These Are the Easiest Ways to Be Healthy as a Family, According to Moms
Mothers around the country share how they infuse healthy eating, fitness, mindfulness, and more into their family life.
Staying healthy—and teaching your children how to stay healthy—is important. Not only does eating right, keeping your stress levels in check, and keeping up with an exercise routine help you feel your best, it also shows your kids how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that they can stick with for life.
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But as any parent knows, when diapers need to be changed, naps need to be had, or schedules are thrown out of sorts, wellness isn't always top of mind. Plus, in a world where gyms are closed, exercise often requires a face mask, and common outings (hikes, travel, even grocery shopping) are trickier, staying healthy can feel harder than ever.
The good news: Keeping up with good-for-you habits doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, it can be downright fun. Here, moms around the country share how they prioritize health in their family even in the most unusual of times—and have a good time doing so. All you have to do? Follow their lead.
Take Family Strolls
"We go on walks almost every single day—at least a mile and more if timing and weather permit. It’s become my favorite thing to do with my 11-month-old and my husband. We invested in a nice wagon to take sometimes, too just to change it up and recently got him a trike for our walks as well. It’s been so good for my mental health and my baby loves being outside, so it’s a win-win." —Sara Clark, mom of one from Melissa, Texas
Balance Treats with Healthier Options
"Growing up, I never really had much understanding about food and how different foods fuel your body in different ways. Since learning more about how important healthy foods and key nutrients are for your immune system and overall health, my husband and I have tried to instill this knowledge and healthy habits in our son. We certainly don't go without the standard toddler chicken nuggets and pizza, but we try to have a balance between healthy and treats." —Maggie Borukhovich, mom of one from Livingston, New Jersey
Involve Your Children in Your Workouts
"I never wanted my daughter to resent exercise, so I made it a point in the beginning to make her my 'little coach.' Not only is she a part of my daily responsibilities, but when she feels it was her idea or privilege to keep me going, it is more fun for her! The more the kids are involved in your workouts and fitness regimen, the more fun it can be! I never force my daughter to exercise, but I always ask if she would like to join me. I feel like forcing our kids to do certain things will set them up for failure in those areas in their adult life. I say let them discover and try all things, but let them decide what they want to commit to, then push them to be their best based on their preference." —Nikki Walter, mom of one from Aberdeen, South Dakota
Make Mindfulness a Family Activity
"I have been super into the baby mindfulness books that teach breathing lately. At first, I thought my daughter would be too young for them, but even at 16 months, she’s starting to pick things up. When we say, 'bunny breaths' she does little inhales like in her Bunny Breaths book. It’s good for her but far more importantly it’s so good for me and my husband. For us as parents, it's nice to grab a book out of the stack that Rosie enjoys and also really get something out of it for ourselves—a moment of calm that helps us reset. And now if Rosie gets upset or is having a tough moment, I can say, 'OK let's do some bunny breaths together,' and model that for her, and she is actually able to sit there and calm herself through breathing. It's wild!" —Kelsey Lucas, mom of one in Baltimore
Immerse Your Kids in Nature
"Our weekend adventures are always based on active exploration. It's important for me to pass the message along to my son that fitness is not about burning calories, but an overall active lifestyle and a love for the outdoors. Part of what we'll do on our hike is sit and meditate—for a 2.5 year old that might only be possible for 1 to 2 minutes, but teaching our son to sit still and be in awe of nature's beauty around him is very important to us. It all dovetails with overall wellness and appreciation of our bodies and the world around us." —Jamie Hess, mom of one from New York
Do Seasonal Projects
"We have a big garden that we plan out each spring, so it's a fun seasonal project for us to plant and then maintain the crops for summer. We also have a lemonade stand and sell some vegetables and fruits from the garden. Each year, my kids donate the money to a different charity. It's a great way to teach them how to give back—and why it is so important. We are also avid skiers in the winter. Nothing is better than family ski trips." —Carly Snyder, mom of three from New York