* This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
It’s holiday time, and that means that it can be easy to overindulge- not only for me, but for my kids as well. It’s so important for us to remember to eat healthy when ever we can, and keep up our good habits! It’s also why we are excited to support the 4-H Food Smart Families, which works to empower youth and their families by equipping them with the knowledge to make healthy living part of their every day lives. They do those through nutrition education, and teaching cooking and food budgeting skills. This is important for many families that this amazing 4-H program targets – many are on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and/or WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), and there are nearly 16 million children that live in households that are food insecure, which means they don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.
For me, I am incredibly fortunate in that I can provide for my children, but we DEFINITELY still work on healthy habits and budgeting, so if you are like us, your family can take a few lessons from the 4-H Food Smart Families program as well, especially during the holidays. For me, it’s super important that I teach my girls how to cook. I knew how to cook a little, but I think I have had been given better lessons and more education on eating whole, healthy foods when I was younger, I would have a far better diet. So I encourage my kids to get in the kitchen and cook – even if they feel like they “mess it up”.
I try to provide fresh, healthy ingredients and let them get creative. It’s a huge help for me around the house as a single mom, and I hope that it’s help preparing my girls to live on their own, and cook and live in the healthiest lifestyle they can. And they come up with some pretty great creations all year round!
Meal planning and budgeting is also super important for our family around the holiday season. My budget is already strapped with Christmas presents, bigger meals, donations, etc. The more planning and budgeting we can do for our every day eating, the better off we are. It can be so easy on days filled with holiday school or work activities, Christmas shopping, and parties to rely on ordering out or fast food, which is detrimental to our wallet AND our waistlines. By taking some advice from the 4-H Food Smart Families program and getting our weekly shopping list and budget in order (hello, coupons!) we go along way to making the holiday season healthier for our bodies and our bank accounts.
The 4-H Food Smart Families program also connects families with nutrition assistance resources in their community. During this holiday time, we really encourage you to support your local community resources for the less fortunate, as well as the 4-H Food Smart Family program, which ha a goal of expanding across the entire 4-H extension network in every county across the country. Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states, so they are well on the way to their goal!
What steps do you take during the holiday season to keep your family on the right road to healthy? What community organizations do you support in your community during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments!