Why You Need to Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early
Are you one of those people who signs up for a gym membership at the beginning of a new year?
Or, someone who will plan on starting to eat healthy, goes to the grocery stores and buys all of the beautiful produce; just to let it go to waste because your cravings kick in?
You may plan on getting in shape or eating well this new year. But, if the ‘New Year’ is the only motivation you have to become and stay healthy; then you’re not going to have an easy time sticking with it.
Our country’s weight is growing; and it’s not from a lack of new gym memberships at the beginning of every New Year. It could be from the lack of actually using those memberships all year round, though.
If you need the New Year to help keep you motivated to stay healthy, then go ahead and enjoy the extra motivation; but, that shouldn’t be your only motivation.
You need more than just motivation to keep healthy and fit; you also need self discipline, for when you lack motivation. Go here if you need help with finding or strengthening your self discipline. If you’re self discipline is not the problem and you’re just looking for some better reasons to start your healthy lifestyle New Year’s Resolution NOW, then keep reading.
To Feel Ahead of the Game Before it Even Begins
Even if you can just get all of the planning done and prepare for your New Year’s Resolutions now; you’ll be ahead of everyone else. And, yes, you’re not supposed to compare yourself to others. But, wouldn’t it make you feel good if you know you have a plan and know how you can succeed this next year before this next year even starts?
It would feel awesome!
So, get out a pretty notebook and start a plan of action for everything you want to accomplish this next year. And, once you’re done with that; start.
Don’t wait for the New Year, start when you have the momentum and your plan. Do what you can before the next year starts. Get ahead, and then stay ahead as long as you can; it’ll help keep you moving forward simply to know how far you have come. Plus, if you slip up for a few days, or even a month, you’ll be much more likely to get right back to it, knowing you had some built in buffer time from starting early!
If new beginnings and fresh starts are what motivates you at the New Year; think of how each and every day can be a fresh start for you.
Start working towards a goal, and if you have a bad day and feel like you can’t get back into the groove of things; remember, it’s just one day. Simply go to bed and then wake up the next morning knowing that it’s a new day; start fresh and get back into the groove of things.
There’s no mistake so big that you have to wait a whole year for a fresh start. Take everything day by day. Or, hour by hour or moment by moment; depending on what you want accomplished. (Moment by moment may work well with a goal of becoming a better parent or person.)
This is also your reminder to not let one bad day ruin a streak of good days. Life can get rough sometimes; remembering that everyday is a fresh start can help ease the rough times. There’s always a better, brighter future ahead!
You’re More Likely to Keep on Track
If you start working towards your New Year’s resolutions now instead of waiting for the new year; you’ll be more likely to actually stick with it and stay on track. Starting before hand usually means that you’re not making up excuses or waiting for motivation to come to you.
You have more self discipline, and you strengthen your discipline by not using a motivator, like the New Year, to start working on your goals. This is why you will be one of the very few people to keep on track all year round, instead of giving in and quitting when the new-ness of the New Year wears out.
Plus, if you’re able to start now, that really shows some self discipline. It can be tough to start working towards new goals this time of year with the holidays; especially if those goals pertain to becoming healthy.
Set Realistic Goals
Many people set unrealistic goals and resolutions for the new year; thinking that anything and everything is possible because of this new start.
Unfortunately, not everything is possible to do in a single year. And, using the fresh start of a New Year as the motivator to accomplish these unrealistic goals; you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Starting now can help you set goals without the pressure of having to share your goals, or New Year’s resolutions with anyone else. There’s no pressure setting goals now; if you try them out for this week and decide you want to change your goals, then go ahead. No one is going to be nagging you about keeping your New Year’s resolution at this time of year.
Feeling extra motivated? Check out The 12 Week Year and get more done in 3 months than most people do in a whole year!
Think of How much closer you will be to your goal
On the same note about setting realistic goals before the New Year; you will also be that much closer to your goal even by the time the New Year rolls around!
If you want to become fit this next year, an extra week can make a huge difference in your progress.
Or, if your goal is eat healthier, even if you don’t start eating healthier til the New Year; you can still find healthy meals, recipes, and snacks to make. You can start meal planning and prepping so that the transition to eating healthier goes a lot smoother.
Or, if you want to start being a better person this next year; there is no better time to start than Right Now!! There is so much good that can be done during the Holiday Season.
Just imagine how much you can accomplish between now and the New Year if you get to work on your resolutions NOW!! You may even impress yourself!
And, Adjust the Goals when the New Year comes (if need be)
If you start now and realize that your goal, or resolution, is a lot harder to do than you thought; adjust your goals so that they’re more realistic. That way when people ask you what your New Year’s resolution is and you tell them, you’ll feel more confident that you’ll actually accomplish it.
And, that’s pretty impressive; to actually stay strong and hold onto your New Year’s resolution.
It will show other’s just how disciplined you are and that you actually do what you say you will. It’s a win-win.
Or, on the other side of things; if you try out your resolution now and it’s too easy then go ahead and adjust your goal to challenge yourself. You need to make a resolution that’s challenging enough to change you and motivate you to change, but not too challenging that you simply won’t stick with it.
This balance is hard to find, and the sooner you start, the easier it will be to find the balance and adjust your goals accordingly. Maybe make smaller goals that lead up to a large one and reward yourself along the way. Use some positive reinforcements as motivation!
If NOW isn’t the Best Time, what Makes the New Year the Best Time?
One of the biggest reasons to start now instead of waiting is because there will never be the ‘right time’ or ‘best time’ to start. If you can’t motivate yourself to start now, or even prepare to start now; what’s going to make it so you start at the New Year and actually stick with it the whole year?
If you don’t have the self discipline to start now; will you have the self discipline to start the first day of the year?
Sure, it may seem like it would be easier to start working towards your resolutions at the New Year, when everyone else does. But remember, everyone else does not stick with their resolutions for the year and do not accomplish their goals.
Only the people who have enough self discipline will actually stay with their New Year’s resolutions. And, those people with enough self discipline are probably still working on their resolutions from last year and adjusting their goals for this next year; and getting a head start on them right now!
Don’t you want to be one of those people, who actually gets things done and accomplished? Don’t you want to be where they are now, next year at this time; and not feeling like you failed last year’s resolutions? Start now, and show yourself who’s boss and in charge of your life!
Being a stay at home mom, you don’t get to think much about what you want.
You’re too busy worry about the wants and needs of everyone else in your family; your kids, pets, husband, parents. Basically, anyone you’re related to or see often enough to care for.
Oh, you’re on the list somewhere, way at the bottom. That’s why it’s so difficult for you to come up with what you want whenever anyone asks you.
I get it.
It’s hard to think about your own wants or needs when you’re so preoccupied thinking about others.
That’s why I’ve created the list below with some things us stay at home moms could really appreciate in our non-self-centered lives. From items that we need, things that you could certainly use but may not have thought of, to things that you actually want and will enjoy!
Just in case you do need some ideas for you kids, as well:
You know that there are things you need that you just can’t think of when asked, like new socks because all of yours have holes in them. But, the ideas below are a little more unique than just socks!
(But, in all honesty, if all your socks have holes in them, just get them for yourself already. This is your sign if you needed one. I know I’m due for some new socks!)
Ok, so you don’t have to ask for these unicorn slippers. But, slippers are very useful as a stay at home mom. We’re on our feet more often than others think we are; with hard wood floors, it can be rough on our feet and slippers are advised.
A Nice Coffee Mug
I love this coffee mug! If only it were true; my toddler is quite strong, my coffee can’t even begin to compete. I still love the coffee mug my mom got for me right after I had my first daughter. It said “Mommy’s Sippy Cup”. I haven’t been able to find it online anywhere, but it was one of the taller travel mugs; perfect for moms who like to enjoy their coffee.
I just have one suggestion, especially for any new stay at home moms out there, make sure the coffee mug you ask for is microwave safe. This is vital, as half the life of your mug, it’ll be sitting in the microwave waiting to be heated up…again. (The one above is microwave safe, I already checked!)
Things Use Could Use and Appreciate: Gifts for Stay at Home Moms
One step up from asking for what you need, is asking for things that you can appreciate more and could use for yourself! Not just new slippers because yours got worn out.
An ‘I will watch the kids for a few hours’ Gift Card
What a great idea! Just have whoever wants to get you a gift make you a ‘gift card’ that gives you a number of free hours that they will watch your kids. This gift doesn’t cost any money for the person giving it, simply time. And, I can’t think of a single woman I know, who’s a mom, who will deny the chance to get a break, or time to themselves for a few hours, or even a single hour!
Living Well Planner
Maybe it’s just me, but I need a planner; a nice one, too. Ever since I got my first one in middle school, I was addicted to staying organized with a planner. Finding the right planner can be difficult, if you haven’t already found one you’re in love with. The Living Well Planner is perfect. It has a place to plan each day (by the hour), a place to meal plan, and a place to set goals for yourself. It also has a section for you to budget, but I use my own budget sheets, which are a bit simpler and more customizable to use.
