Raising Children Naturally
One of the joys of having a larger family is watching the dynamics between the older children and the younger. I love the joy I see on my oldest boys’ faces when they see their youngest brother bounding through a room, looking for someone to chase him. Late night pillow fights and nerf wars – just enjoying goofing around with each other. Not to say there isn’t our fair share of fighting, name calling, and bullying. They’re all human, learning to give and find grace, growing in the understanding that we love unconditionally, even when we are acting unlovable.
This past week the cutest thing was watching my almost 7 year old urge my 3 year old to try a purple onion on our Friday pizza night. Joey was excitedly expressing to Asher how “yummy” it was. Sure enough, the positive vibe was contagious and Asher found himself stealing purple onions off the pizza pan! Such a simple picture of how we can use our words and excitement to share something good with others, encouraging them into trying something healthy that maybe they didn’t think they would like – only to be pleasantly surprised.
The past few months I have decided to take up running again. Being about 20 years since I ran regularly (18 of which were years of child bearing and nursing), easing into a routine has been challenging. Would rather go charging in full speed, reaching my goal as soon as possible; but instead I find myself having to increase slowly, little at a time. Stretching is my new favorite. With lots of work ahead of me, I need to stay limbered up! I have tried all kinds of exercising programs from dancing to cardio to bar, but running is my favorite. Part of real health is taking care of our physical body with exercise that that is not only good for the frame, but also the mind and spirit. While I am out in nature, I can listen to the babbling creek, smell the fresh air, admire the birds above, and feel the worship music on my phone. It’s a great way to reset, reboot, and have a quiet time of worship and communion with our Creator.
Eating on the go is inevitable in today’s world. Compromising our nourishing food, doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy ideas we take with us:
- dried fruit – organic when possible – raisins, figs, dates, apricots are some we love
- crispy nuts – soaked, and dried at a low temp in the oven, sprinkled with salt, or sugar
- homemade soaked granola bars –
- firm fruits – apples, pears (bananas and plums can be a bit messy)
- sliced veggies – carrot and celery sticks are always a favorite
- sliced raw cheeses
- homemade sprouted rolls, crackers, tortillas
- cooked peas – if you have a 1-2 year old, mine always love peas
- homemade cookies
- yogurt in reusable pouches – great for toddlers