Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring In To the Season

While the temperature is no indication in many parts of the nation, spring did arrive early this morning.  I love springtime.  It is a season of change and new beginnings.  We start heading outdoors, getting more active, eating fresher foods, and truly feeling a new season upon us.  I think it is a perfect time for change in our lives as well.  I have been working very closely with families lately.  I am helping parents and their children with lifestyle changes to get them healthier and happier.  And what better place to start than with the first holiday of the spring season – Easter!   

Start a healthy Easter early - I clearly loved Easter!
The celebration of Easter began as a religious holiday in ancient times.  It is a “festival” in the Christian calendar that marks the end of Lent and Holy Week.  However, nowhere in history did any of the ancient Christians, Greeks, or Jews require that Easter be celebrated with an Easter basket filled to the brim with sugar-loaded candy and fat-packed chocolate!  The idea that holidays must include unhealthy foods can lead kids to feel that sugary fatty foods are a celebration and a reward.  This is not a behavior we want our kids to grow up with.  So, this Easter season, celebrate with fun and healthful treats.  I love the idea of an Easter basket, just cram it full of wholesome treats and activities.  Here are a few of my suggestions for tossing into your kids’ Easter baskets:
·         Apples, oranges, and bananas
·         Costume jewelry, bubbles, stuffed animals, reading or coloring books, box cars
All Easter baskets are fun!
·         Toiletries, beauty & grooming products, and scented lotions
·         To get them in the kitchen, give them their very own whisk, spatula, or vegetable peeler, and maybe even a key ingredient they will need to make their very own lunch or dinner. When kids have ownership they are more likely to eat a healthful meal or snack. Plus, when you make the food yourself, you control the quality of ingredients that your kids eat.
·         Homemade gift certificates or coupons for family time. You chose whatever activities your family likes – e.g. one hour of playing their favorite outdoor game, going bowling or playing Wii on rainy days, setting up a tent in the backyard for a “camping” trip, etc.
·         All things should be enjoyed in moderation, so always toss in a few of their favorite candies on the top of the basket. But, keep them small (no giant bunnies) and individually portioned. A few good options are Peeps, Tootsie Rolls, Cadbury Crème Eggs, and Jelly Beans.
Most of all, enjoy the holiday with your family.  Remember that Easter is a festival, but it doesn’t have to be a fat-loaded feast to have fun!

I am very happy to share the stories of two of the families I am working with in the coming weeks.  You will also be able to follow the story from their perspective as we will all be blogging about the experience.  And, families in Middle Tennessee will even be able to participate in the movement to get healthy as well.  While change is never easy, it is much easier when you have education and encouragement – which is what I am here for.  No matter the season, I am here for you.  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and all your Easter bunnies.  Obesity is 100% preventable and it starts by springing in to the season!