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Most kids cringe at the sight of broccoli or brussel sprouts on their plate. If it doesn’t look good, children believe it will not taste good. Presentation goes a long way with kids. Children always recoil at the sight of anything green on their plates.

And nowadays, many kids would rather stay inside and play on their tablets than go outdoors and be active. It’s a shame, really. Because I personally remember playing outside all day, every day, as a kid. As parents, it’s our job to instill activity into our kids’ lives so they live a more healthy one. And it’s important they learn to be active from a young age.

I find that the key is making it fun for your children. Here are a few ways you can help your kids enjoy living a healthy lifestyle:

Get Them To Eat The Rainbow

Eating the color of the rainbow is a phrase many nutritionists use to describe how you should design your diet. Ideally, you should eat as many colorful foods as possible. So much so that your daily diet resembles that of a rainbow! And when you provide colorful foods to your kids’ plates, this can make the food look fun and inviting. While you’re at it, get creative with the meals you make – healthy food doesn’t have to be boring! Put together colorful meals that look and taste great, and your kids will be waiting at the dinner table with huge smiles on their faces every night.

Make Exercise More Like A Game

If you try to force a child to exercise, it probably will not go down well. However, if your children naturally gravitate towards a sport, it makes it a lot easier for them to get some physical activity in. Also, if they have gym class in school, that helps as well.

But, what about at home, are they as active as they can be? More often than not, they aren’t. So, you may have to make exercise seem fun, and the best way to do this is by making a game out of it. My advice is to get a kids’ trampoline for indoors or the backyard. Trampolines are great for exercise. It’s an easy way to get them active, while also making them happy.

Exercise With Them

Exercise is important for everyone! And if you’re active, your kids will be too. After all, they learn from watching you. I often exercise in my basement to free exercise videos on YouTube. My girls always want to join in. And most times they never finish, but any bit of activity is good for them. You can also take them to the zoo in the summertime – there’s a lot of walking involved there; and in the winter, go ice skating as a family. Any activity is good for your body… so keep moving and they will want to as well.

Get A Family Dog

Lastly, this idea is one of the best if you’re looking for an excuse to get a pet. With a family dog, your children will soon be begging to go outside as often as possible, to play fetch with the dog. Also, a dog needs exercise too, so the whole family can make taking walks a part of your daily routine, weather permitting. The all-round health benefits it can lead to are quite remarkable really. Plus, bringing a lovely little animal into your home, gives your children some company. This is an excellent idea if you only have one child.

Making a healthy lifestyle can be fun! And it’s important to encourage activity, and lead by example.

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No one enjoys going to the doctors, especially children. And for some kids, it’s an absolutely horrific experience. We can’t really blame them for being scared. After all, they are being spoken to and touched by an absolute stranger and sometimes this stranger pokes them with a needle. It’s definitely not fun, but there are some ways to make the experience a less terrifying for your little one. Here are some great tips to help you out.

Prepare Them Beforehand

Children get scared of new and strange situations, so it helps to give them some sort of idea as to what is going to happen when you are at the pediatrician. A great way to do this is by buying a doctor’s kit and giving them a mock examination. You can also read them books where a character goes to the doctors or show them a movie about a doctor. You could even draw them the clinic floor plan if you think it will help. If the situation feels less foreign, they’ll be less scared.

Go With Them

Some parents ask a grandparent, aunt, or uncle to take their child to the doctors. This could be because they’re busy working, but sometimes, it’s because they don’t want to be associated with such a scary event. While this protects you from seeing your child upset, and having to deal with the aftermath, it will only increase your child’s anxiety. They will want to be comforted by a parent, as they are the people that they are most familiar and comfortable with. While other relatives will be able to provide some support, it’s not the same comfort you can give.

Provide Comfort

Your son or daughter is going to be understandably afraid, so try to find as many ways as you can to comfort them. Rather than tell them not to be afraid, let them know that you understand that it’s scary and are there to help them. They probably won’t want to be separated from you in the doctor’s office, so sit them on your lap so that they feel protected. If there is a blanket, toy, or pacifier that usually soothes them, then bring that along, too.

