Keep on keeping healthy!

With that first month of the new year under my belt, I’m also starting to feel those resolutions slipping from my mind. Here are a few little hints and tricks that help keep my family healthy eating all year round, enjoy!

#1 Cook with love!

I’ve never had an awesome meal after I spent hours slamming pots and pans and muttering about the days grievances. Enter your kitchen with your loved ones in mind and remember what you are preparing for them now is what will sustain them. A good healthy meal/snack shows how much you care and when it’s made with love it tastes that much better!

#2 Start early…in life.

We are what we eat, or so they say. If we encourage our kiddos to eat mindfully at a young age, it stands to reason they will grow up to be healthy eaters. Or at least you can feel good that you gave a great foundation.

#3 Get everyone involved- in all of it! The menu planning, the shopping, the cooking and plating.

It’s actually eye opening to ask for input on some of these things once in a while. Why should I have to be the only one coming up with ideas and being creative when it comes to meals? I love writing things like “2 side veggies” on my husbands grocery list, I’m often surprised with something I would have walked right by without noticing. I’m also a fan of establishing meal nights for each member to plan. It’s fun to see a recipe that hasn’t been made in months or a new one added to the menu, it’s also a good way to gauge what everyone is “craving” or “into” at any given time.

#4 “Mix it Up” and don’t quit trying!

This is quite literal. Mix it, blend it, puree it, dice it, shred it, slice it and don’t quit trying! A ton of foods that are so good for us, aren’t our favorite when prepared in different ways. It’s fine to not like certain foods, but its a disservice to not give everything a fair shot. I love the challenge of learning new ways to prepare the “same old” ingredients.

Something like spinach is very versatile and often disliked by kids. I never hated it but it wasn’t until I was a nanny that I learned I loved it cooked, thanks to a 3 year old girl who requested it daily. Spinach is awesome blended in a smoothie, makes a great salad raw, can be added into pasta sauces and soups.

Cauliflower is another sneaky guy. As a dairy sensitive gal with a love for all things mac and cheese, this is my latest and greatest find. Cauliflower can be substituted as rice, mashed into “potatoes,” pureed into “Alfredo” sauce. It takes on flavors similar to tofu, so it’s pretty amazing roasted with your favorite herbs or spices. It’s also fairly easy to turn this veg into a thickening agent for chowder soups or to half the “dairy” in homemade mac and cheese.

#5 Make it a “treat”- once in a while.

Don’t tell any one but healthy food can also be super yummy. Ever heard of brownies made with beets? How about making your own trail mix, sure you can add chocolate bits but also dried fruits and protein packed nuts! What about a fruit packed Popsicle or making your own fruit roll ups? Here’s a new one…shredded carrot in the cake?!? What? Just kidding on that one, haha.

 

 

Staying healthy in 2018

My husband likes to joke that from September to June is sick season for any one who works with kids. We are either getting a cold, fighting a bug, just over something, or feeling a tickle in the throat, you name it and we’ve probably already got it (twice) or are all about preventing it.

Here are a couple common germ fighting, cold busting, tried and true solutions to start 2018 with that immune system in full force!

-Wash your hands!!! All the time!!! If you hadn’t already heard this little tidbit 20 seconds is the rule- try humming the ABC’s or happy birthday, makes the time fly by.

-Get sleep. Your body is at it’s best when it’s rest, no matter the age! Your immune system is also working it’s hardest while you sleep…why not give it all the time it needs?

-Vitamins, at the least vitamin D (that’s the one we get from sunshine). If it’s sunny, get out for a walk, hike, bike ride. Not only will you get a boost of Vitamin D, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after some fresh air!

-Water, drink it and often! Without enough water our bodies aren’t functioning at their optimum which can lead to lower immune health.

  • Fun fact, if you make yourself a glass of lemon water you are tackling two germ killers at once! Lemons have Vitamin C so give yourself a little one two punch.

-Sneeze/Cough into your sleeve or elbow. You can avoid spreading germs by by eliminating covering coughs and sneezes with your hand when possible.

-Carry some sort of sanitizer or wipes in your pocket/purse when in crowded areas. Although soap and water are best, in a pinch there is some relief in a quick way to disinfect (like after that fellow bus rider spent the last 15 stops coughing and blowing their nose).

– Keep a small sandwich bag in your pocket along with a pack of tissues during cold season. When the need to blow your nose arises, you’ve already got a spot to put the holder of germs.

-When sick, stay home. I feel like this is the hardest one to follow. Life must go on, but must it go on with my spreading an awful cold or bug to my coworkers, friends, and family? Think of how much quicker you’ll recover if you tackle your illness head on with rest, water, and some TLC.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2018!

What’s your favorite stay healthy trick? Share it here!