Healthy moms know how hard it is keeping the kids away from candy and treats, especially at this time of year. When your shelves are full of the stuff, it’s hard to take the idea of moderation seriously. So how do you keep it healthy for the kids? We checked in with some of Fitmark’s Fit Moms to get their advice.
Fitmark Ambassador: Shannon Petralito
Lifestyle: Mom, Athlete, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Coach, Published Writer, Spokesperson, Fitness Model, Health & Wellness Expert
Meal Bags: Transporter Backpack ︱ the Shield
To say Fitmark Ambassador Shannon Petralito lives a busy life would be an understatement. But it’s one that she loves and you could say, it’s her son that keeps her motivated. She told us:
One of the most important reasons I stay fit & healthy is not only for me but to set a good example for my son. Daily exercise and healthy nutrition is one of the greatest gifts we can teach our children and the best tip I can give to other parents. Because the most important job we have is raising our children to grow into amazing adults.
Developing a healthy relationship with food is such an important factor of growing up. Food is at the center of most holidays, special occasions and family get-togethers, and then there’s days like Halloween. So how do you keep food healthy and the treats in moderation? Here’s what Shannon told us:
In our home we practice the 80/20 rule with my son’s nutrition. We teach him about clean choices, how to read labels and how to measure proper snack portions. My son is now 12 and very aware of how processed foods make him feel versus clean healthy foods and he actually prefers to eat well! However, children need to live balanced too, just like adults! For example, we allow him to enjoy things that kids should enjoy like pizza, ice cream, some Halloween candy & Birthday cake. The important thing to remember is to keep things in perspective and provide them with clean healthy snacks & foods most of the time. It all starts with us as parents. If you teach them, they will learn!
Food choices and preparing meals are valuable life skills that will help your child understand how to eat a balanced diet and stay healthy well into adulthood. You’ll be surprised how much kids actually love learning about this stuff. Shannon told us:
Kids love to feel involved and like to feel they have some control, especially with their food! Give them a variety of choices that are healthy and include a protein, carbohydrate and a fat. We have a list of foods that our son can choose from for his lunches and this works well. It gives him choices of what to eat from a fairly healthy list and he is happy he picked out his own lunch. It’s great because this gives him variety too!
It’s the little things that can make all the difference. Children like to have fun, so you can try making their food enjoyable by simply adding some more color. Here’s Shannon’s tip:
If your kids are picky about drinking water, try adding a slice of fresh fruit to it. I purchased a water bottle that keeps his water cold all day too!
Another awesome addition is buying your kids their own lunch bag so they have a place to stash all their goodies, including their brand new water bottle! It’s just another way to make them feel important and keep them healthy at the same time.
The Shield Meal Prep Bag is amazing for things such as going to the park, not only can I pack my meal but I can also pack my kids’ meals, snacks and water bottles; it’s great! My kids love having access to it!
Fitmark Ambassador Giselle Falla is a fit mom of three who, together with her husband, runs a business called RedBack One that specializes in tactical military training. As a busy mom, she takes a balanced and realistic approach to keeping it healthy. She told us:
For me living a healthy lifestyle means eating healthy, but it also means enjoying treats in moderation. I’m not super strict with my diet; I don’t deprive myself of foods that I love.
And the same is true for the kids. But when it comes to choosing healthy food, Giselle agrees with Shannon about getting the kids involved. It’s the best way to teach them, not to mention it helps build self-esteem. Giselle told us:
Although I would love to make this picture perfect, I’m going to keep it real. The fact is, anyone who has children knows kids can be picky. Not all kids are but there are some, so what I suggest is to ask your children what they’d prefer to eat and offer them healthy suggestions like fruit, veggies or sandwiches. I think that it’s important to allow them to suggest something you know they’ll enjoy, even if it’s unhealthy! It’s about the power of suggestion and compromise. The best thing that you can do is to offer your children healthy options and know they may or may not be open to it; they’ll eventually come around.
