BE ACTIVE TOGETHER!
Having an active lifestyle seems as though it would be easy with a toddler but in fact it can be just as easy to stay in one spot and have him run circles around us. However, my husband and I both want to set a good example for BG's future by moving and shaking with him! We take weekly walks on our local greenways and through the neighborhood with friends. Although BG is in his BOB for these long walks, I know that interacting with friends while getting fresh air is just as incredibly important for him and knowing that his mama is out getting exercise is just as important to me.
For BG's birthday we gave him a balance bike that he absolutely adores. He loves to practice riding and we love scooting along side of him. Our hope is that eventually he'll be strong enough to ride on his own and we'll be able to take long bike rides as a family.
Although he is only two years old, we have always enrolled BG in a class focusing on exercise. For over a year he took swimming lessons with one of us in the pool as well. Now we take a gymnastics class together! Allowing him to exercise while interacting with his peers not only helps him burn that neverending-toddler-energy but he also prepares him for future team sports and activities.
Some of BG's very favorite snack choices involve yogurt! I often purchase plain Greek yogurt as I can cook and bake easily with it. The chili's too spicy? Add a spoonful of Greek yogurt! No applesauce or milk for that baking recipe? Try using Greek yogurt! Have a pasta recipe that calls for cream cheese? Substitute Greek yogurt! Obviously there are many ways to fit Greek yogurt into your lifestyle. The following are some of BG's favorite ways to enjoy Greek yogurt and what parent doesn't love to see their child enjoying a "treat" that actually double as a healthy choice?
He loves being given a small bowl of plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries swirled in or a drizzle of local honey on top. (Did you know that local honey can possibly diminish the effects of seasonal allergies?) Fresh fruit or honey really give plain yogurt a hint of sweet creating a new dimension of enjoyment. I'm always happy to see BG enjoying a bowl of high protein and natural ingredients.
We love to make smoothies in our home usually with a combination of fresh fruit, spinach and a big spoonful of plain Greek yogurt. The yogurt creates the creamiest consistency that makes a truly healthy smoothie taste like a creamy treat!
When we travel it can be so easy to fill my bag with snacks that will fill BG up but not necessarily with protein and other essential nutrients. He rarely gets to have pouches so handing him one on a trip is like giving him a golden ticket! I'm always careful when buying pouches to look for those that have Greek yogurt in them as the protein content is much higher (3-4 grams!) than other fruit/veggie filled kinds (>1 gram). These new pouches from Chobani have everything that I normally look for and the flavor profiles fit exactly what BG wants as well!
Growing up my mom always froze small containers of yogurt for us as a simple frozen treat. Now that I'm a mom, I absolutely love making homemade yogurt popsicles for BG! His favorite flavor combination by far is Lemon Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles (I follow this recipe from Annie's Eats substituting organic sugar ). When he eats these popsicles he acts like he's tricked me into giving him a bowl of ice cream. What he doesn't know is that the majority of this frozen treat is actually just healthy and natural ingredients!
When I was younger my dad always told me that everything can be good for you if it's in moderation. Now that I'm responsible for BG's health and diet, I want to make sure that he experiences moderation in his world as well. I want BG to know that having the occasional treat or movie day on the couch is okay. In fact that's what makes those moments even more exciting - they're special because they don't happen often! That's why on occasion BG gets to pick out a show to watch or choose his own treat at the store.
A happy life really is all about living in moderation...
*I was not compensated by Chobani for this post. All of the opinions above are my own.*