Healthy Living Tips
Here we go again – straight from school to softball practice. I know I am not alone in the never-ending parent/kid shuffle. I am sure you worry about keeping your little athletes fed and powered up for a challenging day on the court or field, like I do.
Whether it’s softball, dance, soccer or basketball – it’s important to make sure we are providing our kids with appropriate snacks to keep them going when they are participating in athletic activities. And while I totally get the convenience of grabbing a granola bar or Pop Tart, is it really benefiting our kids nutritionally? Too much fat, too much sugar and not enough protein.
For our family, my goal is to provide Isabella and Cameron with a light, but healthy, option before they participate in their sport of choice. Ideally, something with a good balance of protein and carbs.
A few of my favorite go-tos are:
The protein in these options stays with my kids as they work up a sweat, and the carbs give them a nice, quick burst of energy.
It’s also important that we as parents model good food choices for our kids. Before you hit the gym or head off for a run, or hike, consider snacking on the items above for maximum energy, too.
One of the most popular summer vacation destinations is the beach. Time on the beach is fun time. The good news is your children are probably too busy and too hungry to care about what they eat. They’re too distracted with the waves they’re riding and the sand castles they’re building. Take advantage of that distraction and feed them healthy foods to keep their energy up.
Some may think there is no to way to keep up the 80/20 rule at the beach, and I disagree wholeheartedly. When I talk to children about the 80/20 rule, eating healthy foods 80 percent of the time, I explain that for every four healthy things they eat, they can have something indulgent. Balancing that 80/20 can be difficult, but the best way to teach your children to make healthy choices is to provide them with as many healthy choices as possible. Every one of these ideas could be just as easily executed from the grocery store aisles at the beach as it can with a little planning from home.
As with any food you would eat in a picnic setting, be sure to store with ice to keep your food fresh for as long as possible.
You wouldn’t let your children stop saying please and thank you, or let them ride without a seat belt just because you’re on vacation, would you? Like all the lessons we teach our children, such as manners and safety, healthy eating is an all-the-time lesson. Instead of taking a vacation from healthy eating, use it as an opportunity to show how to stick to those healthy habits even when you’re outside the regular routine, like having fun on the beach.
Every summer people flock to the beach while flocks of seagulls sneak around stealing their food right off their beach towels. Most people find these scavenging birds to be a nuisance, but the Imwalle family saw the potential for a great story and a learning opportunity. Children’s author Candice Imwalle and her two children, Cameron and Isabella, wrote Howard the Seagull Flies to the Stars and the Moon to offer a different perspective on why seagulls steal food from the beach and why it is important to eat healthy foods.
The book features Howard as the seagull and his friend Charlie, a mouse. The pair want to fly high up in the sky, to the stars and the moon, but Howard can’t seem to get higher than the rooftops of the beach houses. They set out to discover how to fly high up in the sky. Through their adventures they encounter some wise beach animals that teach them a few lessons on the importance of making healthy choices to help them achieve their goal.
This is the second book for the trio and continues the focus on learning to make healthy choices. They wrote their first book, Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food in 2014. Imwalle was concerned about the increasing obesity rates in the U.S. and how eating unhealthy could impact her children. Working in medical device sales, she regularly encountered patients with vascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes, most commonly caused by a lifetime of poor food choices. She went on the search for children’s books that focused on making healthy choices and was discouraged when she could not find any. That is when she enlisted the help of her children to write their first book, Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food.
“As parents, it is important that we educate our children at a very early age about the impact healthy eating choices have on our body and our lives,” said Imwalle. “When reading this book, children understand that choosing fruits and vegetables over sugary foods such as cookies has a drastic impact on our energy levels. When they make healthy choices, they see a direct impact on what they can achieve.”
Unlike other children’s books on the market today, this story provides parents a wonderful way to start a dialog with children about the importance of choosing healthy, good-for-you foods instead of junk food. It is a compelling, unique and educational book that will have kids and parents captivated from start to finish.
Visit Amazon to order your paperback copy today!
The annual Unity Award recognizes and celebrates women who are making a difference in the lives of children and families every day.
Imwalle was nominated for her work to help end childhood obesity through her book Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food. The healthy eating fairytale is a way to initiate conversations between parents and children about making smart food choices.
“As parents, it is important that we educate our children early about the impact of choosing healthy foods to fuel our bodies and our lives,” said Imwalle. “When reading Sir Morgan, children understand the message that eating low sugar and whole foods is important for a lifetime of good health.”
