Tag Archives for healthy living

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Craft

Earth Day Craft

It’s Earth Day! A time to take a moment from our busy lives to stop and appreciate and celebrate God’s amazing creation. I wish I could say that I do this every day but between grocery shopping, diaper changes, cooking, cleaning, and general busyness I don’t often take time to stop and look around me at the beautiful world we live in. That whole “stop and smell the roses” idea is wonderful, but it’s difficult to do when you’re juggling a car seat, diaper bag, and totes full of groceries! Which is why I always appreciate Earth Day.

When April 22nd rolls around each year, strangers meet at local parks to pick up garbage, communities join together to plant gardens, and for one day there is a common focus: the Earth. I can’t help but think God smiles at this, as He gifted us with the earth—the plants, animals, oceans—and calls us to take care of it.

With our experience working with kids we’ve found that most LOVE activities that involve nature and the earth, so getting kids excited about Earth Day is fairly easy. In the past we’ve had our classes pick up litter around the school, and the kids were more excited for this than if we’d surprised them with an extra recess! But we’ve wished we could take it a step further and share why it is important to care for and love the earth—that it’s God’s creation! We are so excited to do this at The Garden Preschool. To teach kids about God’s creation, how to honor and care for it, and to celebrate it not just on Earth Day, but every day!

Here are a few things you could do with your kiddos to celebrate Earth Day this year or in years to come:

  • Read the creation story in Genesis with your kids
  • Get out and enjoy God’s creation: go for a hike, a nature walk, or take a picnic to the park and enjoy the beauty around you
  • Make a family resolution to help the earth: Start composing? Make a recycle bin? Have fun with it!
  • Join with other families to clean up your neighborhood or a local park
  • Use earth materials (sticks, rocks, etc.) or recycled goods to create an art project! (Our classes have done this and the kids LOVED it. And their creations were quite impressive!)

Here are a few websites/blogs we found that have other great activity ideas. Happy Earth Day!

http://www.creativefamilyfun.net/2013/04/10-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day.html
http://playfullearning.net/from-the-bin-diy-recycled-vases-flowers/
http://www.housingaforest.com/recycled-crafts-and-activities-for-kids/
http://blog.melissaanddoug.com/2013/04/19/4-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day-with-your-child/

Our craft…we talked about composting and set up our can.  We also made a scrap holder for our birds so that they can have a soft “bed” in their house.

Logan learning about continents and The Earth this morning

Logan learning about continents and The Earth this morning

Composting Can

Composting Can

Scrap Holder for Birds

Scrap Holder for Birds

Lastly, we had our Garden Preschool meeting outside with a picnic lunch today…beautiful!

Kari and Keira at our meeting

Kari and Keira at our meeting

Logan and Dylan at our picnic

Logan and Dylan at our picnic

Carrots and Peas, and Green Beans, Oh My!

Resolving to Eat Healthy as a Family
100 Days of Real Food

If eating healthy as a family was one of your New Year’s resolutions, you are not alone. Many families (and individuals) resolve to eat healthier in the New Year, but it is usually easier said than done. I know from my own experience managing a full time job, friends, church, and my husband and toddler’s busy schedules that making time to prepare healthy meals and snacks often falls off of the limited day’s itinerary. I certainly have not mastered every day healthy eating/food preparation, but I have a few resources that have helped me to make it easier that I want to share with you!

  1. Resolve to pack the lunches the night before while one parent does the bath/bedtime routine. We usually have leftovers from dinner the night before for lunch the next day, which means kitchen clean-up and lunch prep go hand in hand.
  2. Bento Box style lunch containers have been instrumental in helping me pack a balanced lunch. They have separate compartments, so I am visually reminded that I need to pack something from each of the food groups. I will slide fruit in one smaller compartment, frozen peas/corn/carrots in another, and then the leftovers (hopefully a balanced meal of protein and carbs) in the biggest section. Here are the ones that I use for our family.
  3. As a previous year’s resolution my family changed to a “real food” mentality. At first, it was daunting for me to try to think of how to eat real, whole foods all of the time, but then I found a website that I use (to this day) for most of my meals; 100 Days of Real Food. We started by doing the mini-pledges to build up to a completely whole foods plan. Her recipes are amazing and tasty (did not find one “dud” on the whole site) and my husband and toddler loved all of it too!
  4. Here are also a few pins from Pinterest that had great resources for healthy eating:
  • Lunches – 100 days of lunches with no processed foods
  • Fruit Snacks – My son LOVES “cheweys”
  • Fruit Leathers – Also a popular snack
  • Breakfast – Breakfast on the go is always tricky…My husband and toddler love these samis! I make mine with the nitrate free ham and Tillamook cheese (no growth hormones).
  • Oatmeal – My toddler won’t eat it, but my husband and I also do a lot of oatmeal during the week!

I hope these resources help you to get off on the right track with your healthy eating resolution!  Remember, don’t beat yourself up if you mess up one day.  It took me many baby steps to change my family’s eating habits!