5 Ways To Reward Your Kids Without Junk Food + $100 Cash Giveaway

Gold Star

I remember as a child going to visit my grandparents. The one hour trip seemed to last forever but it was so worth it when we got there. If we behaved, we got 20 cents and got to walk to the local milk bar for a big bag of lollies. Remember those days when a bag of lollies only cost 20 cents?

When I was a child it just seemed to be the thing to do – reward kids with sweets if they were good. So it’s really no surprise that the next generation are doing exactly the same thing. How often do we reach for the jar of lollies, the cookie jar or the bag of freddo frogs when we want the kids to behave? I know I’ve been guilty of this.

Last week I was at my local shopping centre and I was grabbing the kids some sushi. The sushi place happened to be beside McDonalds and my kids watched on as a couple of kids jumped up and down in delight because their grandparents allowed them to have a happy meal. The grandmother looked across at me and said, “they’ve been so good today, we’re shouting them a happy meal”. To my shock, she then said, “my husband and I are going to grab a salad over there, we wont eat McDonalds for anything”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I casually asked her, “if you won’t eat it, then why are you rewarding your grandkids with it?”. She looked at me with a baffled look on her face. Think it may have been an Aha moment for her.

Here are my top 5 tips to reward kids without using junk food.

  1. Have a jar in the house packed to the brim with lucky dips. Just a small token inside each one is all you need. Wrap seedlings, craft stuff, balls, etc. This is a great way to reward kids but make sure they earn it. Once they have completed certain chores or done their homework, at the end of every week, fortnight or month, they are entitled to a lucky dip.
  1. Fresh Juices are another great reward for kids and there is no better time to get juicing than now. The more colourful the better! The weather is warming up and the options are endless when it comes to mixing and matching. Be mindful not to use too much fruit as the high fructose content is not ideal for little ones.Mixing vegetables with a small amount of fruit is a great way to get around this. It’s a great way for kids to get the nutrients they need in a one small glass.  A good juicer is a must! You can head over to Vitality 4 Life’s Raw Food Appliances for some more information on juicers and other electrical appliances.
  1. A rewards chart is another excellent option that works a treat without the treat. We have been using one here for a while. Each time the kids do their chores at the end of each day, (make their beds, feed the dogs, take their plates to the sink), they get a sticker or gold star. Once they get 10 stickers, they get to stay up an extra hour on the weekend.
  1. Take them on a bike ride, walk to the local park or ask them what they would like to do. My little girl asked to go to the library the other day as a reward for not fighting with her brother and for not talking back to me. We walked down there and had a great time.
  1. Get them to deposit $1 into their piggy banks which is rewarded to them for good behaviour. Obviously you want to make them earn their dosh so you may want to set up a chart similar to a rewards chart. This will also teach them the value of saving also. Win win. You could also get them to withdraw $1 each time they misbehave. (Gosh my kids would be in debt to me forever).

So the next time you reach for the lollie jar or bag of chocolates to reward your kids, have a think about what it’s really doing to their health and ask yourself what benefit are they really getting. Try replacing the junk food in your fridge or pantry with real, raw foods.

Now I have $100 of cold hard cash to Giveaway. Yep, just like that. To win, simply like Vitality4Life’s Facebook page as well as my new Facebook page and leave a comment on the blog below answering the following question:

What is your favourite healthy food recipe that could be used as a reward for your kids and what other ways to do you reward your kids for effort or good behaviour?

Be as creative as you like. The winner will be judged on creativity.

This giveaway opens today and closes at 5.00pm AEST, Thursday 27th November, 2014.
(Open to Australian Residents only sorry.)

The winner will announced on the blog next Friday 28 November 2014.

 

Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Vitality4Life who they have kindly provided the $100 cash giveaway.

 

I am flogging my blog with the fabulous Grace from With Some Grace today.

