We live in a country where processed food is everywhere, busyness is the norm, and convenience is of utmost importance. Add children to the mix and everything escalates. We get busier, processed junk food is quick and easy, and we have no time or energy for anything else (much less to fight a battle with a toddler to eat a healthy snack). All of these ingredients combined create unhealthy families. And physically unhealthy families can sometimes create mentally and emotionally unhealthy families. Now, am I saying that if you eat junk food your relationships will suffer? No, but what we eat has a dramatic (profound) impact on our physical AND mental health.
Healthy food like vegetables, fruits, beans, complex carbohydrates and protein rich meats are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for the body to grow and function properly. (This is especially important for children’s growing bodies but equally important for adults as well!) Complex carbohydrates provide the energy needed to think, move, play, and learn. Vegetables, which are full of fiber, are good for your heart and digestive system. Protein helps us have strong bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can be found in nuts, beans, eggs, fish, chicken, and more!
These are only a few examples of the nutrients needed to create healthy bodies which in turn create healthy families. When we feed our bodies properly we feed our brains properly. We respond better to those around us, we sleep better, have a better mood and behavior, and more energy for the day. Who doesn’t want better behaved children and more energy to tackle those crazy days that we’re often faced with??
Two more components of creating healthy minds and bodies are exercise and water. Water is essential to our bodies. We cannot function without it! We are fortunate to live in a country where water is accessible and readily available. Yet, we don’t drink nearly enough. Children need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Adults need about half an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. And last by not least is exercise. Exercise not only builds stronger bodies but also builds self-esteem and stronger minds. And parents—make exercise fun! Play outside with your kids, create new games, go on family hikes, just get up and GO! Not only is this healthy for your minds and bodies but you’ll create memories that your children will never forget!
So what are you waiting for? Get up, get moving, drink more water, and don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies! Your mind and body will thank you for it! Let’s start creating healthier and happier families.
For more information and tips for creating healthier habits look for our Health and Nutrition Class coming this fall!
*Information taken from Dr. Sear’s L.E.A.N. Start Guide.