Things YOU Actually Want: Gifts for Stay at Home Moms
Then, there’s the things that you actually want, not ‘want’ because you ‘need’ them. Unless, you haven’t gone shopping since before you had your first child, or you’ve gone shopping, but it’s never for you. If that’s the case, then you really need the gifts below, don’t be afraid to ask for them!
Ask for a gift card for a store where YOU can buy YOURSELF something, whether it be clothes or something else you enjoy. Just make sure you don’t ask for a generic gift card, like for Walmart, where you’ll be tempted to buy groceries or stuff for your kids with.
This is supposed to be a gift for you, not your fridge or your kids. Don’t worry, your kids will get enough presents over the Holidays, and if they’re anything like my girls, they really don’t need any more toys, anyways.
Alright, maybe this is just me again, but I like wearing yoga pants; they’re better than sweat pants because it’s completely acceptable to go pick your kids up from school in them. Plus, they’re comfy, and no one can tell that you didn’t just come from working out! The pair above even has a hidden pocket, perfect for holding keys while carrying a tantrum throwing 2 year old while picking up your older child. Oh, wait, maybe that’s just me…
Something for a favorite hobby
Whatever you favorite hobby is, I’m sure there’s something that you’d love to have for it, but maybe haven’t thought of yet. Whether you like to read and just want a few new books, like to cook and need something new or unique for the kitchen, or maybe you’re like me and blog and would prefer something for that, like this for taking photos.
Whatever you ask for this year, just make sure it’s actually for YOU and something YOU would enjoy.
As moms, we tend to ask for things that our children want or to make our children or family happy. Which isn’t bad, it’s just we deserve to get something just for us. Not for us to make our family food, unless of course baking or cooking is a passion of yours.
And, of course, this Holiday season and gift ideas above are not all about being selfish and only worrying about yourself; you’re a mom, you can’t even if you wanted to. But, you deserve to feel special, just like everyone else that you buy gifts for. Simply think like a kid and think of what you would want for Christmas; ask for it, and believe in the magic of Christmas this year!
7 Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Family This Year!!
This Holiday season is upon us!
Thanksgiving was a few days ago and Christmas music is on the radio.
Decorations for Christmas started to plague all the stores a few weeks ago. And, although a lot of things we do for Christmas costs money, there are still some family traditions that are basically free (or, at the very least, affordable).
The traditions I’m talking about aren’t abnormal or even really different from ones that you probably have.
But, they are the essence of Christmas for your kids!
Some of the traditions I had when I was younger, other’s I started myself for my own little girls. Either way, they are important enough for me to write about, so they’re pretty important!!
My family and I did this when I was a kid. And, even after having kids of my own, there hasn’t been a year in my life where this tradition was skipped.
As soon as your child reaches the toddler stage; they can start helping with the decorating, even if it means hanging up the non-breakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree. You may have to spend more time evening out the ornaments after your little one goes to bed. But, it’s completely worth it letting them join in on this holiday tradition!
A few things to decorate:
Fire place (if you have one)
Your Kitchen (you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time in here with all the holiday baking- might as well look like the holidays, too!!)
Railings for indoor stairs
Anything else you can imagine- you could even create a Holiday Display on a table!! (My mom always did this with a mini Christmas village.)
2. Make Christmas Presents
This is a great tradition, especially if your budget is real tight this year. My 2 girls, who were both under 5 two years ago, made the mugs below for their grandparents for Christmas!
Well, my older daughter and myself made them. My younger daughter was less than a year old so she didn’t help much.
However, we also made non-toxic clay-like ornaments and painted them, my 11 month old at the time, had a blast with that!! We had so much fun last year, that I’m hoping we can do this every year as a tradition. Not the same presents over and over again, but the DIY presents, even if my girls are just making presents for each other or myself and husband.
There’s a ton of other presents you or your children could make as well this year. Such as:
Ever since I could remember I have been doing this, whether it’s been watching Christmas movies before Christmas (like Rudolph or How the Grinch Stole Christmas), or on Christmas day with the new movies that Santa brought myself or siblings.
I still love watching Christmas movies before Christmas and make it a point to do so with my husband and 2 girls, now.
This is the best tradition to have, especially with little kids. It gives them a chance to wind down, and calm down, for an hour or so, if we’re lucky. It also gets them in the holiday mood and excited for the magical time of year that most of us call Christmas!!
It also has us adults remembering the simpler times of when we were kids and starts to bring back a little bit of that magical Christmas feeling. Along with giving us some peace and quiet from our childrens non-stop talking. Here are some essential movies to watch before Christmas:
I have always loved baking Christmas Cookies, ever since I can remember. I even remember one year, probably when I was a teenager or almost a teenager, I made most of the Christmas cookies myself. Or, at least it felt like I made most of them myself. Either way, I made quite a few dozen cookies!
It was a tradition to always make what felt like an obscene amount of Christmas cookies every year. We’d take them to Christmas Parties at my grandparent’s houses on both sides of the family, every year. We would also eat quite a few of them before they made it out the door. And, I also remember my mom staying up late almost every year on Christmas Eve making even more cookies; we could never have enough!
Even after having my own kids; I continue to make a ton of Christmas cookies every year. My older daughter has been helping me with this since she was two. My younger daughter joined in on this tradition last year, right before she turned two!
I may have created some of my own cookie recipes; taking my favorite Christmas cookie and making it healthier and vegan!!
Here are some must have Christmas Cookies to make this year:
Sugar Cookies (this is the only time of year I allow white sugar to be in my home, all other times it is practically banned)
Chocolate-Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
Ginger Bread Cookies
5. Stay Home on Christmas Day
Staying home on Christmas Day is another one of the best traditions you can have, especially with kids.
Do this for as long as you can; one day your kids may move out and then you may not have them home for Christmas anymore. Most kids probably won’t mind this tradition either; they get to stay in their pj’s all day long and play with their new toys and watch their new movies.
What more can a kid possibly ask for?
Even teenagers can enjoy this; playing with their new electronics. Plus, with all the social media out there for our consumption, it’s not like teenagers will really be missing much anyways. When I was a teenager, MP3 players were a big thing. One year I spent most of Christmas day filling my new device up with a ton of songs; transferring them from CD to my MP3 player. (Do they even make MP3 players anymore?)
Staying home also reduces the stress of having to get kids ready to go places, even if it is to a relatives.
It makes the whole day just that much better. Also, there’s not many places even open on Christmas, so you can’t exchange that one present your child doesn’t like anyways.
No going anywhere, no stress, just a relaxing day with your immediate family!
6. Leave Out Cookies for Santa
If your children still believe in Santa, then help them leave out some cookies and milk (or soymilk) for Santa. Even if you have younger kids who do believe in Santa and older kids who don’t; don’t let your older ones spoil the magic of Christmas for the younger ones. And, if all your kids are old enough and don’t believe in Santa; make them leave milk and cookies out for Santa.
This is where part of the magic of Christmas comes from, and a necessity on the list of Christmas traditions families need in their lives.
You’r child leaves out milk and cookies for Santa, and in the morning they’re half gone; you’re child believes that Santa actually came to leave them presents and toys in their stockings, and you get some extra Christmas cookies. It’s a win-win, if you ask me!!
7. Write a Letter to Santa (if your child is old enough, but not too old)
Actually, having your child write out a list of things they want would even be a great tradition to teach, on a few different levels.
My older daughter is just starting to write, so this year is going to be the first year I have her try to write out a Christmas list for us. Who knows, she may even want to write a letter to Santa when I bring it up. (I’ll just need to tell her how to spell every single word she writes.)
One reason this is a great tradition is because year after year they are going to be asked what they want for Christmas; might as well get them in the habit when they’re young.
Writing a Letter to Santa also helps them with their writing skills; whether it be spelling, grammar, or learning to write in the style of an actual letter, and not just scribbles.
This little holiday exercise even helps with the skill of decision making. That is a huge skill to learn, and an important one. Honing in on it with a simple list of what they want for Christmas is an easy and fun way to start building up that skill for little ones!!
Why Holiday Traditions?
Holiday traditions have been around forever and they are what make the holidays The Holidays.
They bring the holiday feeling to life, help us enjoy and appreciate family more (and cookies). They bring hope and joy into our lives. And, they end with a New Year; a chance to start again. To start the New Year right, and surrounded by those who are most important to us.
For Christmas, it’s not the presents that matter, or even the food.
What matters is being with our children and strengthening the bond we have with them. One of the best ways we can do this is by creating, or instilling, Holiday traditions in our homes that are meaningful and that everyone will enjoy and participate in.
This Holiday season start some of your own with your children. Share this post if you found it useful, or leave a comment to let us know some of your holiday traditions!!
The Best You Can Get: 7 Presents for 3 Year Old Daughter
Ever wonder what presents you can get for your 3 year old daughter that they will actually appreciate, and not forget about 5 seconds later?
Well, my younger daughter will be 3 right after Christmas this year and I’ll tell you what toys she has and loves, or points to and would love to have either at the store, or on my computer screen (with sticky fingers and all).
