Something happens when you become a parent. No matter how conscious you were before of what you are putting into your body, and your impact on the health of our planet- well, it increases drastically. At least, it did for me and my husband.
For dinner, we didn't always include a vegetable, and we didn't have fruit on our plates daily. Neither one of us struggled with weight or health issues, so we just ate what we wanted to eat, and ate what we liked. We were aware of our habits, and we never ate poorly, but we knew we could do better.
When Caroline entered our world, all of that changed. As Caroline started eating solid foods, we quickly realized that we wanted to make sure we were making good food choices for her, and creating an environment in which she was learning healthy habits. It was easy for us to make this transition. Not only did we want her eating healthy foods, we wanted her to see us eating healthy foods. We want it to be second nature to her as she grows up.
Every meal- breakfast, lunch and dinner, includes fruit. Our grocery bills have increased a lot as a result of buying fresh food, but it is well worth it! Dinner always includes a vegetable, and lunch usually does as well. While Caroline seems to live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, she ends up with very well rounded meals because of the fresh produce addition. And, while lunch might be peanut butter and jelly 99% of the time, dinner is always a focused choice on our end, and it is Caroline's chance to try new things. Just last week we all tried red chard for the first time. While it wasn't a favorite of Caroline's, she knew that our expectation was that she try it. So, it comes of no surprise to me that Caroline loves her fruits, vegetables, and yogurt! She's been eating them since the day she could eat solid foods, and she loves them. It's never been a struggle, because it's something we incorporate daily and have set as a family expectation. She learned to love these foods because we started early, and she sees that we like them as well! If we ever need to bribe with food, we could totally get away with saving fruit for dessert! LOL!
Caroline has always been a yogurt fan! From about 4 months old, to 1.5 years old she ate a Stonyfield yogurt EVERY morning! I think I overdid it, because she needed a break, but now that she's almost 2.5 years old, she's back at her daily yogurts and loving it. Obviously, this is such a good thing to love. Not only does yogurt support good digestive health, we also know we are supporting a clean and environmentally conscious company. As parents, it doesn't get better than a win-win like that!
In addition to the foods we eat, we are simply more conscious of, well- all of the choices we make as parents. We take care of ourselves better. One, to set a good example, and two, so we are around as long as we can be for our daughter. My husband works outside, and he's made the comment to me that he "never goes out without sunscreen now". He's just so much more aware of the fact that he needs to keep himself healthy.
I have struggled with un-diagnosed health concerns for years. After a while, I got discouraged and stopped fighting for answers. Well, in the last year, I fought again. I fought hard to find answers, and I found them. I credit that 100% to my husband's support, and my daughter's existence!
We are now trying to grow our own vegetables, support local farms in our area, we continue to do things like recycle, and be energy conscious (of our usage as well as installing solar panels on our home). And in addition to these things, we love it when we find companies that are environmentally conscious as well.
As a blogger for Stonyfield, I often get introduced to new companies that fit that description. PrAna is one of those companies. They make clothing from sustainable resources. They use recycled material, and organic (pesticide free) materials to make their clothing. They give back to local and international charities. They are a good solid company, so the fact that I really like their clothes as well is again, another win-win! They recently sent me one of their Lizbeth skirts to try (a super comfy, casual skirt with pockets and cute buttons)! This is a skirt that this stay at home mom will totally wear any day, because it is that comfortable.
Anyways, my point here is that there are SO many things that we can do as parents to set a good example when it comes to staying healthy, keeping our environment clean, and supporting companies that do the same. I love the new focus I have now that I am a parent, and I love that it's a natural change that happens when we become parents. I applaud those that do more of this before becoming a parent, because I'll admit my focus was on other things. I was always conscious, but not to the extent that I am now that I am a mom.
If you are interested in getting some prAna clothing (I now have two items and am in love), they are offering a special discount just for MOC readers! The coupon codes are valid from 5/8-5/31 and are good for 15% off an entire purchase at prAna! Use code "WHOLES17MAC" at checkout!
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