But what about those finicky eaters? How do you persuade them to eat healthy? This is where the ‘compromise’ part comes into the equation. Giselle told us:
My youngest daughter is super picky; she is a chicken nugget, pizza, French fry, hot dog girl! No matter what, she sticks to her choices! But over time, she’s opened up to healthier choices such as homemade tacos with extra lean ground turkey breast, sandwiches with turkey and cheese, pickles, spaghetti with extra lean ground turkey breast or lean beef, grilled chicken and rice, fruits and baby carrots. Now some readers may be looking at this list thinking, “Well that’s not that healthy!” But coming from a mom with a picky eater, that’s a pretty good list! So I’m happy with having some healthier alternatives.
To help her kids stay on track with their meals, Giselle uses the same meal-prepping strategy as she does for her own meals. So when they have a busy day ahead, she says:
Pack enough meals and snacks so that you’ll have them with you when it’s time to eat! This will help you to stay on track and it’ll also help you to stay away from the all too convenient unhealthy options. I mentioned previously that it was ok to have a treat in moderation, but you really want to be prepared for moments that leave you open to temptation. This is why Fitmark’s meal prep bags are so great. You can conveniently pack your meals in the containers provided and take them with you anywhere you go. It’s the perfect way to stay on track and has helped me on several occasions to avoid unhealthy temptations!
These meal prep bags are also perfect for kids’ lunches and will keep them cool and fresh all day long. You don’t have to worry if your kid is eating healthy as long as they have a packed lunch and a cooler bag to keep it fresh. We asked Giselle for her thoughts on kids’ school lunches:
If your child will only eat a sandwich, then let them eat a sandwich of their choice. But offer them some options and try your best to pick a couple of healthy sides, including a treat they’ll enjoy. If they would like juice, then allow them juice but be sure to pick the healthier 100% juice option with minimal to no sugar added. Pick one that they’ll like but be sure to provide them with water as a drink instead of the juice as your choice during the week. It’s a compromise. I’m not the type of parent to force my children to have things they don’t like. I’d rather offer suggestions and compromise. When preparing school lunches, I always try to ensure there is a healthy mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats including some fresh fruit and vegetables.
You can find more tips from Giselle in our blog: Top 3 Tips From A Fit Mom
As a single mom, Fitmark Ambassador Stephanie Cole relies on her meal prep bags to keep her on track and her kids too! She told us:
Fitmark is with me everywhere I go. I use my Shield to carry my meals (and often, my kids’ meals!) in refrigerated style. The pockets are super convenient, and it holds everything I need for a day out. I recently used it to travel back home, and the suitcase strap made life SO much easier – I packed all of our food for the entire day of flights, snacks, and even water bottles, slipped it onto my suitcase handle, and we didn’t have to settle for unhealthy, overpriced airline food.
That’s one of the most practical things about meal prep – it works for everyone in the family! When you’re setting up your own menu plan at the beginning of the week, it’s easy to add extra for the kids’ meals too. When you have the three major food groups covered – protein, carbohydrates and fats – all you have to do is throw them together and create something yummy everyone can enjoy. Here’s Stephanie’s tip of meal prepping and staying on track:
As a single mom, business owner, employee, and fitness aficionado, I know full-well how easy it is to get caught up in the day and grab the nearest snack on your way out the door. Something as simple as prepping your meals each Sunday night can transform your progress entirely. If you have the time, you can make elaborate meals in bulk – if you’re short on availability, just grill some chicken (or cook it in the crock pot) and steam some veggies. That way, you can use those to create a fun salad or wrap for lunch when you have the time, or just make a simple meal of chicken and veggies when you’re running out the door. It works really well for my kids’ meals too. I use my Fitmark food containers to have portioned meals at the ready in my fridge; I simply grab one and go! If I’m going to be out of the house for hours, I’ll pack a few meals, a protein bar, and maybe a banana, toss it all in my Fitmark Shield bag, and it stays fresh all day. There’s no excuse.
Some helpful tips from our Fitmark Fit Moms to keep your kids eating healthy and loving their food! Just remember to give your kids healthy options and keep the treats in moderation, because living a healthy lifestyle can start at any age. But the sooner the better!