They’re not quite toddlers at this age, but they also are just getting big enough for some more of the kid toys that they actually want. It seems like kids always want the toys that are just above their age level. Which, I guess is a good thing, right?
If you’ve been buying presents at the stores with your little girl with you, hoping to goodness that she won’t remember what was put in the cart; now may be the time to either find a sitter for her, or simply shop online. Three year olds will remember and may ask for ‘their’ toys that you tried to sneak past them in the check out line.
All the links below will redirect you to Amazon, I am an affiliate for them, but love their selection, ease of purchasing items, and the fact that my 3 can’t grab a toy she wants and chuck it into the cart hoping we don’t put it back on the shelf before checkout (true story). Plus, it’s the most trusted place to buys kids toys, or anything else for that matter, online!
So, not too long ago, this Barbie doll set ended up in our shopping cart at Walmart and neither my husband or I put it in, our 6 year old didn’t either. Our almost 3 year old daughter snuck it in the cart, maneuvering it behind other items, to ensure we didn’t see it until unpacking the cart to check out!
She knew exactly what she was doing, and my husband couldn’t tell her no, so she ended up getting the set. She has played with it everyday since she has gotten it and even tucks her Barbie in at night. The set is kind of neat, too! The cupcakes and bread ‘pop up’ while in the ‘oven’, and if you get the little sponge at the end of the frosting holder wet and then ‘frost’ the cupcakes, it looks like you’re actually frosting cupcakes.
(I’d highly recommend getting this item on Amazon rather than at the store; we went to Walmart, and the set is actually cheaper on Amazon. Especially with the free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get a free trial here for all your Christmas shopping!)
Sometimes three year olds’ just want to enjoy their baby dolls and pretend they’re mommies. Both of my girls do this; they treat their dolls like they’re alive and helpless little babies that need their mommy to take care of them. This is the one my six year old likes, and this is the one my almost three year old wants! You can’t go wrong with baby dolls at this age, especially if they’re made in the image of their favorite Disney Princesses.
I cannot recommend getting your little ones a little kitchen enough! Whether you have a little girl or a little boy, they could benefit, and have fun, with this toy.
This is one of both of my girls favorite toys, and it was a huge hit with all the kids in my moms home daycare when she was running one over 10 years ago. This classic toy, and learning resource, will never go out of style! Get one here, so you don’t have to lift it into your car or hide it from your little one.
Little kids love play-doh, and it’s a great sensory activity for our kids!
My almost 3 year old loves squishing it in her hands and making fun shapes with it. Rolling it out and then asking me to make a custom butterfly shape out of it. Her favorite thing right now is butterflies! She will literally only wear a shirt if it has a butterfly on it.
There are literally 100’s of other gifts that could go on this list! Three year olds aren’t usually that hard to shop for, unless trying to find the perfect gift; in which case, you’ll find above.
At this stage, they are generally still in the happy go lucky phase and won’t take much to please. Just wait til next year, they’ll be a bit more picky!
But, first, let’s go over what a healthy habit for kids is.
What is a healthy Habit?
A healthy habit is simply a behavior that will benefit someone physically or mentally.
A few examples, right off the bat, would be exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods.
But, let’s dig a little deeper, because I’m sure you already knew that exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods are healthy habits. And, telling a child to exercise, meditate, and eat the right foods isn’t going to help them very much when trying to have them develop healthy habits. It’s too vague and they may not even know how to do those things or what it means to practice those habits.
How is a child to know what they should be doing to be healthy when told vague things to do. All it’s going to do is frustrate them and make developing healthy habits something they associate with frustration.
So, let’s go over some healthy habits that you can help, or encourage, your child to start developing.
Remember not to have them start too many at once. Starting too many at once is a good way to overwhelm them and have them associate developing healthy habits with frustration. Start with one, guide them, help them, encourage them, and practice the habit yourself if you can.
Once they have one down, move on to another.
Start with the easiest habit for your child to do; to build up their confidence that they can build healthy habits and improve their life! It’ll make all the other habits a littler easier, too!
Healthy Habits for Kids: Nutrition
Focusing on good nutrition is the best thing you can do to help encourage your child to start creating healthy habits of their own.
Be sure to be a good example and eat what you want them to eat, or there’s no sense in encouraging this.
Mama always has the best food on their plate and kids know this; make sure it’s healthy, not just delicious!
Healthy Habit for Kids #1: Drink water
Water is vital for everyone to consume!
If your child is in grade school or middle school, they may have even learned in school that the human body consists of about 70% of the human body. (Roughly 55% – 75% depending on age.²)
This should be the first healthy habit your child should start, if they haven’t already. If you don’t regularly drink water; start NOW!
My girls started drinking water as soon as they could hold a sippy cup.
Water is the only drink your child needs.
Many people may argue that kids need milk growing up, as well. And, I agree that certain types of milk for kids can be very beneficial. But, there are other sources for children to get protein and calcium. I’m not saying to not let your kids have milk, my girls and I drink soy milk every day (it has just as much protein and calcium, but is void of cholesterol and has less sugar than cows milk). What I’m trying to say is that water should be the main, or go to, drink for your kids everyday.
You can help them create, and stick to, this habit by:
only having water (and milk) available for your kids to drink
don’t buy the sugary drinks like juice and soda
let your kids have a special water bottle to take everywhere
be a good example and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water
If you like teaching your children new and fun things in a way they can understand; teach them of the importance of water.
Healthy Habits for Kids #2: Focus on Fruits and Veggies
Everyone knows fruits and veggies are the best foods we can eat!
Your grew up being told to eat your veggies, or maybe you weren’t. But, you still know that they are an important part of our diet, and should be included (and possibly even the main part) of our diets!
Have them choose meals that have a veggie, or veggies, as the base. Such as salads, pasta with veggie sauce (like my vegan ziti), or anything else they can think of. Pinterest may help with this. (Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest here!)
So, help your kids get enough fruits and veggies in their diets a day. Or, at least 5-8 per day.
A few things you can do to help them eat more fruits and veggies are:
It’s the first thing our kids eat in the morning; it not only needs to replenish them from their nightly fast, but also fuel them for the morning ahead!
Our body needs nutrients, carbs, protein, and fat in the morning; all three macro-nutrients to keep us going all morning long. And, it’s the same for our kids.
Kids need a healthy breakfast; there have even been studies showing that kids who ate breakfast regularly had higher IQ’s. ³
So, let’s get our kids eating a healthy breakfast, whether it’s a school day or not!
Help your child stick with this healthy habit by:
making a smoothie for (or with) breakfast
make breakfasts ahead of time and freeze or keep in the fridge for the week (think pancakes with oat flours, or oatmeal)
encourage the to have fruit/veggies as at least half f their breakfast
eat breakfast with them in the morning
have everything ready to go the night before
There are a lot of different things your child can have as a healthy breakfast. Variety is your friend when it comes to eating, breakfast included.
However, try to avoid just giving them cereal, toast, or a single serving of fruit for breakfast.
This should ideally be the largest meal of the day!
Healthy Habit for Kids #4: Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)
Eating as local as possible will help the local economy, help support farmers in the community, and the food will generally be healthier (or have less pesticides on them).
Kids may not understand this when young. But, as they grow older, you can talk to them about this and they may feel good about themselves for helping support those in their community.
Or, take this one step further and help them plant a garden of their own to eat from!
Many kids love growing their own food and to take on the extra responsibility. You may be surprised at how into it they are once you start!
Help them with this habit by:
taking them to the local farmers market
check out localharvest.org to see if there are any farmers markets, co-ops, farms, or more in your area to eat more locally to support your community
dedicate a small section of your yard for a small veggie garden
have your kids help you grow berry bushes and fruit trees
buy potted plants with produce (especially if you are renting your home or don’t have a yard to grow food in
take your child to community garden to volunteer (if there is one in your area)
take your child to pick apples, berries, or other produce (check the link above for places in your area)
Helping children understand the process from seed to plate, and take on some of the responsibility of their food, can go a long way with creating life time healthy habits!
Healthy Habit for Kids #5: Limit Processed and Fast Food
So far you have learned what to help your child do to start their healthy habits. But, helping your child overcome bad eating habits is just as important.
Hopefully, with all the new healthy eating habits your child will start picking up, it’ll start pushing out the bad eating habits; such as eating processed foods.
By processed foods, in general, we’re talking about foods that come in boxes, bags, cans, or something else; foods that have many ingredients, some of which we don’t even know what they are.
Along with limiting, or avoiding, processed foods, kids should also limit or avoid fast food, as well.
Sure, these two types of foods are convenient and can make life easier when you have a busy life. But, in the long run, these are the foods that are going to contribute to disease and chronic health issues later in life.
You can help your child avoid these types of foods by:
meal prepping over the weekend to have healthy food easily available all week long
stop buying highly processed foods
read labels and ingredient lists on foods before buying
tell your child what each ingredient in a food is (even the chemicals, like BHT or MSG)
stop eating out (by using the first tip in this list)
teach your child how to make home cooked meals (and learn how to, if you don’t know)
Doing these things will help your child eat better now, and eat better after they leave home.