Treat Them After

It’s important not to make visiting the doctor’s all about visiting the doctor’s. You should do something fun after too. This will help your child get through the experience more calmly, as they know that they are going to be treated afterwards. This will also help your child to associate the doctors with this treat, rather than their fear. This treat can be anything from going to get their favorite dessert or going to see a movie. Also make sure that you point out any pleasant things that happened at the doctors, such as playing with the toys or getting a sticker and/or sucker.

Visiting the doctor’s is never going to be the most fun experience on the planet, but with this advice, you should be able to make it less unpleasant for your little one.

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Christmas is almost here. My girls are super excited to wear their pretty new Christmas dresses. I myself want to dress up a bit, but also want to be comfortable. It’s not often the whole family gets the chance to dress up for a special occasion. Whether it’s a wedding you’ve been invited to, a special party, event, or the holidays – it’s nice for the whole family to get glammed up together!

While you might have a closet full of occasion-ready outfits (or maybe you don’t?!), it may not be so easy to find something for your children. Because they are always growing! Here are some useful tips on how to dress the kids for special occasions.

Choose something that’s appropriate for their age

Choosing occasion outfits for your children isn’t as easy as just picking out a pretty dress. Kids like to run around, and if you know that your children are not the type to sit still, you should think about choosing items that allow them to move around easily. Shorter dresses are better for younger girls, while boys can enjoy a cute suit that lets them run around without tripping up.

Dress appropriately for the occasion

While dress codes aren’t as rigid for children, you should always aim to dress them to suit the occasion. If it’s something formal, you should aim to dress the children in more formal outfits, complete with ties or bow ties for the boys. You don’t want to turn up to a wedding with your kids looking like they’re on their way for a play date, so make sure you find out what the dress code is in plenty of time. If you want some great inspiration for boys, check out Prince George’s style – he’s slowly becoming as much of a fashion icon as his mother!

Choose high-quality outfits

Choosing clothes for special occasions can be costly, and even kids’ formal wear can be expensive. It’s worth investing in quality pieces that will last or can be handed down to get the most out of them. You can find some amazing designer outfits on this fashion site that will be sure to last. Buying clothes in a bigger size could let you take them in for now, and let them out as they grow to ensure maximum use.

Let them help to choose their own clothes

Shopping can be fun for the whole family, especially when you’re shopping for a special occasion together. If you’re looking for ways to have fun with the kids, why not let them help to choose their outfits? At the end of the day, it’s them who will be wearing them so letting them choose clothes they are happy to wear will make it much easier for you on the day and help avoid those getting ready tantrums. Make a day of it for a day out the whole family will enjoy. My oldest LOVES to shop. Can’t imagine where she got that from?! HA!

A special occasion is something to look forward to, and is something that will create wonderful memories for the whole family. Special occasion outfits are ideal for family photos, so make sure you take some of you all in your finery. Have fun getting the kids involved in your plans and enjoy getting them dressed up for special occasions – they don’t happen every day! And the holidays come but once per year!

 

 

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This morning was a rush, as every morning is. I rush out the door just to sit in my car and idle in traffic. It is finally warm here in Michigan and by warm I am talking 75° this morning. I have been yearning for the warmth since January. I curse at the weather every day because I get so irritated with having to bundle up. I want to throw on my sandals and head out the door. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my body and the wind in my hair as I drive. You know, the “feels” of life. The nature, the simplicity. I miss that. So often I am in a daze with my kids and having the sun shine down gives me hope that I can make it through the tantrums and demands of everyday life.

On my ride into work, I chat with my husband about various topics and today (and for the past month or so), it has been about how I feel – like a robot – always on the go, never really allowing for downtime. Just going through the motions of day-to-day living. I am the hamster on the wheel that keeps running but doesn’t see myself getting anywhere. And I get sad. I feel sorry for myself. I know all about the power of positivity and try to enjoy my cup half full versus half empty, but lately, it’s been hard. 

