It’s pretty unfair that swimsuit season coincides with BEER ME season. What is it about the warm weather that begs for imbibing? There’s nothing I enjoy more than being outside with our neighbors, laughing and chatting over a few cold Blue Moons, watching as a slew of kids run circles around us. I always put an orange wedge in my Blue Moon, so it’s obviously healthy, but overall, I don’t seem to make good nutritional decisions in the summer. As a result, the last thing I want to do is stuff my bloat into a swimsuit.
On top of my summer tendency to overindulge is the lack of structure in our days. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some spontaneous, free-for-all fun, but with three small children, getting out of a routine can mean chaos. They don’t sleep as well, they don’t eat as well, and it’s so much easier to go through the drive-through after the soccer game than it is to prepare and cook a healthy meal, amirite? It’s usually around this time that we find ourselves scrambling for semblance.
Little things can make a big difference which is why, despite our affinity for lounging poolside with a cold one, my husband and I have both made a concentrated effort to show our kids what a healthy lifestyle looks like. Here are a few things that we do to model what we hope our children will emulate:
- Physical activity: my husband is so much better at this than I, but I’m trying to get better! Husband works out every morning, and my gal pal and I walk the hills in our ‘hood as often as we can. I love when my kids wake up to a tennis-shoe clad, sweaty Mom because they see I’ve done something healthy for my body.
- Good nutrition: I’m basically addicted to sugar. It’s not good, but it’s my reality. As the 4-year-old is my Mini Me, she and I could subsist solely on chocolate and jelly beans if you’d let us. Which is to say, I’m a terrible role model when it comes to snacking. Summer brings fresh fruits, though, which makes it easier (and healthier) to grab a fistful of grapes instead and make a point to say, “These will help you grow big and strong!”
- Rest: One would think that running around non-stop during the day would beget a restful and blissful sleep at night. Well, one would be wrong. The busier my son is and the later he goes to bed, means the worse he sleeps and the earlier he wakes. It’s a conundrum I don’t pretend to understand, but have taken measures to fix. We’re the mean parents who still impose a regular bedtime in the summer, and if it has been an especially busy or hot afternoon, we bring the kids into the AC and force them to have down time. Yes, I’ll throw the iPad at them or turn on a television show (THE HORROR!), because resting their little bodies is just as important as feeding and exercising them.
- Vitamins: That chocoholic daughter of mine is also a very picky eater. Sometimes, shoving one green bean in her adorable face takes a half hour at dinnertime. To make sure she’s getting the minerals and nutrients she needs, we give her a multi-vitamin. Vitamins are essential for good health through every stage of life, which is why I also take a multi-vitamin. Neither of us are getting all we need from food, so supplements help fill those nutritional gaps.
What are your summertime fixes? Do you do anything special to keep your family health or on track during the downtime of summer?