Family health

Thus endeth the challenge

Karine reflects on what she has learned about her family at the conclusion of the Healthy Family Challenge.

By Karine Ewart
Thus endeth the challenge

Photo: monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto

So, we have come to the last week of the Healthy Family Challenge and even I have to admit that it seemed rather daunting when I first took the pledge, almost a month ago. But Lianne and Stacy came up with such easy, adaptable meal and activity plans that my life really did seem more organized and structured. (It was so nice not to have to worry, “What’s for dinner?”) Of course, there were days that we skipped an activity if we were too busy, or we modified a recipe if it just wasn’t possible (i.e. I didn’t have the ingredients on hand), but overall, things were easier.

Now that it has come to a close, though, there have been many pleasant, unexpected surprises.
To highlight a few:

Eye Opener #1: My kids seriously need to be exposed to new/different food, and I need to expand my repertoire. I easily fall into old habits, and have now realized that it’s kind of my fault that they are picky eaters. See Eye Opener #2....

Eye Opener #2: I am going to make meals, and not talk about them. If anyone starts to complain (and in a house with four kids between the ages of six and 11, I guarantee that someone will!), I am not going to engage in a conversation about it. I will ignore it until it escalates to a level that is disruptive and then I will say, “This is dinner. If you choose not to eat, please sit quietly until everyone else is done.” (To all of you with toddlers out there, I know this seems impossible! But it can and will happen!)

Ever since Milla was little, we’ve always had a little snack of fruit, or cereal or crackers and cheese, etc., around bath time. Originally, it was because my goal in life was to fill her tummy so she would sleep! Now, with extracurriculars, it just makes sense: Five smaller meals throughout the day rather than three main ones work best for our family.
Speaking of daily routines....

Eye Opener #3: When your kids consider the highlight of their day playing balloon volleyball with you, you may want to set aside five minutes daily to play with them. We have 30 days worth of ideas to help get you started.

There were more eye openers, but I’d rather hear some of yours. Maybe there is something you got out of the challenge that I can add to my repertoire?

This article was originally published on Apr 10, 2013

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