Set your child up for success by teaching them how to cook by themselves. My six year old is already pretty handy in the kitchen and is always asking to help with more. Hopefully, your children can get to the point where they are like that, as well.
Kids usually enjoy helping in the kitchen; it helps them feel included, important, and builds up their confidence!
Healthy Habit for Kids #6: Don’t Overeat
One habit that many people tend to have as adults is overeating.
This causes weight gain, along with other issues and health concerns that come along with that.
We all know that overeating isn’t good for us, but have a hard time stopping because it’s simply what we’re used to.
Help your child avoid overeating and turning overeating into a habit by:
setting guidelines for where it’s appropriate to eat (ex. can eat at kitchen table, not in bedroom)
keep serving dishes in the kitchen, or off the table
show your child how much one serving is
teach your child to eat until they are 80% full, then wait 20 minutes to see if they are still hungry or not
lead by example
don’t starve them (we, including our kids, have a built in system to tell us when we’re full; let that tell your child when to stop eating, not you)
The human body is amazing, in that it signals to our brain when full to helps us from overeating.
The trick is telling whether our child is still hungry, or just wants the next sweet thing that’s available to eat. Do the apple test with your child if this is an issue; if they’re not hungry enough to eat an apple (or another fruit or veggie) then they’re not truly hungry.
Healthy Habits for Kids: Physical Fitness
It’s said that nutrition is 70% of being healthy and physical fitness is 30% (although, that doesn’t take into consideration mental health).
Whatever you believe, you know that developing habits to help with physical fitness is important to your childs health now, and in the future.
Start encouraging the healthy habits below!
Healthy Habit for Kids #7: Walk When and Where You Can
If you live in town this habit will be easier for you and your child to start.
Even if they don’t get any other exercise during the day; walking everywhere they can will do wonders for their health, and help them improve their health.
Ways you can help:
walk, instead of drive, places
park as far away from the store as you can
go for a daily walk down the street (especially if you don’t live in town and are unable to walk places)
It doesn’t matter where you walk to, just encourage your child to walk more, and walk with them. Be a good example. Use this time to talk to them about their day, or just to find out what’s on their mind. Bonus if you turn this walking time into bonding time, too!
Healthy Habit for Kids #8: Exercise Everyday
Whether your child takes a walk with you everyday, such as walking to school if close enough, or needs another way to get some exercise in their day; be sure to make this happen as often as possible.
A good rule of thumb to know when your child has had sufficient exercise in a day is to find out if they sweat at all that day from exercise. It may sound gross, but that’ll help you determine if the intensity, or length, of exercise if enough to get their blood pumping and heart rate up.
If your child didn’t sweat from exercising, then the exercise they did wasn’t enough for the day.
Now, the intensity and length of exercise a child will need may different from other children and that’s all right. And, of course, if they want to exercise longer, or push themselves, in general, that’s a really good thing!
It’s alright if your child is done exercising after doing 25 jumping jacks, or running around your house one or two times. The more often they do this, the more used to it their body will get, and the more they’ll be able to do.
(Use this rule of thumb for your own exercise, too)
You can help them with this habit by:
exercising with them
asking them if they can do a little more each day, or each week
helping your child write down what they did each day for exercise
having your child set fitness goals (ex. be able to do 25 push ups by the end of the month)
encourage them to go outside
have them create their own work out routine (or you create a simple workout routine for them, or buy a workout video/watch youtube workout videos)
play music at home (dancing is great exercise)
Your child may even end up thanking you for helping them create this healthy habit when young.
Exercising can help reduce money mental health issues, and help anyone, in general, simply feel good overall. Along with keeping unwanted weight off, staying fit, increasing confidence, and much more!
Healthy Habit for Kids #9: Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed
Do you stretch when you wake up or go to bed?
Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to add stretching into your regular routines?
Stretching not only reduces back pain and helps you and your child become more flexible, it can also reduce stress and improve posture!
I know you want you want the best for your kids, so help them remember to stretch everyday by:
setting an alarm once or twice a day as a reminder to stretch
adding stretching into their night time routine
stretch with them
use youtube to learn to stretch right (in case you haven’t done it in awhile either)
Even stretching once a day can have many benefits. Help them add it into their daily routine to help them feel better and reduce stress, such as right before they climb into bed for the night.
Some school classrooms may even help your child develop this habit by having a regular mini yoga class in the classroom. My 6 year old came home after the first week of school so excited because she got to do yoga at school, and loved it!
Healthy Habit for Kids #10: Get Plenty of Sleep
Children need a lot of sleep, whether our kids think they do or not! (I know my girls don’t think they need any more sleep then I do, but they do; their behavior on some days proves it.)
This habit will be harder to help with the older our kids get, so start as young as possible and set a bedtime. In general, kids need anywhere from 8-11 hours of sleep every night. So, if your child wakes up at 6 every morning to eat a healthy breakfast and get ready for school; set their bedtime at 7 the night before.
Even if your child doesn’t fall asleep right away at bedtime, it’ll give them enough buffer time to still get the amount of sleep needed. And, as you probably know, getting enough sleep will help with your childs mood, memory, and more!
Some ways you can help with this healthy habit:
set, and stick to, an early bedtime
limit screen time through out the day
turn all screens off at least 2 hours before bedtime
have a relaxing bedtime routine (such as a bath, brush teeth, stretch, read a story, then sleep)
keep the volume down after bedtime (such as keeping the volume to your show down, or not doing any cleaning, baking, or cooking that tends to be loud)
Most adults in this country are sleep deprived, so do yourself a favor, and be a good example for your child, and make sure you get plenty of sleep, too!
Healthy Habits for Kids: Mental Health
I know, some people don’t really think mental health matters to someones overall health, but that’s only because they don’t understand it.
Going to school for 4 years focusing on child psychology, neuropsychology, and then obsessing about health and eating well; I can tell you just how important (and related) mental health is to our overall health! But, that’s a lesson for another time. Let’s go over healthy habits for kids mental health, so they can achieve their dreams, become confident, healthy, and happy adults!
Healthy Habit for Kids #11: Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)
Don’t dismiss affirmations for your child. There are plenty of people who do not believe in the power of affirmations.
Again, many people who don’t believe positive affirmations work, are those who simply don’t understand how they work, or those who have never tried them.
However, they do work and will do wonders to help your child be healthy, happy, and become confident in what they can do.
This is probably one of the easiest healthy habits that you can help with. You can do so by:
saying the affirmations to your child (basically, tell them how wonderful, confident, smart, capable, etc. they are)
write out affirmations for your child to say to themselves (if they can read)
add this to their morning routine
print out positive affirmations from this child’s “My Healthy Habits” workbook and post them where your child will see them in the morning
Don’t underestimate the power of practicing positive affirmations to help your child enjoy their life and love themselves more. It really works and will help keep them happy go lucky, or improve their outlook on life.
How can someone have a negative outlook on life when they’re telling themselves positive things each and every morning first thing when they wake up?
Healthy Habit for Kids #12: Meditate (or Sit in Silence)
By sitting in silence, I do NOT mean encouraging your child to sit silently in front of a screen watching a show or playing video games.
This healthy habit for kids is about shutting out stimulants and introducing peace to the mind and body.
It can be use to decrease stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration, and improve the outlook on life.
However, just as other healthy mental habits are misunderstood, so is meditation.
How you can help your child meditate (or sit in silence):
respect the time they choose to meditate by keeping the rest of your home quiet
mediate at the same time they do (possibly in a separate room to avoid distracting each other)
Starting the habit of meditation may not seem like the most exciting habit, but it is one of the most beneficial!
Don’t feel bad if you and your child struggle with meditating at first, it can be hard to get a hang of. Start with 5 or so minutes and increase the time spent meditating by then. If your child can only sit still and meditate for 5 minutes, that’s better than nothing at all. Increase it by 10 or 15 seconds a time if need be.
Healthy Habit for Kids #13: Read (or be Read to)
You know reading to children from the time they are little is beneficial.
Whether it’s to help them learn to talk, learn the meaning of words, or learn how to read for the first time; reading is a wonderful habit to encourage.
Later in life, they will use skill to read to get through, and possibly excel at, school and every other aspect of their life. The more they read the more they learn, and the ability to learn is one of the best skills anyone can have and hone in on!
A few ways you can encourage this habit:
read to them from day one, if possible
read to them every night before bed
have them read to you, or to themselves, once they are able to
keep books in all rooms of the home, and in the car (unless they get car sick when they read in the car)
set a dedicated reading time in your home, when everyone reads (doesn’t that just sound nice!)
There are many ways you can encourage your child to read, and with access to thousands of books on ipads and tablets through amazon’s kindleunlimited, there’s no reason not to read. If your child doesn’t have a tablet, ipad, or you’re trying to limit all of their screen time, find your local library and make a weekly trip to get new books for them to read.