8

Valet Chef – Taking the Stress Out of Eating Real Food

For those that have been following me on Social Media, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Pete Evans. His message is simple, eat real food every day and you will reap the benefits of a healthy life. His message hasn’t fallen on deaf ears either. He has a social media following that others could only dream of and his cook book Healthy Every Day was the highest selling book in the country across all genres a few months ago. Why? People are getting results by following his Paleo lifestyle.

I enjoyed his Paleo way tour earlier this year and have loved experimenting with his cookbooks. Initially, I was a little overwhelmed as I didn’t know what half of the ingredients were but the more I have practised with real foods, the easier it has become. Now I’m not one for labels and it’s still a work in progress for my family but we are definitely seeing some great results at home. The kids just get that bad food is not good for their health and ask for fruit or bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of cereal. It doesn’t take long to change the eating habits of your kids.

Now I do enjoy cooking but I can’t say that I love it. If I’m honest, I’d rather be doing things with the kids or exercising rather than cooking. I sometimes find myself daydreaming about the life of the Beckhams – personal chefs, personal trainers, nanny’s on demand until I’m brought back down to earth with my ankle biters demanding food as I’m trying to fit in a quick workout on the back porch.

I heard a whisper a couple of months back that Pete Evans was putting his finger in another pie – a valet chef home delivery service. I was just a tad excited when I heard this and even more excited when I was invited to the launch of Valet Chef by a dear friend of mine, Jodie.

We had a fabulous time at the launch and I got to meet Pete Evans in the flesh. True story. Such a down to earth and approachable guy.

Meeting Pete

Meeting Pete

So what is Valet Chef all about? You can watch more about it by the man himself below.

Now I was lucky enough to have Valet Chef deliver a couple of  their delicious meals to my house last week. They couldn’t have come at a more convenient time. I had been down the coast for the day with the kids to visit my mum and by the time I got home, it was late. Too late to start preparing dinner. Thankfully I had some pre-cooked meals in the freezer ready for the kids. By the time I’d fed, bathed and put the kids to bed, I was exhausted.

This is where the convenience of Valet Chef comes in. All of the hard work had been taken out of preparing the meals for me. All I had to do was cook the ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Well perhaps getting Pete to cook them for you but that would be pushing the friendship.

The two dishes the hubster and I tried were Jerk Chicken with Papaya and Mango Salad and the Ginger Fish Stir Fry. Oh my, can you taste the difference in the food when it’s not only fresh but has quality ingredients. Both meals had a kick to them which was perfect as I love spicy food.

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Fish Stir Fry

Fish Stir Fry

 

What impressed me a lot was the handwritten labels on the ingredients as well as the fact that each meal was perfectly portioned. I come from an Italian background so portion control never existed for me growing up which meant that as I got older, I always tended to put that little bit more on my plate. The Valet Chef meals are just enough to satisfy the hunger which is perfect if you have a tendency to overeat.

Fresh pre-packed Paleo.

Fresh pre-packed Paleo.

The fish dish was cooked and ready to eat in under 20 minutes whilst the chicken dish took just under 30 minutes. The flavours in both meals were absolutely amazing and I could not recommend this service highly enough.

So who would this type of service suit? I personally think it would be perfect for time poor parents wanting fresh, organic, Paleo meals for the whole family. It would also be great for those professionals who work long hours and want meals already prepared when they get home. If you’ve heard a lot about about Paleo and not sure what ingredients to buy, this would be the perfect opportunity to try it.

Valet Chef provide a range of different meals with the options of sides (no breakfasts at this stage) and are only based in Melbourne (for now). For more information go to their website and take a look around.

Do you follow a Paleo lifestyle? What benefits have you had following it?

 

 

 

3

5 Ways To Exercise With Your Kids

One of the most annoying excuses I hear about not keeping active is because of kids. True story.  Getting active with your kids not only encourages them to move but it’s also a great opportunity for parents to keep fit as well.

I love time out to exercise but lately I have been a little restricted getting to group fitness classes because I am a busy mum to 3 kids under 5 and with the hubster getting home just as the group fitness classes are about to start, I’ve had to face the reality that it is unlikely to happen.