Online voting for the Unity Award is open at goo.gl/d0cRdJ. MASK readers and community members are invited to vote for their favorite mom once per day, per email address now through Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The top 15 nominees will be announced Thursday, Feb. 11, and the final round of voting will end Monday, Feb. 29.
The award recipient will be announced at the “Moms Making a Difference” Unity Award Luncheon Thursday, March 3, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
For more information about Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food, visit Amazon.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), most Americans eat enough grains, but few are whole grains. The USDA recommends at least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains.
The USDA’s choosemyplate.gov provides tips on how to incorporate more whole grains in your family’s diets, including:
So next time you go to the grocery store, read the ingredient labels before you purchase breads or crackers to see if they are made up of whole grains. If it says “enriched,” move on. “Enriched” is a very nice way of saying the item has been processed!
Tell me, have you made the switch from “enriched” to whole grains? Do you have any tips for making the transition?
Typically, fruits are an easier choice for children to eat because they are sweet in taste. If you have trouble getting your children to eat their veggies, WebMD.com provides some clever tips on ways to get them to eat them.
They suggest several unique ideas I just love. Some of my favorites are:
My kids know that they have to eat at least one vegetable at every meal, so even when we eat out, they make sure they get one with their dinner, even if they have to order it off the side dishes.
I hope you find these ideas as fun and helpful as I have.
What’s your go-to veggie for your kids?
They interviewed me because I went to a couple schools in the Paradise Valley and Scottsdale Unified school districts to read “Sir Morgan and the Kingdom of Horrible Food.” I really enjoy reading to them all and talking to them about making healthy decisions. Not only do they ask insightful questions, they tell some really great stories about the food they eat home!
As long as they’ll have me, I see more school readings in my future.
It’s important to point out that you don’t always have to pack the traditional sandwich. There are alternatives to sandwiches that can still provide protein and good nutrition. Choose at least four things from the list below and ensure there is a variety of items, i.e., fruit, vegetables, protein and whole grain.
Each week ask your child to select a different fruit or vegetable in alphabetical order. For example, start with apples, bananas or blueberries and then carrots and so on. This is a fun way for your child to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and maybe even try some new ones!
Lastly, it is OK to give them a small dessert, just make sure you follow the 80/20 rule… Only if they eat at least 4 healthy things. Feel free to add to this list.
What’s your favorite healthy lunch item for your kids’ lunch box?
It’s important to take good care of your skin so you can keep it healthy and minimize signs of aging. There are a few essential skin care habits that I follow that can help you keep your skin looking vibrant and younger, including the following five tips:
Wear sunscreen – Apply a facial sunscreen daily, and be sure and protect the rest of your body with sunscreen when you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time. Don’t forget a big hat to shade your face, neck and chest.
BONUS TIP: Just because you keep the sun off your skin, you don’t have to be pasty white. There is body makeup you can use to make your chest face and neck appear tan. Getting a tan with the sun will make your skin look like crepe paper and discolor it. Too much sun is also one of the first signs of aging. There are ways to reverse this damage such as photo-facials and acid peels.
Moisturize – Keep your skin moisturized with facial and body lotions that keep your skin looking and feeling smooth.
BONUS TIP: Use your face lotion on your neck, chest and hands. Just because it says “face lotion” on the bottle, it doesn’t mean you can’t extend it to other parts of your body that are similar in texture and fragility. I also love Shea butter for under my eyes and for my eyelids.
Stay hydrated – Drinking water helps to keep your skin hydrated. When your skin is dehydrated it can look dry and show more wrinkles.
BONUS TIP: Avoid straws in your drinks because using them creates vertical lines around your mouth, similar to the way a smoker gets wrinkles around their mouth.
Wash your face – You should do this in the morning when you wake up and then again before you go to bed to remove dirt and oil from the day. Be sure to wash off all of your makeup because it can clog pores, which causes acne.
BONUS TIP: Use mineral make up. It’s nutrition for your face and makes skin smooth and covers imperfections such as hyperpigmentation, acne, etc.
Exfoliate – When you exfoliate, you are removing dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. I do my body every day with a salt or sand-based gel and shower gloves. It’s a good idea to use a facial soap that has an exfoliator in it one to two times a week. Your skin should feel softer after you exfoliate.
BONUS TIP: I use 15% glycolic lotion by Vi* on my body and face three or four times per week. It exfoliates face and body for smoother, less crepe paper-looking skin. They also have an awesome peel called Vi Peel for the face, neck and chest. It peels off multiple layers of skin and stimulates collagen for several months.
These five tips are easy and simple to make habits. Your skin will thank you for it!
Do you have any tips I can use?
*My endorsement for VI is not paid, but simply my opinion and preference for this type of lotion and the peel.