We all know how hard it is to get the kids back into a routine after the six weeks summer holiday, especially when we have spoilt them rotten and let them get away with a little more than usual. But I wanted to make a change and break the habit; I didn’t want it to last for a month or two after, like last time. I just wasn’t sure how to. It needed to be a way in which the kids would have fun and where it wouldn’t feel like a chore for us parents, so I put my thinking cap on.
I had been thinking of ways to get the kids involved for ages when I saw the advert for Change 4 Life last year. You could say that it hit home a little. It made me realise how bad we had been over the summer, a lot worse than I originally had thought. I suppose you just don’t realise what bad behaviour you are getting in to until it is right in front of your nose. As a result, I jumped straight onto the website and got all the information and advice I needed, and the great thing about the Change 4 Life was that it offered great easy steps to get started.
First we started thinking about all the fruit and veg we could buy, all the healthy stuff which I knew the kids probably wouldn’t like to start with, and then it hit me. Why not start growing it ourselves? I knew the kids would enjoy it, planting; watering and watching it all grow in the garden, a little project to keep them busy, and I thought it might get them eating it too. Plus I would love it, gardening was my favourite thing to do before the kids, and once they were born I never felt like I had the time. But at the time and the age that they were, I knew it was something that the whole family could enjoy.
One of my children used to be such a fussy eater that he would never eat anything that was green. He used to say it was the colour, “I don’t like green Mummy, green is monster Mummy”. But when we started growing our own veg he soon learnt not to be scared. He understood that green was good and that we liked green, especially the green veg. He loved it so much, and so did my other son. I couldn't believe how easy it was getting them involved and getting them to eat more healthier foods, and not just in their lunch.
So I managed to get my hobby back, get the kids interested in growing and gardening whilst we all ate healthier and enjoyed being healthier. I couldn't have asked for more really, although it would have been better if they hadn’t have worn their muddy wellies in the house.
It was so easy once we knew how, and this year was no different. We have continued with growing as much of our own fruit and veg as possible. It just goes to show a little bit of advice and guidance and you can do anything as long as it’s fun. And now with the new Change 4 Life Smart Restart we have been given even more advice about where to continue with our healthy lifestyle. They suggested we make one more change so to keep the pressure off, and as a family we decided that we would make Super Lunches for the kids. Making their day even healthier, and the kids love it to, they even share their home grown fruit and veg with the other kids in the school. It was a great change that with the help of Change 4 Life we have managed to continue with and we hope we stick to in years to come.
Karen is a keen gardener with a lovely young family who now all enjoy growing all things green.