Sounds like great excuses right?  So if time is not on your side when it comes to exercising on your own, then  workout with your kids. Here are my top 5 ways to exercise with the kids.

1. Go for a walk after dinner. 

Now that the weather is warmer, it’s a great opportunity to have an early dinner then head out for a walk or ride whilst it’s still light. Head to a local park or even just walk around a big block. Twice if you’re feeling motivated. My children LOVE to climb trees at the moment. Find a large tree and let them climb it.

H tree

2. Put your phones away whilst you’re at the park and do the following circuit x 3.

-10 squats

-10 star jumps

-10 walking leg lunges (each leg)

10 push ups against a tree or on the grass.

If you’re with some friends, ask them to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and do it together. It’s a great way to get fit whilst the kids are playing.

3. Run out of milk or bread? 

Walk to the shops instead of drive. It’s so easy to jump in the car when you’ve run out of the essentials but if it’s within walking distance, put the baby in the pram and kids on their bikes and grab some fresh air. Our local supermarket is fifteen minutes away. This has become a rule in our house. We simply wont drive (unless of course it’s stupid o’clock at night) if we don’t have to. Just 20 minutes walking three times a week, can make the world of difference to you and your famillies health.

4. Explore nature.

I’ve just launched a kids active birthday party service in Melbourne, Li’l Busy Bodies. One of the parties that we offer is a nature walk. Find a 1, 2 or 5 km loop at either a park, beach trail or public garden (Botanical Gardens if in Melbourne) and spend a couple of hours exploring the great outdoors. Get the kids to collect some leaves, sticks, shells etc along the way that they can use for crafting when they get home. Just be mindful that some places wont allow to take certain things with you. If this is the case, just give the kids a history lesson along the way or get them to spot different things whilst you’re on your little adventure. We did this last weekend and the kids had a fabulous time.

FMH Family Active Day

5. Just Dance!

What’s the first thing your kids do when they wake up? Watch TV? Play games on the ipad? I know I know I’m guilty of this. A great way to get moving with your kids first thing in the morning is to put some music on and just DANCE. Put their favourite tunes on and spend 15 minutes dancing. Sounds a little out there but it really is heaps of fun. It’s a great way to connect with your kids and puts everyone in the best mood to start the day.

For those of you that don’t know I started Family Active Day at the start of the year. Each weekend, I’ve been encouraging people to get out with a family member on either a Saturday or Sunday. This Sunday the 16th November is Super Family Active Day. I’d love to see as many people get involved so spread the word and get moving. Don’t forget to take a pic and post it to my Instagram or Facebook page with the hashtag #FMHfamilyactiveday.

Do you get active with your kids?

I’m flogging my blog with the lovely Grace from With Some Grace today.

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8

How Strength Training Can Aid Weight Loss

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Everywhere we look these days, we are encouraged to lose those last 5kgs, to reduce our calorie intake or to become healthier versions of ourselves. The wellness industry is a multi billion dollar industry but there’s the right way to do it and the wrong way. Magic pills, inspirational Instagram images, daytime TV segments, miracle super-foods from the Amazon. Many of which promise that you’ll lose weight in short periods of time.

Interestingly, some people still believe that weight loss can only be achieved through high levels of cardio alone. These are probably the same people who cringe at the thought of lifting weights, in the fear that it will cause them to bulk up like the Hulk. It’s time to dispel these silly myths. Here are some of the reasons why strength training is important for your goal of losing weight.

More Muscles Mean More Calories Burned

The main reason why strength training will help you shed the excess kilos is actually very simple. When you increase your muscle mass, your body needs to consume more calories in order to maintain this new-found level of muscle. Therefore, no matter what you are doing (exercising, walking or even lying down), your body will automatically be burning more calories. How much it consumes is widely contested, but the reality is that strength training is very beneficial. After all, who wouldn’t want a more toned butt,  arms and legs, and a more defined stomach?

