Introducing our Healthy Family Challenge...

Follow along as editor-in-chief Karine Ewart and three other moms take on the Today's Parent Healthy Family Challenge.

Photo: rich vintage/iStockphoto

Ola! When we first came up with the idea to launch a program to help families get more active and eat healthy meals — I’ll be honest — I really wasn’t thinking about my own family. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority at our house.

My husband, Jay, grew up skiing and playing tennis, and played on the McGill University football and rugby teams. He now works out a few times a week on our treadmill at home, and I know he’d be more active if he could only find the time.

My daughter, Milla, 11, dances more than 20 hours a week at her competitive studio. My three boys, Wyatt, 8, Theo, 8, and Beckett, 6, play hockey and are on the ice three to four hours a week in the winter and then switch to soccer in the summer. Swimming lessons for all are also a must.

Me? I grew up playing on every school team and was a lifeguard/swimming instructor well into my 20s. I learned to play tennis once Jay and I got engaged, and I used to run about five days per week before I went back to work full-time two years ago. Now, I run about one or two times per week. Eek! Writing it makes it more real: I really need to find time to exercise more! (Sound familiar, parents?)

As for our eating habits, we try to eat a paleo diet, though I am a flexible vegan. Sure, we cheat from time to time, but overall, our meals are homemade, with as much fruit, vegetables and lean meat as possible. Other than the cheating, I think we are fairly good in the food department. In fact, I would like to think we are fairly healthy in general. (Touch wood!)

But one of the reasons we created the Healthy Family Challenge wasn’t for kids or adults to join organized sports, or even to lose weight, but rather to lead healthier lifestyles by being more active together. When you look closely, what am I teaching my kids about healthy living: rush around with our heads cut off and eat in the car on the way to sports? (I am exaggerating a bit; we do eat proper dinners together every weekend, but you see what I am saying here, right?)

The Healthy Family Challenge is perfect for us. We need to spend more time having fun, being active and eating well together. That’s why I decided to take the challenge.

Once I made the commitment, my excuses came flooding in: How are we going to fit in the physical challenges every day when we are rarely at home together before 7:30 p.m.? (Thankfully, the daily activities have no minimum time recommendation, so there will be some speed-round versions from us during the week.) And I’ll probably need to adjust the recipes to be free of gluten and dairy, but that’s something I can handle.

I’ll be blogging regularly, so please follow my family and me on our journey. And, I have to say it: If I can do it, you can do it. (Plus, I’d really like to know I am not the only one who finds our challenge, well, a bit challenging.)

PS. We are thrilled to have Quaker® as our partners in the Healthy Family Challenge. From the moment we all sat together to discuss the program, we knew we shared the same vision: to help Canadian families.
 
Check out our Healthy Family Challenge bloggers from coast-to-coast:
 
Crystal Allen
The crafty Crystal Allen of Sew Creative lives in Richmond, BC, with husband, Robert Madrilejos, and kids, Isabella, 4, and Adam, 8 months.
 
Maria Stanley
Maria Stanley of BORED Mommy is located in Kingston, Ont., with husband, Jonathan, and kids, Nicholas, 9, and Nasia, 6.
 
Deanna Miller

Deanna Miller of HRM Parent resides in Dartmouth, NS, with husband, Sheldon, and kids, Sara, 6, Addison, 4, and Sam, 2.

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