There’s just something so nice about opening up and reading an actual physical book!
Healthy Habit for Kids #14: Write (or Draw)
Along side helping you child develop reading as a habit, developing writing, or even drawing, as a habit is just as important.
Children can start drawing as soon as they figure out how to hold a crayon. It may take some time for them to develop their abilities and try to communicate their emotions through their pictures. But, drawing is one of the first ways that a child can express themselves in an appropriate manner to let us know how they truly feel.
Such as, when they start going to school for the first time and they start drawing a picture of themselves sad, and then the next picture they draw a few days later is of them at school and they’re happy. And, they ask you how to spell certain words, like “I” “love” “school”.
Children can have a difficult time expressing how they feel in an appropriate way; helping them develop the habit of drawing, and then later writing, how they feel is amazing for their mental health. It allows their negativity to come out of them, not harming others or throwing a tantrum, and allows them to more easily show appreciation for others. (My daughters teacher has a whole book of drawings, just from my daughter.)
A few ways you can help your child develop this habit:
make sure there is always paper and something to write with available to your child
encourage them to go color if they say they’re bored
draw with them (don’t get annoyed if they ask you to draw a heart or star 50 times in the same sitting)
spell out words for them when asked to help teach them to spell
teach them how to draw letters, even if not in school yet (dot to dots work really well!)
have them write out their feelings and what their grateful for (a gratitude journal) once they are old enough
Writing and drawing isn’t only a great way for our children to express their emotions, it’s great for us to do as well. Especially when it comes to living a more positive life. If you don’t have a gratitude journal, why not start one alongside your child and remind each other to write in it every morning!
Remember, One at a Time
Alright, that may have been a lot of information, a lot for you to think about, and a lot for you and your child to implement to start (or continue) your healthy journeys together.
But, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. So, remember to choose just ONE to start with and not move onto developing another habit til both of you are ready.
Let’s review the 14 healthy habits for kids:
Focus on Fruits and Veggies
Eat a Solid Breakfast
Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)
Limit Processed and Fast Food
Walk When and Where You Can
Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed
Get Plenty of Sleep
Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)
Meditate (or Sit in Silence)
Read (or be Read to)
Write (or Draw)
There a limitless ways you can help your children develop these healthy habits for kids.
But, one of the best things you can do for you child is to be the best example you can for your child.
Do what you want them to do.
Talk how you want them to.
Eat what you want them to eat.
Feel how you want them to feel.
Because, believe it or not, your children will take after you, even if slightly, and even if they don’t want to admit it.
Don’t forget to save this on Pinterest to refer to later, and share on Facebook for all of your friends who want to raise healthy kids to see.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: Advice from 25+ Moms
What’s Inside: tips, tricks, and quotes from real moms on how to get kids to eat vegetables, that actually work, even with picky eaters!
Have you ever wondered how to get your child to eat their vegetables?
I’m sure you probably have!
In fact, I’m sure that’s a question all parents end up asking themselves at least once while their kids are little. Between picky eaters and children wanting to test their limits 24/7; it can be hard to imagine how we will ever get past the stage of saying ‘my child won’t eat vegetables‘ whenever we’re asked about their eating habits!
Luckily, you will eventually get past that stage…Hopefully! Some parents will get through it more easily than others, but we all may very well struggle, especially with picky eaters. I know, my oldest is a very picky eater and her younger sister is trying to take after her…
Sometimes you’ll have to be creative and start sneaking veggies in toddler food for your toddlers, or even hiding them in your own food. Because obviously, whatever is on your plate is way better than what’s on your child’s plate, and they insist on eating what you have, even when the same food is on their plate.
I get it, it’s hard sometimes. But, it doesn’t have to continue being a struggle forever!
Check out the amazing advice in the posts and quotes below. Build up your confidence in knowing how to conquer the picky eating and stubbornness that may arise when feeding your kids.
Some of the strategies below may even have you feeling and knowing that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you imagine it to be! So, read on and take our advice, from one mom to another!
If you’re wondering “How can I trick my child into eating vegetables?”
First, know that you’re not alone.
Many parents wonder this, especially with picky eaters in the household.
Don’t feel like a bad parent for wanting to deceive your child, simply to get them to eat their veggies. You’re only thinking of what’s best for them. You want your child to grow up healthy and strong; and that means that you need to do what you can to help or encourage them to eat the food that is best for them, such as veggies.
Find out 12 different types of food you can sneak veggies into (plenty of recipes to try), along with the pros and cons of sneaking veggies into your childs food.
“I like to hide veggies in other foods. My sons has fallen in love with chocolate zucchini bread. It may not be the most healthy thing, but at least I don’t have to wrestle him to the ground to get him to eat it.” ~Brittany from Figuringitout101.com
This post teaches you the important of beets, includes healthy recipes for kids to eat beets, and other fun things you can help your child do with beets to encourage them to enjoy and interact wit them. Including making pink play-doh and more! Perfect for little girls and boys who love the color pink, go check it out here.
This post contains a lot of helpful tips for getting kids to eat their veggies, along with why it is so important. One such tip is making sure your child eats a rainbow everyday. Find out what that means here!
“Make a variety of vegetables in different ways to see what your child likes. Don’t stick with just 4-5 plain vegetables. Spice them up with spices and herbs! Pinterest is amazing for vegetable side dish ideas.” ~Samantha from journeytosahm.com
Check out these amazing tips on how to get your kids to eat more veggies, simply by having fun activities for them to do outside and connect more with nature!
“I was amazed at how enthusiastic my children have been to eat the veggies they’ve grown in their gardens. The planting, tending, and harvesting has gotten them more enthused and engaged with the food on their plate. It can be a real fun process for us all!” ~Jenn
Did your child go from eating all foods ever given to them to being an extremely picky eater? You’re not alone, check out this post with plenty of ideas to help get your toddler eating veggies again after they’ve stopped; from making and buying them play food to growing their own gardens
Make it fun
It’s no fun to force your kids to eat the veggies that are good for them. So, stop making such a fuss about what they eat and start making it fun!
Whether you can make beautiful pictures with food, like on Pinterest (follow me here), or your idea of being creative is turning eating healthy food into a game with incentives; there will always be a way to make eating healthy fun.
Stop stressing over meal time, stay positive, and do the best you can, instead!
Check out the posts and ideas below to see what other moms have done to make eating veggies fun and more enjoyable for their kids, and themselves!
From making fun shapes with their veggies to never giving up, this post is full of practical tips to get your kids to eat veggies. Check it out here.
“My favourite veggie hide is pasta with orange sauce. I started with sauces in jars which they saw me open, didn’t suspect veggies & loved the taste. Now I make a sauce with roasted Mediterranean veggies & lots of tomatoes & blitz it smooth in the food processor ( all done while they are at school/nursery) & they think it’s just another jar sauce.” ~Debbie
This post shows you many different ways to get kids to love eating healthy food, including an app that gives kids an incentive to create healthy habits! The app is suggest for kids no younger than 6. So, if you have children who toddlers, but are picky eaters, check out the app in this post and try it out with your kids. I just downloaded it for my daughter who just turned 6, once she wakes up she’ll get to choose her avatar and get excited about using an app on mommy’s phone!
“We’ve started offering real food exchange for eating real food of bargaining is necessary. For example, they love sweet potato. If they eat all the zucchini, they can have more sweet potato.” ~Brooke from Happysimplemom.com
Sometimes all it takes to get kids to eat veggies is letting them help us make them or trying them in a different way, like raw with dip instead of cooked. Check out 3 more simple tips in this post!
“I would recommend dipping sauces to go with vegetables, like hummus or a yogurt-based dressing. It gives the vegetables extra flavor.” ~Joyce Felix at Celebrate Moms Forever (celebratemomsforever.com)
Start as early as possible and get them talking about food
I may have started my girls eating home made baby food earlier than other parents. At three months old, I started my girls on home made rice cereal to help keep them full and sleeping just a tad bit longer. Then came the fruits and veggies! The first foods they tried are still their favorites; bananas and avocados.
Starting your kids eating fresh, whole foods, such as fruits and veggies, and encouraging them from the time they begin to eat will do wonders for helping them eat healthy later in life.
However, don’t feel bad if you didn’t make home made baby food from fresh fruits and veggies a priority when your kids were infants. NOW is the best time to start getting your kids to eat the best they can, which includes eating plenty of veggies.
There’s different tactics you can use to get your kids to eat veggies once they start to talk. Find out how to talk about veggies to encourage your children to eat more of them, and other tactics to influence your childs behavior towards vegetables in the posts below!
With the understanding that most kids are picky eaters, this post goes into saying that we have a lot of influence over our children’s eating habits. Check out the 6 tips inside to help your picky eater eat a variety of foods, such as talking about how the food tastes instead of just having your child say it’s ‘yucky’. Read the other 5 tips here.
