Quick switches for healthier kid lunches

“I love packing school lunches!” said no mom ever!

School is starting again soon and I am already dreading the chore of packing school lunches. Just being honest here!

How are busy mom’s supposed to get this done when they have to be healthy but still things the kids will eat and won’t get boring? They have to be quick and easy to pack but don’t require short-term refrigeration or heating up. They have to be easily transportable without getting soggy or dried out. If you’re not a pinterest lunch making mom, then these requirements can be a little frustrating!

And isn’t it true that the easiest things to pack are often the least healthy for the kids? If you pack those, you’ll probably get “bad mom” judgement or even have the teachers send a note home about it.

30652226_2025800137683720_3884400209555357696_nHere are a few things I’ve learned to make packing healthy kid-approved lunches easy and fast:

  1. Main Items: For sandwiches or wraps, switch white bread or regular wraps with the whole grain (whole grain is more nutritious than multi-grain) version. If your child refuses to eat whole grain (ours did at first but gradually accepted it when it was the only thing available haha), there are many whole grain breads that look just like white bread. Check out “Daves Killer Bread” for a few great options! You can also use thinner sliced bread or smaller wraps and add more veggies and meat for a more filling meal. My kids loooove pinwheels – whole wheat wrap topped with low fat cream cheese and low sodium turkey slices. Sometimes my kid love to eat lunch meat with no bread at all. That’s super easy and fast too! If your kiddo is a chicken nugget fan, look for the healthier versions that look like real chicken instead of ground up mystery meat. Nitrate free options are always a good choice too.
  2.  Sides: Switch sweetened apple sauce with the unsweetened kind. You don’t even notice the difference in the cinnamon flavors. Throw in low fat cheese sticks and avoid sugary flavored yogurts (also avoid the fake sugar ones!). Instead, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can grab some plain 0% yogurt and mix in some strawberries or other fruit on your own the night before. When it sits in the fridge overnight, the fruit juices sweeten the plain yogurt naturally – this is one of my personal favorite snacks for myself too. Whole grain crackers like Triscuits and Sun Chips are a better choice than greasy crackers or potato chips. Look for “low sodium” too. If your child enjoys veggies, those are an easy and nutritious option, as well as fruit – bananas, grapes and blueberries are my favorite because they require almost no prep other than rinsing.
  3. Treats: Graham Cracker snacks and animal crackers are a better option than regular cookies and will still make your kiddos happy! If you bake at home, there are a few recipes for making healthier desserts on my post “4 Recipes with no Sugar” that you can make with your kids.
  4. Drinks: Water is best, of course. If your child doesn’t like drinking water, try adding fruit to it. If they are juice drinkers, look for the all natural, no sugar added versions. Hint: fill a water bottle half way with juice and the rest water to further reduce the sugar content without them even noticing a difference! Soda is a tough habit to break as an adult. If your child drinks it now, perhaps considering breaking the habit early would be a good idea. Whether the sugar free or sugar full kind, there is nothing good about drinking soda for children or adults.

 


Exercise for not-so-sporty kids

20160817_154900 (1)Not every kid is an athlete. Not every kid enjoys competition. Not every kid wants to play team sports. However, EVERY kid does need daily exercise. But what do you do when your kid would rather play video games and stay inside all day? In the case of my oldest daughter, I realized she was not going to naturally be drawn to exercise or sports pretty early on. So, we basically went for the “put her in everything and see what sticks” method and eventually discovered physical activities that she LOVES, from the swim team to regular recess, visits to the park, and family walks on the beach.

As early as two years old, we put her in dance, then gymnastics, and then soccer, and finally swim team. The theme here is that we kept trying. She didn’t fall in love with dance, wasn’t very interested in gymnastics, and would only go on the soccer field if she was holding hands with the coach. None of them worked, but we didn’t give up. We paid attention to the things she really enjoyed and finally, we realized that her love for the pool could mean she may enjoy the swim team. We asked if she was interested, she said yes, tried out and made the team the very next day! As a no-contact sport that involves doing something she loves already – being in the pool, it is a perfect match! Plus, swimming is one of the BEST forms of exercise! Whether or not she will be excited about the races remains to be seen, but all in all, as long as she participates in the weekly practices, I’m a happy momma!

Additionally, we found a school that values activities like daily recess, daily P.E., and even has a voluntary Morning Mile program that we can all do as a family! We also take family walks on the beach, go to the park, and swim in the community pool where we live. We limit electronics time to weekends only and make sure we spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something active, even if I have to rope the girls into doing a home workout with me in our living room. They love the dancing workouts like CIZE or Country Heat!

All children are different and their strengths should be appreciated. If the things they enjoy doing are tended, they will grow and flourish.


Kind of Funny Mom Tales…The Tri-Pony

Here’s how it went down.

It was time to go to Funtown for some skating and game-playing family madness! The girls were excited. I was excited. Andy was willing to join 😉 I asked the girls to get dressed so we could leave. They willingly did so with no complaints. All was progressing smoothly. That’s when I should have been worried… but I got complacent.

I brushed Brooklyn’s hair and asked if she wanted a pony tail. She said 2 pony tails. I said “OK, I’ll put in pig tails. Here’s a blue and a green hairband and some barrettes.” She said “ooh and a pink one.” I saw a pink barrette and grabbed it too.

I put in two beautifully done and evenly placed pig tails that I was pretty proud of. I told her she was all finished. She reached back and felt her head and said “is there a back one?” I didn’t know what the heck she was talking about, so I said, “No, there’s one on each side because you wanted pig tails and not a pony tail, remember?” Well that was the end of all sanity.

After about 20 minutes of ear piercing screams and a parent switch from me to Andy to try and figure out what the holy mother was happening, Brooklyn said “I WANT THREE PONYTAILS AND SHE ONLY GAVE ME TWO.”

Three ponytails? How could I have guessed that? Turns out there was a pink hairband that she had originally been asking for when I so dumbly thought she wanted the pink barrette. What kind of crap is that, right? What a failure of a mom and what a terrible life for that three year old…

When I read parenting advice, they say “learn the triggers of your child’s tantrums so you can defuse or avoid the situations before they even start.” HA! Tell me how I could have seen that one coming, oh super-wise parenting experts! In the meantime, I’ll go drink wine.


Just an Intro

Helping people find their happy through fitness and freedom is my PASSION!

I am wife, mom of two beautiful baby girls, webmaster, and Beachbody coach. I began my personal journey with Beachbody in the summer of 2014 when I became officially DONE with being overweight, tired and lacking self confidence. I had gained weight from 2 pregnancies and my body was paying the price. I started with Focus T25 and lost 13 lbs and 3 pant sizes in 2 months! It was AMAZING and I was in LOVE. In early 2015 I became a coach to help others find the same success and life changing happiness that I found with these programs.

Now, I personally mentor 5 to 10 new women each month on their fitness journey. I provide support and guidance as they begin to change their lives or simply step up their previous health regimen. If you’re ready to make a positive change in your life, contact me today.

Additionally, I offer a private mentorship program for women who are looking for fulfillment and freedom in their lives. Are you a hard-working, driven individual who enjoys helping others and wants to LIVE YOUR DREAMS? If so, I want you to join my team! If owning your own business, working from home, making your own hours, and having fun the whole time sounds like something you’d love, contact me for more information!