As the mother of five children (four boys and one girl), I think it’s incredibly important to teach and create healthy habits at home for them. I have always felt that healthy habits at home breed healthy lifestyles. Believe me, it’s not always easy with five kids (who are all very active) to keep an organized home, consistently eat healthy and regularly keep everyone involved in sports – but I will say, my husband and I do try hard, every single day.
I’ve always felt that if my husband and I live crazy, unorganized, chaotic lives our children would only see that, and therefore the same would happen for them in their lives. We didn’t want that for them (and we both weren’t brought up that way), so we carved out strategies that work for our family.
As a JOHNSON’S® Care Council Member, I’ve loved how they help inspire and motivate parents to start with healthy habits from the very beginning. JOHNSON’S® knows it all starts with bonding and togetherness and they encourage parents to start these habits from day one with your baby. For our family, as the children have grown, love, stability, consistency and scheduling have been the keys to creating healthy habits at home for our kids.
When it comes to eating healthy, it’s pretty cut and dry around the McClelland household. I don’t fill the cupboard with unhealthy foods; I try my best to keep it filled with healthy snacks for them at all times. I don’t deny my children cookies or sweets, but everything in moderation. Fruits and vegetables are always in our fridge and one of the best things we did was create a vegetable garden at home. Each of my kids helps out and feels part of the process. They get a kick out of eating what they helped grow. It’s been a fun and healthy family thing to do together.
When it comes to fitness and creating healthy habits that way, we opted six years ago for organized, team sports. It was the best thing to do for the kids because it kept them on a schedule, it kept them social and it kept them moving! Our sports of choice are swimming, basketball and baseball. My sons are heavily involved and now participate in practice and games/meets four-to-five times a week! I love that sports brings many things together for a child: a chance to be motivated by others, a chance to be dedicated to something and feel part of a team and a chance for them to excel at something they enjoy doing. I highly recommend getting your child involved in an organized sport when they are old enough. It’s been truly the most wonderful gift we could have given our children.
When it comes to organization in our house, we assign chores for the kids to do. The boys are 7-, 8-, 10- and 11-years-old, so they’re plenty old enough to put laundry away, empty the dishwasher, and vacuum the living room and play room. All of the chores are important for them to do because they help with the home. It creates a sense of responsibility and it’s been a healthy habit to keep going (and helps us out, too!)!
There are so many ways to bring in healthy habits into your home. I love the #StartToday Challenge and what they’re encouraging parents to do with their kids!