Do you feel like you have tried every diet out there and failed? Well I am about to change your life, enter intuitive eating. In this new approach, you can eat whatever your body craves (even that cheeseburger and fries!). The catch – you must learn to eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Seems to be that with this diet filled world, many of us have forgotten how to just…eat.
Do not be mistaken, this is not a diet. It is considered a non-diet, weight-neutral approach. The focus is on total health and well-being, rather than weight loss. You might even be amazed that your body actually craves healthy foods once it’s not thought of as a punishment.
If any of this resonates with you, check out the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating as summarized below:
- Reject the Diet Mentality – Throw out your diet books an magazine articles.
- Honor Your Hunger – When you are hungry, eat.
- Make Peace with Food – Give yourself unconditional permission to eat any food.
- Challenge the Food Police – Throw out terms like good food and bad food.
- Respect Your Fullness – Listen to your body and stop when you are full.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor – Food is pleasurable! Enjoy it.
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food – Food won’t fix any of your feelings.
- Respect Your Body – Love the body that you have right now.
- Exercise-Feel the Difference – Learn how much better your body feels with movement.
- Honor Your Health – Balance your tastebuds while making you feel well. You don’t have to eat perfect to be healthy.
As you can see, a major component of this program is acceptance. Making peace with yourself and your body, learning to not use on food for emotional support, etc. This little graphic says so much.
For more information on intuitive eating check out the book that made it famous, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch.
Feature photo by reynermedia
Let’s face it, when it comes to school bullying there is the bully and victim. Parents may need to offer support, guidance, love, and correction depending on which role your child may play in this scenario.
If your child is being bullied there are skills you can teach them to help to avoid or react to the conflict. KidPower.org offers the following skills which you can read in depth on their website:
- Skill #1 – Act with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence
- Skill #2 – Learn in a power, positive way
- Skill #3 – Set boundaries about disrespectful or unsafe behavior
- Skill #4 – Use your voice
- Skill #5 – Protect your feelings from name-calling
- Skill #6 – Speak up for positive inclusion
- Skill #7 – Be persistent about getting help from busy adults
- Skill #8 – Use physical self-defense as a last resort
For every child that is bullied there is also the child who is the aggressor. What if this is your child? How will you know? Everydayhealth.com has 7 signs that your kid may be a bully.
- Your child has trouble sleeping
- Your child has behavioral issues
- Your child is getting in to trouble at school
- Your child is obsessed with popularity
- Your child’s friends show aggressive tendencies
- There is violence at home
- Your don’t have a good relationship with your child
Bullying is an unfortunate and painful part of school. The best defense is a good offense. Talk with your kids about bullying and how to prevent or report these actions. As a parent, talk with your school administration about their policies on bullying. The StopBullying.gov website is a great resource for working with your schools to engage with parents and staff, creating a safe environment, and educating students and staff.
Feature photo by Eddie S
The days are getting shorter and thoughts of getting kids back to school are in full swing. Every parent faces the inevitable task of transitioning kids from a summer schedule to a school schedule.
Here are several areas of transition to concentrate your focus:
1. Anxiety – Both kids and parents may have anxiety about going back to school. Talk with your kids about their anxiety and help them with a plan to return to school. Recognize the anxiety and plan a fun day to celebrate the end of summer.
2. Sleep schedule – If your kids are used to staying outside late to play it can be a hard shift to catching an early school bus. Start at least one week before school by shifting the wake up and go to bed time by 10 minutes each day.
3. Healthy eating - The ice cream truck will soon be gone and it’s time to start moving the kids from summer sugary and salty snacks back to healthy and natural snacks and meals.
4. One-on-one time – Kids grow up so quickly, try to schedule good quality time with each of your kids before everyone gets busy with the school year. Make some final summer memories just the two of you.
If you’re kids are riding the bus for the first time, check out the School Bus 101 guide on tips to ease any fear or anxiety – for both of you.
Feature photo by USAG – Humphreys
As the first days of school draw near you’re no doubt hearing “I need a new backpack” from your kids. Backpacks serve as fashionable storage for most students but parents may not know that there is the right kind of pack for right kind of kid.
To purchase a pack that is safe for your child consider the following from KidsHealth.org:
- A lightweight pack that doesn’t add a lot of weight to your child’s load
- Two wide, padded shoulder straps: straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders
- A padded back, which not only provides increased comfort, but also protects kids from being poked by sharp edges on objects (pencils, rules, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
- A waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body.
- Multiple compartments which can help distribute the weight more evenly.
The right pack for your kids help to alleviate back, shoulder and posture trouble in the future. To start the year with a happy and healthy back here is a great list of backpack strategies for parents and kids. How about bringing a stack of books with you to test the weight, size, and fit?
Feature photo by Jim Larrison
There are two camps of thought; 1) a brown bag lunch from home is healthier than cafeteria food, 2) changes in cafeteria food make it healthier than what Mom’s packs from home. There are many internet articles to support both claims but ultimately you’re going to do what’s best for you and your kids.
Today, we’ll focus on lunch from home. How can we pack a lunch for ourselves and our kids that is nutritious, fun, and not boring? Let’s face it, what’s good for our kids is also good for us. Let’s focus on moving away from a basic sandwich, chips, carrots, and cookie. Let’s talk “bento-esque” lunches.
Small portions of a variety of interesting lunch items will keep your kids interested in lunch and avoid the “swap” of something they don’t like. How about a small meat/cheese roll up, gold fish crackers, kiwi and berries, with a chocolate pudding? There are so many options for lunches but they key is to keep the portions in check and make it fun, colorful, tasty, and healthy. Parents.com has a large list of bento style lunch ideas. There are also lots of idea on Pinterest if you search “bento lunches”. Don’t get hung up on the fancy bento dishes/containers, you can just as easily use baggies or individual plastic/glass storage containers from home.
If your family chooses lunches from the school cafeteria, try supplementing with additional fruit or veggies. It’s fun to see what school lunches look like in other countries. America certainly has room for improvement in many of our schools. And kudos to those schools that are serving nutritious and good food to our kids.
Start gearing up for school and get a plan of action. Lunch can and should be fun.
Feature photo by Melissa