“I ask my older one (5-year-old) to describe in every detail what he doesn’t like about the veggie. What does it taste like? Why don’t you like it? etc etc. And we compare the veggie to funny things too. It usually makes him try it a few more times to get the right words out and then he’s fine eating it the next time. ” ~Lakshmi
From starting babies off the right way with eating food to providing 7 more ways to get toddlers to eat their veggies; this post has quite a bit to offer if you’re truly struggling getting enough nutrients from veggies into your kids. Plus, she states how she was able to raise a less picky than usual toddler than most other parents claim to have! Check it out here.
“I’ve given them the same food I cook for us every tome since they were little . No Mac and cheese , no special kids food. They eat what we eat . I don’t treat veggies like they’re some kind of special food and this loosens up the tension around them . My daughters eat everything, even salad. Just keep trying new things, even if you don’t like it yourself . I used to hate broccoli but then I realized my kids would miss out on it because of me . So I started cooking it and now I love it!” ~ Delia Cantoriu from delia-in-a-nutshell.com
Sometimes It’s as simple as having veggies and dips available
Instead of thinking “what vegetables can I add to kids meals?”
Start thinking about what dips or sauces you can add to veggies to help make them more enticing for your little ones!
This could be anything from different dressings to smothering them in peanut butter.
Just make sure that there are always fresh and washed vegetables available to your children and in eye level for them in the fridge so it’s the first thing they see!
Check out other tips and tricks from more moms below.
From pureeing veggies and adding them to sauce to making sure they are ready to eat soon after being bought: those are just two of the seven ways to add veggies into yours and your childs diet recommended in this post. It’s meant to help us as adults get veggies into our diets. But, most of these ideas will work for picky eater kids, as well! Check out the rest of the tips here.
“I use vegetable pasta with sauce and then give veggies on the side. The more you serve vegetables the better your chances of them trying them and liking them. It takes at least 20 times before you will get your little one to eat them. Also I put cheese on them which makes them taste better.” ~Cheree from homemademoma.com
Learn 3 simple tricks to get your kids to eat veggies, simply by how it’s prepared! Such as covering it in peanut butter, my oldest daughters favorite thing to do with everything.
“Cauliflower everything! My little guy will down an entire batch of caulitots! Or zucchini fries! If you make veggies into foods they already love you’ll definitely get a win!”
~Mandis from everydayemerson.com
If NOTHING seems to be working: Lean on Psychology
This is where my bachelors in psychology comes in, haha, or not.
Most of the tips below are simply common sense. Such as making sure you’re not overstimulating and producing anxiety when trying to get your kids to eat vegetables.
Or, using reverse psychology, making your child think you don’t want them to eat it, just so they will eat their veggies.
Don’t overlook using simple psychology facts to help you get your kids to eat their veggies, but don’t overuse reverse psychology so much that your kids always try to do the opposite of what you tell them to do!
Get more tips and tricks to get veggies into your kids below.
If getting your child to eat veggies so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start; check out the 3 very simple, yet overlooked tips in this post that come from the basics of psychology. They may even have you thinking, ‘well, why didn’t I think of that’! Check out the post here.
“Introduce them early in the weaning process. We used to do a bit of puree and baby led weaning. I’d offer most veggies as soft finger food and I think this has helped my son love veggies now. He will pretty much try and eat most vegetables – age 5.” ~Emma from eandbmaketea.com
Learn one simple trick to get your kids to eat veggies! It may only work half the time, but half the time is better than not at all. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my 2 year old eating a salad above. You can get your kids to eat salad, too!)
“There was some research a few years ago. They found that stickers worked really well as an incentive for kids to eat their veggies. Sweets or dessert don’t work.” ~Eline
From keeping different foods separate to reverse psychology, I’ve used most of these tips before with my picky eaters, and they tend to work more often than not. Check them out here.
“We offered vegetables from the beginning and at almost every meal. We eat them in front of her. We celebrate them and cook a variety, with different cooking methods.” ~Megan from Howwemom.com
Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a huge struggle for most parents. But, it doesn’t have to be.
It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding your baby for the first few times, trying to get a stubborn and independent toddler to eat what you want them to, or trying to instill good eating habits in your older children.
With the advice from 25+ moms in this post, and more tips than I care to count within this and all the posts included, you’re sure to find at least one way for how to get your child to eat to eat their veggies that will help you, even if just temporarily. You know, until they get out of the picky eating phase they’re currently in.
Know that encouraging your kids to eat their veggies in a positive manner, and using the tips and tricks above; will help you much more than trying to fight with your kids about it or force them to eat veggies at every meal.
What is your favorite way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Share in the comments below. And, don’t forget to share this post with other moms having trouble getting their kids to eat their veggies!
Curious what six year old girls are into this year?
That’s what I thought.
Just so happens, I have a six year old girl and she was not shy, not even for a moment, to tell me EVERYTHING she wanted for Christmas. We went on Amazon and looked around…I don’t think that there were 5 seconds that went by without her saying she wanted something. It can be too easy sometimes to get our kids to tell us what they want for Christmas.
The tough part is sticking to our Christmas spending limit and getting the toys that they will cherish all year long, not just Christmas day.
There are tons of toys that they will point out to you, especially at six years old, but most may be chintzy, or toys that will be forgotten or easily broken. And, sure, you could buy them a ton of chintzy, breakable, and forgettable toys for them for Christmas and stay in budget. Or, you could get them less toys, that may be a bit more expensive, but completely worth it.
This year, for my six year old girl, I’m opting for toys that she will cherish and care for and that she actually wants.
To make sure this list doesn’t get too long, I put a limit of the 10 best presents that any six year old girl would love to get for Christmas! Starting with her favorite toys she got from her birthday last week.
These tiny American Girl Dolls, which are cheaper than regular American Girl Dolls, are wonderful for mature 6 year old girls. My daughter just turned six and received the one above as a birthday present, she LOVES it. She treats it like her own little girl, plays with her, bakes cookies in her easy bake oven with her, and even tries to read to her. It’s so cute. I’m sure your daughter would love one, too! Check out all the dolls here.
If your daughter loves to bake with you, is capable of being patient, and willing to let you help when needed; then she’ll LOVE an easy bake oven for Christmas! It does suggest your child is 8 before using this, so adult supervision will be required. But a mature 6 year can absolutely use this as long as they can follow your direction, and of course, have patience. Get it here!
If you daughter has an imagination and loves serving you ‘coffee’, then she’ll love this little cafe. My six year old has been playing ‘cafe’ or ‘bakery’ on and off for the whole past year, with no end in site. She’s made signs to put on her door letting us know that her little cafe is open 24/7. She’s made a ‘menu’, where she drew out everything that she serves, including my blueberry muffins and healthy chocolate chip cookies that she loves so much. Honestly, I would’ve been surprised if she hadn’tfound this online!
Sometimes six year olds’ just want to enjoy their baby dolls and pretend they’re mommies. Both of my girls do this; they treat their dolls like they’re alive and helpless little babies that need their mommy to take care of them. This is the one my six year old likes, and this is the one my almost three year old wants! You can’t go wrong with baby dolls at this age, especially if they’re made in the image of their favorite Disney Princesses.
Books are always a great present to give children for Christmas. Sure, it may not be the most exciting thing, but watching the excitement on my daughters face as she’s starting to be able to read to me; it’s priceless! So, whether you buy them books to wrap up under the tree, or stick them in their stocking when being ‘Santa’, I hope you can experience the excitement on your childs face as they are learning to read.
And, of course, they’re going to want a place to read their new books…in peace and quiet. What better place than their own little tent! My daughter actually got this as a present last year for Christmas, but still uses it as often as possible. She loves to play with her dolls in it and even shares with her little sister. If she didn’t already have it, she told me she would put it on her Christmas list this year! Help your little girl feel like a little princess, like my daughter does, with this tent.
With this being your childs first or second year of school, they may start asking you for a desk. Why not get them a table and chair set instead, so they can use it for more than just homework. And, yes, some kids get homework in Kindergarten; my daughters homework is called ‘home fun’, which I thought was adorable and helps with her wanting to do it every night! This table and chair set would be perfect for her. She can use it to set up in her ‘cafe’, take the middle section out of the table and push her small cafe toys in it, and then focus on her homework. Or, use the middle section, with the net under it, to help keep a few of her school supplies hidden from her sister. (Not sure how that would last, haha.)
Of course, for any six year old girl who wants to open her own cafe, or simply play tea party; this will be the perfect gift! It’s quite affordable, as well. This will probably be what get’s tucked away in the net under the table above when it’s ‘home fun’ time!
I was always against the idea of my little girls getting Barbie dolls, because of the social standards (and body type) that they portray of girls and women that are impossible to live up to. Luckily, with the introduction of their show on Netflix, they’ve introduced new dolls with different body types, and personality types that aren’t ‘perfect’. My 6 year old did not leave this classic girl doll off her Christmas wish list this year.
Give them something they will treasure for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t matter if your 6 year old has tons of jewelry, or none, they’ll still appreciate this musical jewelry box to help keep their treasured possessions safe. Plus, by this age, they should be able to keep this in good condition for years to come!