And it makes perfect sense why. My family and I haven’t had a real vacation in a year. And when you take a vacation with young children, there isn’t much relaxation going on. I really, really could use a weekend trip to a tropical island sans kids, but oh, the mom guilt wouldn’t allow for that. Nor would my finances. So I continue to strive on and remind myself that everyone does it. I am just burnt out. And which I am. 

Just as I was getting on the elevator this morning on my way up to my office, a co-worker asked about my kids. And my response, “Good, you know, they’re kids.” He knew what I meant. I ain’t one to sugar coat how kids can be. You probably know that about me if you read my blog or if you know me personally. There is no reason to hide the truth. Kids are WORK. And some parents work at it harder or have circumstances that don’t allow for much rest or weekend getaways. 

And the response from my coworker (who’s also a parent) was one of understanding, “Feel like a hamster on a wheel yet?”

Boy, do I ever, I thought.

Least I’m not alone. 

 

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I don’t know about you, but in our house, it always used to be a battle to get our toddler to eat dinner. My daughter will be 2-years-old in May and she started giving us her toddler opinion right around the 18-month marker. You know, full blown ‘tude .

Like most families, every night we try to sit down as a family and enjoy a nice dinner after a long day. Every single night (and mainly the days I worked) she would resist dinner. She would downright cry and scream for what seemed no apparent reason. And of course she couldn’t verbalize her upset with just the 15 or so words in her vocabulary.

It was tiring, it was confusing, I mean wasn’t she hungry? I am always famished by the time I get home from work, but kids are different. They are different in the sense that “eating” takes up their precious play time. It took me a couple of months to figure out how to get my daughter interested in dinner. I mean, we all know that eating before bed is necessary for a good night’s sleep.

I have noticed for myself and my kids the strongest desire to eat is around lunch time. I believe it’s because our bodies have been up for hours and we need a decent meal to get us through our long day. Both of my kids have always ate the best at lunch time. And since I work outside of the home, I don’t always know how well they eat at lunch each day. And toddlers sleep patterns can be erratic. It’s best to make sure they get some good nutrients in their bellies before shut-eye, otherwise, who knows what time they’ll wake up wailing because they’re hungry.

According to Ayurvedic wisdom, the biggest meal of the day should be around noon, as this is when our digestive system is working at its best. I agree wholeheartedly with this logic, but I also want to make sure my toddler’s tummy has some food in it before she dozes into hopefully a nice slumber.

There is a trick to the dinner time toddler madness. I’m sure not all parents will agree with my tricks and that’s OK. There is no one size fits all when it comes to parenting. You do what works best for you and your family. The biggest challenge we faced at dinner was my daughter sitting in her booster chair. Amazingly enough, Minnie Mouse isn’t as attractive as mom’s lap. I’ve learned that the best way for her to eat at dinner is to allow her to sit on my lap. Once I made that switch, we noticed a decrease in the number of outbursts.

The second thing I started to do was offer her a cookie with her meal. I know some might shake their heads at this, but we always give our kids a treat with or after dinner. My oldest generally eats her dinner without many complaints and knows if she eats a decent amount – she’ll get a cookie or something sweet afterward. Since she always finishes before her younger sister, she gets her treat while sister is still humming and hawing over what is in front of her. And of course, little sister wants in on the goods. I quickly realized with my youngest that when I gave her a cookie or say, a donut hole – she would then eat the other food on her plate.

Of course, at first, I thought it was a fluke. And I tried it again the following night, the night after, and the night after that and voila! It worked like a charm. Every. Time. She’d take a little bite of a cookie, then eat a strawberry. Then another bite of pasta, and a bite of her cookie.

And the best thing of all with my newfound discovery… most nights she doesn’t even finish her dessert and she eats a bulk of her dinner. #winning

I don’t know about you but there are only so many battles I can deal with. And after a long day at the office, a long commute, and tired eyes – the last thing I want to do is fight with my mini-me over where she sits or if she eats.

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