I am thrilled to be a guest blogger on Positively Oakes! My name is Sara and I am the co-founder of Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade. One of my best childhood friends, Amy and I decided it was time to shake up the sugar filled children’s beverage industry when we created the one and only USDA Organic, zero-sugar juice box for kids!
As a mother of two young children, I try to talk daily with my kids about the importance of appreciating our food and eating healthy, whole foods. While my messages are genuine, a few weeks ago I realized that I wasn’t doing the best job of actually modeling these behaviors for my children. I am making (some!) progress in the “modeling” department and I think I know why…
I have been reading a lot about “slow parenting” and I couldn’t be more intrigued by this philosophy. Basically, the premise is that we are so rushed in our lives that we don’t savor the small and beautiful miracles that are happening right before our eyes. I feel that slow parenting is the perfect backbone for demonstrating better behaviors around food and nutrition. You’re probably wondering how in the world can we make time to slow down with our busy lives? I hear you! I found a few little tricks to help me optimize my time in the kitchen which frees me up to slow down in my personal life.
Here are my tips for helping my two kids slow down to eat healthy, whole foods. A little prepping goes a long way.
-Hard boiled eggs are the like gold to me. I boil 12 eggs on Sunday night, but really any time you have 12 minutes will do! When my kids are hungry or I am rushed for a snack, lunch or even dinner it is the perfect protein to add. It may sound silly but I actually feel “complete” when I know I have some trusty hardboiled eggs in my refrigerator.
-The Slow Cooker (isn’t that appropriate?!) has become my new BFF. It literally takes me 15 minutes to throw ingredients in the crock pot for a quick and satisfying meal. Another trick I have is to look in my fridge, see what I have and then do a quick Google search on my phone. For example I type in: Easy (easy being the key word in my search!), Paleo, crock pot, cauliflower or whatever I have in the house. I can almost always find crowd-pleasing and easy recipes. I have learned to keep lots of spices on hand for
the slow cooker, as well. I end up making a double batch and…voila! Leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day!
-Cutting up some veggies (carrots, radishes, cucumber are our favorites) and keeping in a tiny bit of water in glass Tupperware. This keeps them fresh and hydrated- perfect for dipping in hummus.
-I make a smoothie in the morning for my breakfast. It is fun and easy and my kids love to help. Now, in an effort to slow down, we make a double batch and use a mason jar to save a smoothie for the next morning.
-Keeping water in a pitcher on the counter. I love this because it reminds my kids to be drinking water.
While these little tips may seem like they give me just a few minutes here or there, I have found that they have slowed me down enough to give me a few minutes to:
-Read a book to my children before school.
-Braid my daughter’s hair before school where we can chat about the day and what she is looking forward to at school…instead of ripping a brush through her hair mumbling that we are going to be late.
Stretch for two minutes alone in my room.
-Sit outside by myself and take in a few breaths of fresh air.
-Chat with a neighbor.
While I have not mastered slow parenting, I have been able to spend less time stressing about what everyone is eating and more time feeling relaxed. I hope these tips allow you to slow down and free you up to enjoy some of life’s sweet moments.
Author: Sara, learn more about her, here.