Being 6 at Christmas time is a special year; they still believe in Santa and love their baby dolls with no shame (and should never feel shame for playing with dolls). However, I feel your struggle with trying to figure out what to get for little girls at this age. They’re still pretty little, but they are also growing up and wanting to act like a ‘big girl’. Which is why there are toys on this list that are suitable to younger girls, and ones that older girls would love as well. A happy medium, if you may.
Use this gift list, that my 6 year old helped me create, as a guide for buying for the six year old girl in your life!
The Best Christmas Movies for Families to Enjoy Together
Christmas is a time to be together with family and friends, enjoying the little moments, get together’s and all the good food! Sometimes we may lose that feeling of together-ness and lose the magic of Christmas as we grow up and start having families of our own. We get swept up with the spirit of spending money, not holiday cheer. We start to think that the magic of Christmas is just for the kids. This is where the best Christmas movies for families come in!
Do you remember when you were little and still remembered in Santa Clause?
Or, even when you were a bit older, but still left cookies out for ‘Santa’ so that ‘he’ would still bring you everything you wished for Christmas?
Who doesn’t remember watching the Grinch before, or on Christmas? Whether you enjoy the cartoon with your kids, or prefer the live action film; I’m sure this movie will help you get your holiday cheer back, just as Cindy Lou Who helps the Grinch. The Jim Carry version is one of the best Christmas movies for families!
Remember singing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer song in elementary school, or maybe even playing the music to it in the school band? Ok, maybe that’s just me. But, I’m sure you watched this movie as a kid; bring it back to life, inspired your children, and teach them not only about the holidays but also how it’s good to be a little different!
Just try looking at, or thinking about, Frosty the snowman and not start singing his song! It’s a tune very hard to forget and may just be stuck in your head all season long! Now it’s your turn to get it stuck in your children’s head and enjoy watching their faces light up with the magic in this classic movie.
A story about a little boy about to stop believing in Santa Clause climbs aboard a magical train to the North Pole to be given the chance to never forget that it indeed does exist! It may not make you believe in Santa again, but with the beautiful artwork in this film; you and your kids will end up adoring this masterpiece.
Another classic movie…that my husband has us watch anytime of the year. Centered around parents accidentally losing one of their kids in a crazy rush to get to their chosen Christmas vacation destination. Everyone will have a good laugh at these movies and how brilliant this child is when ‘home alone’!
You simply can’t have Christmas without watching these movies! And now, there’s no excuse to not get these movies; with the Disney Movie club you can get 4 movies for $1 as a new member! Click above to buy on Amazon, or click here to sign up for the Disney Movie Club and get it for much cheaper!
Curious George: Holiday
Don’t forget to grab these Curious George movies for you little ones! My two little girls love these movies and would honestly watch them over and over and over again, if I would let them!
Don’t leave this page without knowing which movies you’ll watch with your kids this year, and invest in a more together-ness time of year by getting a Christmas movie you don’t already have but know your kids would love!
Head over to Amazon or join the Disney Movie Club and bring the magic of your childhood Christmas back with all your favorites! And, have fun creating new memories with old traditions that your whole family would enjoy!
So, the New Year is right around the corner and I don’t know about you; but I need a kick in the butt right now to find my self discipline!
At the beginning of last year I had a ton of self discipline, and possibly encouraged it in those around me as well. I was working full time outside the home, in a call center and with horrible hours (3pm to midnight). But, I wanted to get in shape. So, I joined a gym and, with a friend from work, went to that gym as often as we could; after we got out of work. I lived about an hour away from work, so on nights I went to the gym, I wouldn’t get home til around two in the morning.
Now, as a stay at home mom, and a basically structure-less schedule; I feel like I have less time and less self discipline.
My motivation and discipline to try to stay in shape withered away as the months did this year. And, every once in awhile I would try again; working out at home. Trying to do what I can to work out, whether it be giving my daughters piggy back rides or putting on a work out dvd.
But, these last few months have been the hardest. I don’t know if you are feeling this way as well, but I feel the closer it is to the end of the year; the less self discipline I have, maybe even in hopes that it’ll magically appear again at New Year’s.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave things up to chance. So, let’s go through a few steps to get our self discipline back now, and not just wait for the New Year.
Step One: What’s Holding You Back?
The first step to gaining our self discipline back is figuring out how or why we lost it in the first place.
For myself, this past year has been pretty chaotic and some pretty big life events occurred that flipped my life upside down. To quickly explain; my family and I moved from one coast of the U.S. to the other and I went from working full time at a call center to being a stay at home mom for my two children.
And, I could spit out about 5 or so other excuses as to why my self discipline has been drained from me this past year; along with why I’ve been lacking motivation. But, that’s simply another thing that has been holding me back; excuses. And, I have a good feeling that you have quite a few excuses holding you back, as well.
We need to dig through those excuses and find our way out of them. I’ve heard that a good way to stop making excuses is to stop saying “I can’t do this because..” and start phrasing it “It’s not important to me”. This little psychological trick is really useful. Let’s try it out.
Now, I try to find the time to workout and exercise, but “I can’t find the time because… I have two very demanding children who don’t give me the time of day to do anything I want”.
Instead of saying that last sentence, I need to find a way through my excuse of feeling like I don’t have enough time; so I should be saying;
Now, I try to find the time to workout and exercise, but “it’s not important to me.”
With wording it this way, I think to myself how untrue that sentence is. Getting in enough exercise is important to me, so I need to start treating it like it is. Instead of trying to find the time, I need to make the time.
Now, you go ahead and try this exercise. See how much of an impact it can really make on you and your habits!
Step Two: Set Goals
The next step in getting a hold of your self discipline is to find out what you actually want to accomplish by using it.
Do you want to eat healthy, get fit, become a better parent, or something else?
It’s important to know what you want to do when you gain your self discipline back, and to actually set goals. Without goals and expectations, we can lose our motivation and self discipline pretty quickly; because, what’s the point. What’s the point of having self discipline if we’re not trying to get somewhere in our life with it. There needs to be an end goal, and then more goals after that; to keep us going, to keep pushing ourselves to be better, and to keep our self discipline strong.
I’m the type of person who thrives on goals and having deadlines; it’s what kept me going through out college. It’s also what kept me motivated my last year of college when I gave birth to my first daughter during the fall semester and stayed strong and kept my grades up the entire year to graduate on time and not even skip a beat. (All while pumping bottles, making homemade baby food, and learning to care for a helpless newborn.)
Unfortunately, what I need my self discipline for now isn’t given a deadline or a specific desired result from a professor, or even another person. The deadline, the goal, and the desired result has to come from me, and your’s has to come from you. We create what we want for ourselves. And, if we don’t, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
So, set your goals. Give yourself deadlines. And, be a little realistic with what can get done by the deadline. We do, after all, have quite a bit of responsibility. But, then again, don’t be too easy on yourself; you have to push yourself to get better.
Remember, a diamond is made under pressure.
Step Three: Schedule It
The third step is to schedule in the activities, or tasks, that need to be completed for you to reach your goal. As silly as it may sound, I’m serious. Go ahead, grab your planner, or the calendar on your phone, and schedule in what needs to get done. Don’t blow this step off, and don’t blow off your schedule.
If you want to become fit; schedule in time to exercise everyday, or at least a couple days a week. If you want to eat healthier; schedule in time to meal plan and meal prep so you can actually stick with it. If you want to start becoming a better parent; schedule in time to spend time with each child individually, or time to come up with ways to handle difficult situations. (That way, when the difficult situation with your child arises, you’ll already know what to do and you won’t simply react to their behavior.)
Depending on what your goal is, will determine how much time your need to dedicate to accomplish it. It could be 2 hours once a week, or 2 hours a day. It’s up to you.
Step Four: Do it
Once you schedule what needs to get done; do it.
There’s no way around this one. This step is what strengthens our self discipline.
The more you stick to your schedule and do what you planned in the last step; the stronger your self discipline will become, and the closer to your goal you will get!!
This is not the step to slack off in. You slack here and you will know it, and you will probably become disappointed in yourself. This is the time to rid yourself of all of those excuses. Excuses can not exist when you get this far. If they try to peek out at you, find a way to not let them.
You have kids and you don’t think that they will leave you alone for enough time to reach your goals; include them.
Include them and help them find their self discipline if they’re old enough. If they aren’t old enough to understand that, then include them by letting them exercise with you, or meal plan/ prep with you. Can’t get to the gym because you have kids; have a dance party with them for half an hour. (Chances are you’ll have twice as much fun and burn almost, if not more, calories. It’s a win-win.)
Step Five: Be patient and don’t lose motivation!
Sometimes goals don’t get accomplished as soon as we would wish, and not from lack of trying or effort, but from something else out of our control. Maybe we wanted to be able to fit into one of our Christmas dresses that we bought a few years ago, and we don’t fit in it by Christmas, or New Years. We shouldn’t lose hope, and we shouldn’t lose our motivation or self discipline because of this. In fact, we should use this set back to strengthen our self discipline and maybe even work harder.
