Read on to learn more about healthy foods for kids and how to reinforce good eating habits, starting with yourself.
Good Eating Starts Young
Bad eating habits are hard to break. In a world where you can order delivery on your train ride home and pre-packaged, processed food, makes dinner thoughtless, it can be hard to change up your routine.
How to start being healthy starts when your children are young. From their first bites of food, you can say no to the processed baby food jars and commit to feeding them, real fresh food. In turn, you’ll be eating them as well.
Some ideas for easy, first foods as a baby are bananas and avocados. You literally can just mash them with a fork and serve them to your baby. Taking out the fork actually takes less time than finding the jars of commercial banana and avocado baby food at the store and opening the lid. This can’t get any easier.
The sooner your baby is exposed to fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat, the better your whole family will be. As they get older, when you’re cooking recipes for the adults in your household, you can feed them whatever you’re eating.
It only takes a minute to make a taco night kid friendly. Giving them a serving of chicken with shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and a tortilla, makes chicken taco night, something the whole family can eat. You’ll all be getting great amounts of lean protein and vegetables.
You’d be surprised what kids under the age of one will eat when you treat them as whole humans and feed them what you’d also like to be eating. Put down the cereal box and processed food jars.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a menu of eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese, and fruit for kids as young as one.
How To Start Being Healthy
When you’ve exposed your kids to healthy eating from the start, you’re already way ahead of the game. With older kids, it may be harder to break old habits but if you stay committed, so will they.
The toughest place to start is with a purge. Purge all of your horribly sugary foods, desserts, and go-too frozen meals. Replace these items with fresh fruits and vegetables that are easy to grab and go.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion puts out a dietary guideline for Americans that can be a great resource for what you should be eating.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and chop vegetables and fruit for hours every day. Start easy and buy baby carrots that are ready to eat or fruit such as apples, bananas, and blueberries that you don’t have to do any prep with.
If you make it too hard on yourself, you are less likely to stick with it and your kids will lose interest too. When they can grab pre distributed containers of carrots, and apple slices to put in their lunch, they will. If there are bags of chips still in the house, you know what they’ll choose.
Next, look at recipes that have very few steps and can be thrown together quickly. Again, keep it simple here. After a long day the office, you’re not going to be cooking Thanksgiving so don’t set yourself up for disappointment.
One easy thing to do is choose three or four vegetables and two proteins that will go into every meal that week.
Once you’ve chopped, marinated or halfway prepared them, you can mix and match them for the meals all week. This makes it thoughtless when you get home. You know you already have broccoli, asparagus, and chicken cooked and prepped.
You can use those ingredients to throw into penne. Kids get their comforting carb and you get some much-needed vegetables and protein. If one kid picks out half of it, at least they ate half and don’t beat yourself up. Stay strong and don’t offer them a frozen pizza.
For a quick way to enhance your weight loss results with these changes, check out the HCG diet. This may help you see results faster when combining it with your new healthy changes.
Get Everyone Involved In Family Eating
To help kids get on board, get them involved in the process. Good family eating should start with the whole family. This can be as simple as taking them to the grocery store. If the thought of bringing four kids under the age of four to a grocery store alone is terrifying, do it when both you and your partner can go and make it an adventure.
Let kids touch and feel the fruits, vegetables, and ingredients. Ask their opinion, talk about recipes and let them decide what to have on hand at home. Once you get home, you may be surprised how excited they are to cook with you.
Recipes kids can actually make themselves are even better. Let them run the show and feel empowered instead of forced at mealtime.
Give your kids tasks like chopping for older kids or putting away items. You can have them stir, throw stuff in a bowl or read directions. Now a meal prep and a grocery run on Sunday becomes a family-friendly activity instead of a chore.
While this doesn’t need to happen every weekend, doing it once a month will keep their interest and help keep you all on track.
