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The 7 Simple Keys To Building A Healthy Family

Have you ever been on TV? It’s really exciting because you get an opportunity to share your message with a broader audience. You get ready to give your very best and it goes by so fast!

I was recently interviewed by the beautiful Cheri Duckworth of Joy in Our Town, KDTX TV- 58 (Joy in Our Town) about maintaining healthy family lifestyles. Every time I get interviewed at TBN Dallas it is such a blessing to me, so I naturally want to pay it forward.

The 7 simple keys to building a healthy family

Cheri asked me 7 questions that I answered on the air. I’m sure you will love the Joy in Our Town episode, and here’s a preview to get  you thinking:

What is a healthy family?

I believe that health is a holistic state. A healthy family is one where everyone focuses on keeping each member healthy in mind, body, and soul. What goes in is what comes out, and our outer self is a reflection of our inner self. In my family, besides eating clean, nutritious foods, we strive to read uplifting books, and engage in spiritually enriching activities as often as possible. It’s easier when we are selective and choose events and opportunities that combine all three. For example, family meals can become a purposeful time that begins with prayer, feeds the family wholesome homemade foods, and includes meaningful conversation and teaching moments.

[Tweet “Family meals can become an experience of holistic health for the family. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

How do you keep your family healthy?

I know when we usually talk about being healthy, we talk about proper diet and consistent exercise; however, right along with those health essentials, we must also focus on preventing disease. Hygiene is an essential component of prevention. Little ones can learn these principles in basic ways like using wipes, rubbing their hands together with a sanitizer fluid, picking up toys, and by seeing you use a toothbrush in a fun manner. You walk your way up to teaching other principles of personal care and cleanliness that not only help prevent illness, but also encourage a healthy self-image.

[Tweet “Personal hygiene prevents disease and encourage a healthy self-image in children. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

What are some ways to assure eating the right foods?

A great way to eat right is to read labels and learn together what is in the products we choose to buy, and what would be a poor choice. I also love meal planning and cooking homemade meals and making my kids and my husband a part of the process. It is my experience, as well as that of the moms I mentor, that kids are more excited about eating foods they helped plan and prepare. That’s why cooking and eating together as much as possible (not just at dinner time) is another way of making sure we eat healthy, because most families eat wholesome meals while sitting at the table.

[Tweet “Kids get excited about eating foods they help plan and prepare. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

Your kids love vegetables, how did you do it?

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I read somewhere that introducing veggies first, and then fruit, would train the baby’s palate to like vegetables. I’ve done that with all three of my girls and so far so good, although that is not all I’ve tried.

I think my best strategy was learning exactly what matters to each individually, and using what drives them to introduce how the foods we eat relate to that, or how the foods we eat would create a pleasant result for them. For example, Elisha loved having beautiful “princess” hair and skin, so I told her which vegetables contributed to that, and she became excited about those vegetables; Elyssa loved being smart and powerful, so I pointed out what vegetable were good for memory, clarity, and a healthy brain, and explained how vibrant communication makes us powerful. They have always loved their veggies and are willing to try anything I put on the table because they trust I will feed them (and myself) what will benefit their holistic wellness.

For those times when I’m not the one doing the feeding, they are empowered with the question: “what will this food do to my body?” The power of learning and experiencing these principles for themselves is more influential than anything I can ever do or say.

[Tweet “Teach children, by word and example, to eat based on results, rather than taste”. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

You mentioned exercise – how do we find the time?

I always say “time is not something you find, it’s something you manage.” With that being said, I don’t currently have a gym membership, but I have in the past, and some have child care you can take advantage of. I practice hot yoga while my husband is with the girls and they play together. I take turns bringing them as guest to the classes, which is a very enjoyable mommy-daughter date, too.

I also make sure the girls ride their bikes, go for walks, and play active games. One of my favorite family activities is hula hooping together, too! Exercise is a great investment of your time because it allows you to have more energy, sanity, and productivity in your day.

[Tweet “Time is not something you find, time is something you manage. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

How can one prevent disease?

Make sure hand-washing is part of your family meal ritual. Also, even though I don’t believe in having a spotless perfect house at all times (a home is a LIVING space), disinfecting surfaces is a priority we can focus on. Another way to prevent disease is to supplement vitamins and minerals. In my home, we don’t do capsules because they contain gelatin (made with cow or pig bone marrow), and most mainstream multi-vitamins are not effective in addressing nutritional deficiencies, so we choose an organic, natural, chewable multivitamin supplement with a high level of absorption that contains B12 from Gold Bee nutraceuticals. (which we do need based on our vegan diet).

You can spend time as a family discussing what supplements can work for you and set a daily alarm that will help you remember when to take it, as well as making it a part of another of your daily routines.

What mistakes do you believe parents make around the topic of feeding their children?

We all make mistakes, and they become great we can learn from our own mistakes and those others make, as well. One of the things I have avoided is telling my kids to finish what’s on their plate (instead, they eat until they feel satisfied). Another mistake we can make is not having a solid habit around eating. This means that we must strive to have a consistent meal schedule, to eat together, and to eat at the table.

[Tweet “It’s not about eating a healthy diet, it’s about leading a healthy lifestyle. #elaynaquotes #motivationformoms”]

And lastly, we must learn that it’s not about dieting, but about leading a healthy lifestyle. Your journey toward a healthy family can start with baby steps and small shifts, that will eventually take you far!

I am so grateful to know we enjoy great health as a family. Neither of us have been sick in years, and we enjoy a beautiful bond that makes me fulfilled as a mom. That is a HUGE blessing that comes from small disciplines, such as abstaining from harmful substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco), and being more conscious about the foods we eat, the books we read, the movies we watch, and the songs we listen to.

How do you keep your family healthy? What does a healthy family look like to you? Do you have any simple keys to building a healthy family of your own? Share with me in the comment section below. xo

[ela]

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Dania Santana

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

These are all great tips! We have establish a simple formula of not eating the same every time. That way, if we had a sandwich in the morning, lunch needs to have a different nutrient that is not flour based. As Dominicans, we do roots, plantains, etc. Also, big avocado and cassava fans! In terms of activity, I make sure my kids do some physical activity every day, they love running, so we go to the Gym and they always request going to the track and running a few laps. Health is one of the most important things we can have because it allows us to pursue everything else.

Toughcookiemommy

Tuesday 1st of September 2015

These are great tips for living a healthy life. It's so important for every family.

Pam

Tuesday 1st of September 2015

These are all great tips and quotes. Very inspirational. Our kids are adults but we always tried to encourage activity. They grew up before the major tech explosion so they were not as tempted as today's kids to stay inside. They did have video games but we limited that and actually, they just loved sports and being outside.

Annemarie LeBlanc

Tuesday 1st of September 2015

Visiting your site again, Elayna. I think keeping the family healthy is not only about food. It is also about how we interact and nurture each other too.

Lois Alter Mark

Monday 31st of August 2015

These are such great tips. I think every mom just wants to help keep her family healthy - in every way.