We can’t always control how, or where, our body loses weight or gains muscle. A lot of that is dependent on genetics, completely out of our control. But, if we continue to work hard, be patient, and accept ourselves; then we can finally get to our goals, or get to know our bodies well enough to know what a realistic, and healthy, goal would be for ourselves.
This step is so important for many other goals that require self discipline, as well.
Think of becoming a better parent; if you’re a parent then you already know how patient you might have to be, and not just with your kids, but with yourself, too.
Or, say your goal is to finally keep your home clean. Not only do you have to reign in your self discipline, but you also have to encourage everyone else in your home to have some discipline, as well. This requires you to be on the top of your game when it comes to picking up after yourself, enough grace to go around, and patience for when you have to constantly repeat yourself to get your children to take care of their toys that they brought out of the play room…again, too. (Or, for getting your husband to put his dirty clothes in the hamper…not on the floor next to it.)
Step Six: Reap the rewards
Finally, after losing the excuses, setting goals, scheduling goal smashing activities/ tasks, actually completing those tasks, and being patient with yourself; you can finally start reaping the rewards of your hard work and self discipline. Depending on your goals, this may take days, weeks, months, or even a few years. However long it takes, you should be proud of yourself for actually sticking with it to the end.
Use this motivation of completing your goal to encourage more goals to sprout up and strengthen your self discipline. Don’t let these rewards slip, either. Many things that require your discipline to accomplish can quickly disappear if you stop working at them. If you work at them long enough, though, they will become habits and you won’t even have to think about them anymore. What needs to get done to keep your hard earned results in place will just become a part of your life, your everyday routine.
These steps can work with any goal you have in mind; the overall goal of this step by step guide is to help you find and strengthen your self discipline so you can accomplish whatever goal you decide on!
You know, just before Thanksgiving and all of the Holiday sales…and shopping…and baking…and cooking…and decorating…and so on and so on.
There is a lot to do in these last 6 weeks of the year.
All the parties or dinners to attend. Or, fancy holiday meals to make and shopping to do.
However you spend the last month and a half of the year; I’m sure it’s a bit stressful (or, in other words, completely overwhelming)!
Luckily, you’re not alone!!
Well, not luckily, because it sucks being stressed out during this time of year.
Can’t we all just be like those people we see in movies where they have everything figured out and perfected, or at least make it look that way. (Like the woman in the movie What to Expect When You’re Expectingwho had twins at the end. You know, the one wearing high heels through out her entire pregnancy, and was referred to as a magical pregnant unicorn, and delivered her babies by sneezing. Wouldn’t we all have loved to have had that happened!)
I’m right there alongside you; the pressure of the holidays on my shoulders.
Not only do we have to worry about what we have to do and where we have to be; there’s also the added stress of all the money we’re supposed to spend. This is completely overwhelming to those of us living paycheck to paycheck.
Where are we to come up with this extra money for gifts, food, and everything else?
Relax a sec, ok?
Easier said than done, I know, right?
Before your head goes into a spiral of despair; wondering ‘how this’, ‘when that’, ‘what do they want’, and ‘how much’. Take a breath and a few sips of water. How old are you again? You’ve gone through that many holiday seasons and you’re still intact!
So what if you can’t get your kids as many toys or games as they want. In all honesty, how long are they even going to enjoy them?
Let me tell you a little secret; when you’re kids are young like mine are, they don’t really care how many toys they get. And, they don’t have a good understanding of money and prices yet, either. So, you don’t have to get them the best, most expensive toys for their age group just because everyone else is doing it.
Isn’t that a nice thought! Just relax. You’ll be fine. You always are! But, just in case you need some extra help this season when you’re overly stressed; remember to be thankful for the seven things below.
1. The Smell of Your Coffee…
If you’re a coffee drinker then you understand.
It’s like aromatherapy. Just something about the smell of coffee is calming, even though drinking it supposedly has the opposite effect. (I don’t know if I’m strange or not, but I seem to think I need coffee to calm down when I’m stressed.)
But, when you have a nice warm cup of coffee with your favorite creamer added to it; it’s like cuddling up to a super soft and warm blanket that you can drink.
Don’t ever overlook this relaxation tip and the many benefits it has, such as reducing stress, calming nerves, and helping you become mentally prepared for the next task at hand!
2. Know This Time and Stress Will Pass
You know, you’ve been through this year after year; the holiday season comes and goes each of those years.
This can be sad, yes- if you’d rather the whole year be like the holidays because it’s such a wonderful time. But, I for one, am glad it’s only here for about 2 months at the end of the year. It gives us something to look forward to and prepare for.
Plus, who could afford to have the holidays all year round. Not only because of the gifts; but the food.
The food alone can set you back financially if the holidays are all year round. People would probably go into debt because of it; not to mention, our country would become even more obese if we ate all year what we do during the holidays.
So, be thankful that this holiday season does eventually end. And, when it ends, the stress that comes with it ends, as well!
3. The Fact That You’re Surrounded By Others
Sure, life may be a bit stressful this time of year. And, it may be exponentially more stressful based on the number of wonderful people you have let into your life.
The more people you have in your life the more events and holiday parties and get together’s you have. The more presents you need to buy, and the more time shopping, cooking, and baking you may have to do.
But, remember that they are wonderful people; people who are there for you and appreciate what you do (even if they don’t show it- like our kids).
They make the stress of this holiday season worth it. You get to light up their world just as they do for you.
This is the time you get to basically say ‘thank you’ to them for being in your life and making an impact. This is a big deal; to celebrate the holidays and the year you’ve had. That is why you can be so stressed out, but also know that it’s so worth it, at the same time!
You know this is true!! If you make them, then you have to try them to make sure they’re good, right?
It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of times you’ve made them before; they need to be taste tested!
At least for me, they do. But that may be more so because if I don’t get any right then and there, there’s a chance I may not get any at all. Plus, I’m not going to put all that effort and time into making something and not eat them fresh out of the oven.
And, I know, it’s not good to eat as a way to reduce stress (it does help, though). But hey, it’s the holidays and calories don’t count as much this time of year, right? That’s what I was taught growing up, at least for all the cookies and special holiday food.
5. The Smile on Other’s Faces
If you have ever seen a child’s face on Christmas morning when they first see their Christmas stockings and presents; then you’ll know that everything you did to prepare for this day was worth it. It’s completely priceless.
Remember this the next time you feel so overwhelmed and want to just quit, or give up. Motivate yourself by imagining how happy they will be, or how much you’ll enjoy relaxing when you’re at those get together’s you helped put on; or relaxing when this season is over!
As human beings, or mother’s to be exact, something makes us so happy (and almost relieved) when we see other people smiles. This is especially true when they smile because of something we did for them, even if we did it long ago and it’s finally coming to light. (Like teaching our kids to be appreciative of what they get, or not compare their presents with their siblings and then get upset.)
6. You Have the POWER
So, all I can think of now is the song from the newest Power Rangers Movie. (I’ve got the Power) And, what I mean by this is that you have the power to choose how stressed you get this holiday season.
Sure, things will happen that you have no control over; plans will be made and so will expectations.
If you have too much on your plate and you know it; you have the power (and the option!) to say no.
You have the power to respond to what happens and choose the best route possible. And you should respond to what comes your way; don’t just react to what happens.
If you hate going over to so and so’s home for get together’s because it’s drama filled and uncomfortable; tell them no. Don’t make up an excuse as to why you can’t go; they can always try to accommodate for the excuse you make up. Just say no; that you’re not going this year.
If every year you make everyone you work with cookies for the holidays and this year you have so much to do that you physically cannot make extra cookies, then don’t. Choose to not drive yourself crazy with stress this year.
7. That Funny Video Your Husband Showed You
We all love facebook and youtube, right?
There’s so many funny memes, pictures, and videos. Once in awhile when my husband finds one that’s hilarious, he’ll show me; he just can’t keep them to himself, and I’m glad! Usually the video is about how little kids are, or have you seen the one yet where the husband pretends to act like he’s the kid and the wife is the parent (of course it’d be that way, us mom’s always have to be the responsible ones.)
I’m telling you this because it’s important to have a good laugh every once in awhile. It reduces stress and can even help you clear your mind for a few moments. This is truly important for this time of year; you need to enjoy this holiday season, not just plan and prepare for it.
Everything will be Alright
Like I said above, you have done this holiday thing for enough years, and you always get through it, hopefully in more or less one piece.
This stress that you’re experiencing is only temporary. Hold on to these little things to remind yourself it’s all worth it, and to lighten the mood when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Remember this is a time to celebrate with those you choose to surround yourself with, and you have the power in you to say no to something if you’re already juggling too many things. Other’s will understand; you can’t do everything. In some circumstances stress can be a good thing; something to help you get your butt in gear and get moving. Just don’t do so much you’re overwhelmed or get burned out. There’s no need for that.
Enjoy your holiday season, and make sure you share these holiday stress relief tips with anyone you may know who needs a little reminder to enjoy life a little more instead of planning for it!