Parenting really is a ‘learn as you go’ journey. One of the things that you don’t hear much about though, is how much of pressure you are under to lead by example. Children are little sponges that soak up information. They do this from the moment they open their eyes until they go to bed at night. They observe, process and then put into practice what they take away from whatever it is they have seen. Believe me, your worst habits will be revealed to you as soon as your child is old enough to communicate.
Strong eyes lead to strong opinions!
Are you used to kicking your shoes off at the front door? Well, there will be tiny little shoes joining yours there. Do you have fizzy drinks with your supper? Good luck convincing your mini-me to drink water. Hate broccoli? Guess what, so will your kid. Those little eyes are watching your every move even when you don’t realise it.
Making small changes
Toddlers especially, look up to their parents for guidance. It is at this age that good eating habits need to be ingrained. The best way to do this is by you yourself working these habits into your life.
For us this involved cutting sugary snacks out on weekdays. This may not seem like much but we ALWAYS have chocolate at home. Jarrod and I are both chocoholics. The problem is that every time we reached for a piece of chocolate we would automatically hand the girls a piece too. You can’t not share right? Wrong.
The girls are less than a quarter our size. There is no way that their little bodies can process even half the sugar that we were consuming. The sweets and chocolates had to be replaced with a healthier option that could still be seen as a treat.
The early bird gets…to have a peaceful start to the day!
The next change and one of the hardest to tackle was breakfast. Weekday mornings are so chaotic especially with two kids who have no real concept of time. Breakfast was always rushed and left half-eaten on the table as we ran out the door. Children NEED a good breakfast. If they get a sufficient amount of sleep for their age, then they probably have not eaten for almost 12 hours by the time they wake up. They need a healthy breakfast to fuel them until lunchtime so that they can focus on playing and learning. A hungry child is a grumpy child which can often result in bad behaviour at school.
The first step to changing this was to set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier. This made a world of difference to everyone’s state of mind in the morning. We were all much calmer as opposed to rushing around and getting frustrated. It also meant that the girls had time to have breakfast without me yelling in the background for them to hurry up. What also changed is that I had breakfast WITH them.
Of course, then they wanted the same thing! Which is FANTASTIC because the new Nutriday yoghurt has added zinc to their formula which is a great immune booster. I have little containers of sunflower seeds and mixed nuts. Then all I have to do is add some fresh fruit to the table and they build their own breakfast. The kids love the independence of making their own little bowl. The yoghurt tastes fantastic and I’m happy that their tummies are full with a healthy and vitamin-packed breakfast.
Using play to learn
On days when we skip yoghurt for breakfast, I try to incorporate it into their snack time. It’s important that they get this in as part of their daily dairy requirement because the girls don’t drink much milk anymore. While the weather is still good, we have picnics outside and enjoy the sunshine. One of our favourite games to play is ‘Guess the Fruit’. I dip a piece of chopped fruit into yoghurt and then they have to guess what it is based purely on taste. This is actually when they eat the most yoghurt AND fruit, haha!
Behind the curtain
The reason that we as a family are now loyal to Nutriday is because I was fortunate enough to attend a tour of the factory recently. It was the first time I had ever been inside a factory and I didn’t really know what to expect. I can’t explain how impressed I was with the whole experience.
Everyone had to wear protective gear (the whole shebang from safety boots to hair nets!) before entering the factory so that we didn’t bring in any contaminants. Our boots were disinfected before we entered the actual factory floor. It is glaringly obvious that safety and hygiene is of utmost importance. The factory is pristine and watching the yoghurt being packaged had me in awe. I trust the brand so much more now that I have actually looked behind the curtain and watched the yoghurt being made.
The next time you’re out shopping and wondering what to get your children for breakfast, skip the cereal and grab a few packs of yoghurt. They will love the taste and you can rest easy knowing that they are getting a sizable portion of their daily vitamins in one little cup.
Before I run off, you HAVE to watch this video. I watched it 3 times in a row and it hit me right in the feels every time!
Remember, strong mind, strong eyes, strong bones, strong energy, and a strong heart.
Strong everyday with Nutriday.
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This post was sponsored by NutriDay.