Make The Change
When you have fresh, healthy food available at home for good eating, you’re less likely to grab a bag of chips or order take-out. When you’ve prepared really easy meals with a few ingredients, you don’t have to ask yourself what’s for dinner when you’re tired from the day.
Give kids the motivation to help you and keep them involved. The healthier your kids eat, the healthier you’ll eat.
Change all of your lives for the better and start simple. You’re not aiming for hours spent in front of the stove or a Michelin star here.
If you offer your kids frozen chicken nuggets, you’ll end up eating them too and we all know what happens.
For more healthy eating tips, living green, and ideas on being healthier as a family, check out these fun posts.
Day camps are a summer staple, but sometimes our household needs more. I found myself low on finances for one year, and I couldn’t even plan for a summer vacation. I had to do some quick digging around for free and nearly free things my kids could do so that they had some fun experiences without breaking the bank. Here are some free and cheap things to do this summer with the kids. [Read more…]
Things have certainly changed over the last few decades when we look at how we care for our pets. As a child, I remember that we took our pets to the vet for rabies shots and if they were sick. That was it. Now perhaps my parents weren’t the most caring pet owners, but it seemed like that was commonplace in my little circle in the world. Now people do routine wellness visits and sick visits in the same way that one would do with their children. Is pet insurance worth it?
An estimated 14 trillion photos were taken in 2017.
Presumably, that number has only increased since then! That’s a lot of snaps being taken on the daily.
It’s unsurprising though. Look around you. No matter where you are in the world, people are taking photos left, right and center of pretty much anything they can see!
And you can’t blame them. Taking an awesome picture is a fantastic reminder of a particular event, occasion or place. You can look back on it for years.
Indeed, everyone loves taking pictures. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Young or old, put a camera in someone’s hand and they’ll be snapping away before you know it.
That’s especially true of kids. In today’s world, children are brought up having their photo taken. It’s natural that they want to join in and take their own.
It turns out that photography for kids has a host of other benefits too.
Keep reading to learn exactly why you should get your children involved in photography right now!
6 Reasons Photography for Kids is a Great Idea
Kids are natural photographers. They see the world in a novel way and they’re often fascinated by technology. Putting a camera in their hands just makes sense! Here are some of the major benefits of them getting started with photography.
1. Valuable (and Transferrable) Skillset
Taking photography is a skill.
It demands a good artistic eye, technical abilities with the camera, and an observant approach to life. It requires decision-making skills too, as well as a sensitive eye for detail.
Photography is an art. And art is a known positive activity for children to pick up. It encourages focus, is related to academic achievement, and increases self-confidence.
Like any skill, it takes practice to master. Kids are primed and ready for learning. They brains are growing at such a rate, and are so immensely plastic, that they can learn exponentially faster than adults.
Get them started on anything early on, and they’ll have it mastered in no time!
2. A Head Start in a Visual World
Photos are a major part of modern life.
Think back to the statistic at the start of this piece. Trillions of photos are taken every year. Social media and online content are already dominated by photography.
It’s easy to imagine how captivating visual images are only going to become more intrinsic to our daily lives. The more skilled the photographer, the more likely they are to succeed on such platforms.
Business, marketing, and all manner of other industries will rely on visual imagery in the future. Think how the rising importance of IT skills is being met by teaching kids to code. In the same way, having a camera may give them a head start in the working world when they’re older.
3. Creative Outlet
Kids are little creators.
More often than not, they love to draw, paint, color, glue and just generally make things, whenever they can. Photography is another means of creative expression to be encouraged.
No matter the style of photography, from landscape shots and portraits to drones for kids, they’ll love the ability to experiment with a new form of art.
Likewise, creativity is just generally a trait that should be encouraged. We could all do with being a little more creative! It isn’t just about art. Creativity is essential throughout life- in thinking outside the box, problem-solving, idea-generation and so on.
Encouraging creativity early in life is essential to future success.
4. Improve Focus
Children are little bundles of energy.