A Stronger Body Goes The Distance

Some of the problems associated with a cardio only exercise regime include worn joints and fatigue, two factors that could lead to serious injury. Strength training on the other hand, has many benefits such as:

  • Improved stamina
  • Increased bone strength
  • Better protection of joints from injury
  • Improved flexibility and balance
  • Better posture

With this knowledge in mind, it’s easy to see the bigger picture: strength training helps transform your body into being sturdier, tougher and less prone to injury.

It Will Motivate You

One of the most rewarding outcomes of strength training is the results you see on your body. Better curves and all sorts of definition will appear over time, spurring you on in your quest for self-confidence and pride. On top of this, you’ll overcome challenge after challenge, gradually increasing the amount you can lift, the number of kettlebell swings that you can smash out in a minute or the number of chin-ups you can complete.

Don’t Forget Your Cardio

Of course, just like a cardio only exercise plan will limit your results, so to will an approach filled solely with resistance training. Moderation and variety is key to your success, so don’t forget to incorporate cardio exercise such as jogging, cycling, swimming, boxing and sporting activities. If you’re in need of a new, high-performing bike, check out retailers such as 99 Bikes online, and don’t forget to enquire with your local gym in regards to available classes and facilities. When it comes to sporting clubs and programs, you can either sign up with friends or use the opportunity to create new ones.

Have you had success with strength training? What sort of workouts do you do?

This post was written in conjunction with 99 Bikes.


19

It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas – Myer Giftorium

I don’t know about you but with three kids under five, I spend a fair bit of time at shopping malls. Over the past eight weeks or so, more and more Christmas stuff has presented itself and I’m starting to get excited.

Yep, Christmas is just around the corner and with the shops  already a buzz with bon bons, tinsel and inflatable Santas, I’m itching to put my tree up.

Last year it went up on the 1st November but in my defence, it was a tough day at the office and I had run out of activities for the kids to do.

Each year I promise myself that I will be more organised and do my Christmas shopping early yet time and time again, I find myself fighting for a car park and waiting impatiently in lengthy queues.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Myer’s secret Christmas launch last Friday and let me just say, the Christmas Giftorium did not disappoint. For a busy mum like me, the thought of braving the shops during the festive season, scares the living daylights out of me. Myer have it covered though by offering a one stop shop for all your Christmas needs.

Interactive retail shopping

Interactive retail shopping

The Giftorium has been launched across all Myer stores, nationwide and will offer over 2.2 million products, enough to fill the MCG!  It will showcase the extensive product range across all areas including toys, homewares, fashion and cosmetics.

My kids and I experienced the magic of this fabulous event as soon as the lift doors opened.  I watched on as they  were entertained by magicians,  a ballerina dancer and a hoola hoop (or hoopy loop as my daughter calls it) girl. She was also quick to point out that she too wanted to join the circus when she was a grown up.

It wasn’t long before the kids caught a glimpse of the colourful display of lollies that spanned across two large tables and kindly obliged when invited over for some taste testing.

Santa said we could mum

Santa said we could mum

What I particularly liked about the Giftorium was the fact that you can find gifts for just about everyone in the one spot. Once again perfect for time poor mums and dads. We spent a good three hours there and when the kids started getting a little restless, I knew that that was my cue to leave.

When it comes to retail shopping, I think Myer absolutely got it right by creating this interactive,  fun and unique service that takes the seriousness out of shopping during the silly season. Instead offering customers an enjoyable experience with a little touch of magic.

Myer will also be bringing the magic of Christmas to it’s website with a dedicated Giftorium microsite to guide customers through the product offering and services included.

Thank you Kids Business and Myer for a fabulous day out and for reminding me that Christmas shopping is not that hard after all.

Are you an on-line shopper or do you prefer to go in store?

Disclosure: I was gifted with a $50 voucher, a soda stream and a show-bag at this event.  All opinions about the day are my own.

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard