Is your household like ours and include a picky eater, or four? Do you want to teach your kids to be more aware of their meals and overall wellbeing, but not bore them? March is National Nutrition month, so this seemed the perfect opportunity to create a challenge that brings good nutrition to the front of our minds. Grab your kiddos and take this 7-day challenge together! Teach them about making good nutritional choices for body and mind.
This challenge is designed to get you and your kids talking about good nutrition, participating in fun and healthy activities, and provide the kids a chance to actually take on making smart nutritional choices for the family.
Start by deciding which upcoming week you will dedicate to this 7-Day Family Nutritional Challenge.
Then go ahead, mark your calendar and set up that reminder! Most of these activities take only 30 minutes or less, and some just incorporate new activities into your everyday schedule.
So, now what?
Day 1 – The Kickoff
Take about 30 minutes of your day to sit down as a family and talk about what good nutrition really means. Being healthy is not only about the foods you eat, but other aspects of life too. Be sure and include these key points in your family’s discussion.
- Eat well-balanced meals and snacks
- Meals should include proteins (beans, meat, eggs), vegetables (broccoli, carrots, spinach), fruits (berries, apples, oranges) and whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa).
- Drink water
- There is much debate over how much water everyone should have in a day, but reaching for the water when you are thirsty instead of a soda or sports drink will go a long way. Soda is loaded with sugar and useless calories that provide zero nutrition. Sports drinks are only useful to replenish certain minerals when you have spent an hour or more in an intense workout.
- Physical activity every day will help ward off unwanted diseases, strengthen your bones and muscles, increase energy levels, and so much more.
- Practice mindfulness
- Slow down and be mindful of not only what we feed our bodies but recognize the life around us. Being aware of life “outside of us” can help deal with anxiety, appreciate what we have, and add new tools that can lead to a more fulfilled life.
Day 2 – Meal Planning for Kids
Assign your child or each of your children a day (or even just a single meal), and then ask them to plan all the meals for that day. Remind them to use tips from Day 1’s discussion in hopes that the meals are healthy, and don’t only consist of chocolate chip waffles (as they would in my house). If age appropriate, allow them to not only plan what you will be eating but also prepare a shopping list for their meals. For planning purposes you can find a free meal plan worksheet with fillable shopping list, divided into grocery store categories, in my vault.
Bonus: Meal planning provides a great opportunity to walk through the basics of reading recipes, grocery budgeting, and actual grocery shopping with your kids.
Day 3 – Get The Kids Cooking
Time to get in the kitchen and let your kiddos prepare that meal they planned! Doesn’t it sound wonderful to pour a glass of wine (yes, studies show that wine has nutritional properties), prop up at the kitchen counter and oversee the meal preparations instead of DOING the preparation?!?
If your kiddos are too young to let you enjoy the wine at the counter, let them help you cook or set them up to wash fruits and veggies for the week. Either way, they are in the kitchen and learning how to prepare that healthy meal or snack.
Day 4 – Enjoy Family Yoga
Yoga is all the rage these days and chances are you have tried it, but have your kids? Make today the day that you both jump into yoga together! Yoga has a long list of health benefits for adults, but it also helps kids with body awareness, flexibility, and relaxation to name just a few.
If you need a little help finding a way to incorporate this into your busy day, check out the Cosmic Kids Yoga videos. These videos range from short 10-minute sessions to longer 30-minute sessions. There are a variety of themes that you can pick from to appeal to your family. My kids love these and think the Star Wars themed ones are super cool!
Day 5 – Plant An Edible Plant
Get outside and plant something that all of you will enjoy this summer. It can be a herb, vegetable or fruit, in the ground or in a pot. Don’t worry, just plant a little something. Food always seems to taste yummier when you grow it yourself.
I know not everyone has the space to have an elaborate garden or really even the time…. But planting can be as simple as growing mint indoors to be used in fruit salad, smoothies, tea, or even popsicles. The point here is to show how easily you can add nutrition to your diet with fresh foods.
Day 6 – Practice Mindfulness at Mealtime
Tonight at dinner, slow down. Sit down and enjoy a nice healthy meal and savor the smells and flavors. At the table, explore your food by asking each other these questions:
- What flavors do you taste in your food? (This is more fun if you close your eyes and try to describe as you chew.)
- How does the food feel? (slimy, chunky, rough, sticky)
- How does the food smell? (sweet, salty, fresh)
- How is our meal nourishing our body? (providing energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals)
Day 7 – Get Out And Move
Go for a family walk or bike ride. Get some fresh air outdoors. Take the opportunity to get your blood flowing and just enjoy each other. Family quality time is food for the soul!
Let Me Hear From You!
That’s a wrap for the 7-Day Family Nutritional Challenge. Mark your calendar now and let the healthy fun begin! We’re on the calendar for next week and am excited to share the fun stories I’m sure to have. I can’t wait to hear your stories too. Please comment below to let me know what meals you guys planned and how the yoga goes!
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