The second practice

The 5 go-to practices to be a happier and better parent:  

Yesterday I wrote about the first practice. Click here to read about The first practice. There are five things you need to do everyday. YES you read correctly, every single day, to be a happier better parent - period. I will also tell you how to make it happen … (Everybody is different I know, but this actually works for everybody. YES! I am confident to tell you this).

1. Exercise

2. Eat healthy

3. Play with your children

4. Invest in your relationship

5. Meditation, pray or quite time (wherever practice works for you)


2. Eat healthy: It is so hard these days to have the habit of eating healthy food where there are so many choices and life is so busy. We don't have time to prepare a good meal.  We all know whatever goes in our body will give us what we need to function. That food will keep our body good or bad over the years. I wish we could have the body of a teenager forever so we don't have to ever worry about eating. But, we get older, and our body gets older, and even now our bodies function better when we eat better. Like everything else, good eating is the example and habits we are giving to our children for the future. There is a lot of processed sugar in the food now and sugar gives us a little energy for small periods of time. Then, sugar makes us slow and lethargic. Processed food does not give us the nutrients we need to nourish our body or our children bodies.

You don't have be go crazy about it, but really eating healthy helps your body to have more energy, function better, keep you from getting sick and even helps you sleep well. You will create a good habit in your life that will make you feel better, live longer and teach your children well.

How to do it: Ideas

  • When you go to the grocery store. Start walking to the right hand side and try to go all the way around to the store skipping going to the isles as much as you can (they normally put all the fresh produce and refrigerators around the walls).

  • If you don't buy junk food it will be more likely you won’t eat it.  It just won't be available for you so you will actually take healthier choices at home with what you have.

  • Choose one day a week to cook a lot so you can freeze, or have food available for lunches and dinner…

  • Do exchange meals with a neighbor: This works very nice for us. One day a week we cook double (for another family of 4) and us. Another day a week they cook for us. The day they cook, I get to go out somewhere with the kids after school, spend time at the park, or just playing with the kids. We don't have to worry about dinner because it arrives nice and warm at the door at 6:00pm. And the day that we cook for them we just put a little more of everything and their dinner is done (the children have also tried lots of new foods with this exchange, so win-win).

  • Try to have a menu so you don't have to think about what are you going to make every single day. If you make one menu for two weeks you will only repeat a meal twice a month. That is not bad at all right? Plus having a menu will help you buy just what you need at the grocery store.

  • Drink water: have a water bottle at your side all the time.

  • Practice eating slowly.

  • Eat healthy snacks between meals for example some easy ones  are apples, grapes, bananas, carrots, sweet peas. hummus , nuts, cheese, and yogurt. Eat snacks  so you are not starving by the time you sit to eat your big meal and eat more than you need.

  • Make easy meals when you don't have time: Who said you can not have breakfast for dinner? or leftovers for breakfast?  

  • My friend used to tell her children that for snack they could eat anything that grows from the ground (they made great games out of this, learned and made good choices).

  • Cook with your children, involve them in the process so they will be more interested in eating healthy.

  • Smoothies are a good way to get your veggies in and start the day full and strong.

I mentioned before that eating healthy is a great example for your children, but you don't have to go crazy about this. Remember, this is not about losing weight. It is about nourishing your body, having more energy, feeling better and being healthy. It is better to create your own family culture of being strong. We need to take care of ourselves. When we model these habits for our children, kids don't need to be told to lose weight or worry about how they look. Start with you :)

I worked with preschool children for 15 years, and our first suggestion to the parents with children that had a hard time concentrating or controlling their behavior was to be aware of the children’s diet. You will be surprised by how many times those children changed their behavior after changing their diet. Children who eat well have longer periods of concentration, can be more calm, can solve problems and sleep better.  Food really makes a difference. Tomorrow: The Third practice

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