Keeping them occupied and out of trouble can feel like an endless battle.
Providing a camera is a brilliant way to not only have something fun to do (without much adult support) but also to encourage greater awareness and focus on their environment.
On family outings and vacations, encourage the kid to take photos of what they see. Challenge them to only take a select number of pictures. Doing this will help them engage with what you’re doing as a family, rather than running around causing havoc!
5. Natural Photographers & Lasting Reminders
As adults, we’re held captive by the weight of past experience.
Our preconceptions, preconceived notions, biases and so on, all mean we see the world through a particular lens (pardon the camera-related pun). When it comes to taking a photo, we’re somewhat restricted by how we think a photo should be taken.
Kids don’t have that barrier to creativity. Give a kid a camera and see the world through their eyes. It’s a beautiful thing to see how kids will record their environment. They’re naturally good at embracing what’s going on around them.
Likewise, holding onto the photos they take as a child provides a lasting reminder of who they were as they grow up. A bit like a written diary from your youth, children will get a sense of who they were through the photos they took.
6. Anyone Can Do It
Photography is amazingly accessible.
All kids have talents. But some children can have their confidence knocked when they struggle in particular areas, such as school.
But you don’t need to be good in class to be a great photographer. Learning how to take photos can restore a child’s sense of worth, and give them a new talent to take forward. The creative outlet we talked about may be exactly what they need.
All socio-economic backgrounds, educational levels, genders, identities, ages, and abilities can find solace in a camera.
Time to Take Some Snaps
There you have it: exactly why photography for kids is such a good idea.
Trillions and trillions of photos are taken every year by amateur and professional photographers alike. There seems to be some innate need for us to record our experiences in visual form. People of all ages love it.
That can be especially true of children. Give them a camera and watch them happily snap away for hours! Nicely, doing just that has all manner of other benefits too.
Hopefully, this piece has highlighted the main incentives for getting kids started with photography as soon as possible.
Like this piece? Looking to teach your kids other skills too? Click here for all of our education-related pieces.
Kid’s ain’t cheap, and it gets worse as they get older. Nothing hits harder than when your child learns to drive, and when they are ready for college. For me, adding my child to my car insurance was filled with “my baby is growing up” emotions stabbing my heart and “how on earth are we going to afford this” on repeat through my head. They are normal, but you’ll need to find ways to tackle these thoughts. Here are some ways I learned to save some extra cash on car insurance for teens.
It’s not exactly a secret that Americans love their coffee. Surveys have shown that more than 60% of Americans gulp down at least one cup of coffee every day.
Not everyone has caught on to the butter coffee craze just yet, though. Butter coffee—or Bulletproof coffee as it’s also called—contains butter loaded with healthy fats in it. It can provide you with all sorts of incredible health benefits.
Check out 5 of the most amazing health benefits associated with butter coffee below.
When it comes to feeding our babies, we want to make sure they are getting the best nutrition possible. At around 4-6 months of age, babies are often ready to have cereal added to their diet. It should not be fed to them by a bottle, a spoon is best. However, you should check with your pediatrician if you feel like you should start cereal sooner or if your baby struggles with spoon feedings. Since we are more informed about diets and ingredients, shopping for cereals can be a bit scary. I have compiled a list of the best cereals that my friends and I have fed our children and were pleased with. Knowing exactly what you think will be best for the baby is very helpful before heading down that grocery aisle.
Mother’s Day is around the corner, and if you have been celebrating a few years, you might be stuck on what to do this year. Breakfast in bed, lunch out, and spa days are wonderful and are a bit too common to use every year. Rather than sticking to a boring routine, here are some ideas for unique Mother’s Day activities that I have used over the years.
Family game night can get stale. Schedules change, people get tired of routine, and maybe the kids are getting a bit “too old” for the games you have been playing. Rather than let the family game night fizzle out, here are some tips on how I revived our family game night.