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Motivating your family to follow a healthy lifestyle isn’t always an easy task. It takes perseverance, a little bit of extra work and consistency on one’s own part. For our latest Voice of Moms blog, we spoke to Moina, a brilliant blogger and Mom, on how she has worked to establish a healthy routine for her own family. Filled with simple tips and accounts of everyday challenges that we’re sure you’ll relate to, this one’s a must-read for us all.
Meet Moina, a mom to two sweet girls and a fabulous blogger. Originally from Mumbai, she now lives with her family in Chennai and blogs full-time on topics like health and fun family activities, at her blog www.mommymojo.in. Read on for our full interview with Moina.
Q. Thanks so much for talking to us, Moina. Have you always been a health-conscious person? Or did things change a little after you had children?
Ans. I grew up in a family that loves food - unhealthy food! And I got married to a guy who loves trying different kinds of food. The way to his heart is really through his stomach. On the other hand, my mother-in-law is a health-conscious person owing to certain health problems in our family, and thus, as a young mom, I too am rather conscious of my family’s health and hygiene. After we had our children, my husband and I have taken big steps towards mindful eating and fitness. We’ve always made sure we engage in some kind of work-out and as far as meals are concerned, we eat healthy during the week, and indulge in different cuisines on weekends.
Q. What are some ways in which you set a healthy example for your kids to follow?
Ans. Like I said, we indulge in sweets and desserts only on weekends. My daughter, who is now four, is a foodie too. She loves her candy. So, we have a rule that we eat candy only on Sundays. She waits eagerly for her Sunday so that she can have her sweets. On any other days, even if someone gives her a candy, she gives it to me and asks me to save it in the fridge for Sunday.
Q. Can you share your 5 basic rules for building a healthy lifestyle for the whole family?
No eating anything off the floor and no eating without washing your hands. 😊
Sweets spoil our teeth so we must brush our teeth well before going to bed.
Say a prayer before sleeping.
Sweets only on Sundays.
TV only on Saturdays because too much television can affect eyesight.
Q. Do you make a weekly meal plan for the family? If yes, can you share some tips.
Ans. Yes. We have a light vegetarian meal on Mondays because we eat out on Sunday. We try to maintain a balance between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food during the week. My tip would be to keep it clean on Mondays, almost like a detox day.
Q. What are your main do’s and don’ts when it comes to food?
Use virgin olive oil. Don’t use used oil.
Eat fresh meat, not frozen.
Eat freshly-cooked veggies and not out of the fridge.
Control your portions.
Q. As a family, what are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
Ans. When the weather is good, we go for a walk to the park or to the mall. The heat in Chennai can be unbearable at times, so we don’t get out too much during summer. We end up going to play centers instead.
Q. How do you make sure the whole family gets enough exercise?
Ans. My husband and I follow an exercise routine. I work-out at home using YouTube. When I do this, my daughter often joins me, making it even more fun!
Q. What are the greatest health challenges you’ve faced within your family (if any), and how did you deal with them?
Ans. Our forefathers have been unhealthy eaters, so we as a young generation have learnt to follow a more balanced lifestyle.
Q. Can you name any 3 habits that your children have that you wish you could change?
Ans. I wish my daughter would
Be less persistent when it comes to eating sweets.
Wash her hands and legs whenever she comes home.
Wipe her toys and keep them clean.
Q. Can you share some simple everyday health tips that Moms can easily follow?
Ans. Walk the talk - demonstrating healthy habits is the only way we can teach our children. Talk and read to them often about the importance of following healthy habits. Include them in activities like chopping food and let them watch you cook food, especially vegetables, so that they understand food better and hopefully enjoy it better.
Moms, what are some of the ways in which you encourage your loved ones to follow healthy habits? We’d love to hear from you!