Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's All About Balance (and enter to win $100 Visa GiftCard!)

I'm a fan of moderation.  I've tried drastic diets and exercise and I'm here to announce I prefer a little bit of everything.  My "I'm never eating that again" kicks never last very long.  With my first baby, I tried making all my own baby food and using all natural everything.  I had dreams of raising kids on an all organic diet and my house being chemical free.

Wishful thinking.  Not only did this require a tremendous amount of work, it also required a tremendous amount of money.
 
Every time I left the house with my baby I was encountering foods and drinks I thought about banning forever. We went to houses with Oreo cookies and my mom spoiled us with donuts and treats every time she came to visit.  I realized early on that if my family was going to be out and about, I couldn't restrict everything.  
 
Over the years, moderation has become the key to raising my kids. We want to have fun and be with friends. I want them to enjoy birthday treats. We love dessert after dinner. One can of soda a day is allowed, so is Halloween candy. The trick is to send fruit with the lunch, play outside as a family and encourage participation in clubs and sports.  My kids thrive when they get sleep, get fresh air, and eat a balanced diet.

Everyone does.

I have four kids, one is a teen and one is a preteen. They understand the difference between processed foods and foods that help them grow and stay healthy. All my kids are athletes, and while sports drinks are popular, I encourage water for most of the day. I know water keeps them hydrated, but I tell them it also keeps breath fresh and lips from cracking. I've explained that protein will build muscle and processed, sugary snacks won't give them the energy they need for practice. When I speak in a language my kids understand, they make better choices.

My kids hate winter lips. And no teenager wants bad breath. More importantly, I've explained how many calories can be hidden in certain beverages. This doesn't mean my munchkins can't have them, it just means they know to limit them.  

I'm an advocate for balance. A scale isn't meant to tip in only one direction. My kids play sports, watch television, and play on iPads. I set rules that require them to read and help with chores, and as long as grades are good and the kids are healthy, I'm okay with snacks and video games.
 
I'm just not okay with them all day.  
 
I remember being a preteen and the weight was piling on. I felt awkward and ugly and I was willing to try anything to look like I did pre-puberty. My mother quickly stepped in and explained that one chip wasn't the problem. One cookie wasn't tipping the scale; it was half the package that caused trouble. I needed to learn to eat less junk, not ban anything all together.
 
I'm glad I did. And I'm teaching my family the same. Moderation has made my life easier because I'm not constantly saying no to myself and my kids. I'm saying yes, and teaching them about good choices. Life is much easier when I don't have to fight with little people about eating candy or drinking a soda. I'd rather say yes, educate them about why one or two is enough, and keep living.

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Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi understand that getting a balanced mix of foods, drinks and physical activities for your family isn’t always easy. That’s why they’re coming together for the first time ever to talk to teens about balancing what they eat and drink with what they do. With tools to help teens get active and information to help them think about when they’ve had too much, or maybe when it’s time for a treat—America’s beverage companies are supporting our efforts to find a balanced mix that works for our families.”

To be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card tell us:

What are your tips to keep your family balanced?
 

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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103 comments:

  1. When it comes to achieving a balanced lifestyle for my family, I struggle with finding time in the day to do everything the most. My best tip is to plan things out and stick to a routine.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

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  2. I keep my family balanced by carving out family game night each week to reconnect and have fun.

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  3. tweet https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/532721070198235136

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  4. I try to maintian balance by keeping boxed snack foods out of the house. I try to find healthier snack options to keep on hand instead. :)

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  5. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/joshuasgirl/status/532963771229040640

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  6. We limit junk food and soda.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  7. tweet: https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/532972192271572992

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  8. We try to exercise several times a week and eat lots of veggies! It's hard, though.

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  9. i limit pop in our house

    freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

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  10. My tips for keeping my family balanced in participating in activities together and by making food fun and healthy. I find it when you make food creative the kids eat more, especially when it has veggies.

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  11. Shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/532989004283531264

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  12. We eat a healthy and well-balanced diet but I struggle with getting enough exercise in for the day.
    stoopidgerlart @ gmail . com

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  13. We try to eat together and play together.
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

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  14. My tip is to try to include fruits and veggies with every meal, and to play outside together.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  15. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/533029627917119488
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  16. I agree with practicing moderation. Also we are sure to keep healthy tasty items in the house so we can cook meals and know what is in them (and control the portions) instead of going out or getting take out. We also don't keep sodas in the house.

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  17. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/533030613247590401

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  18. We eat lots of fruits and veggies

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  19. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/533058768649461760

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  20. My tips are to have a schedule and to follow it. If you schedule in time for things like exercise or play or taking the time to prepare a healthier snack, you will find that you have time to do these things rather than just winging it.

    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

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  21. Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/533267940619984896

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  22. I try to limit screen time and include activities that get us moving.

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  23. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/533306749848018944

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  24. We try to be outdoors when we can, spend relaxing time together as a family.

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  25. https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/533373475260342272

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  26. I make homemade meals instead of going out to eat at Fast Food restaurants. We drink a lot of water and stay away from soda. We eat plenty of fruits and veges. We also exercise a lot!

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  27. Tweet entry
    https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/533380202538094592

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  28. My daughters are athletes. I like to start their day with green smoothies. I add yogurt, water, frozen fruit, and baby spinach. It satisfies their sweet tooth and gives them energy.

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  29. My best tip is spending lots of time together and making sure we discuss what has happened in our lives daily
    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  30. tweeted https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/534058446081904640


    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  31. We try our best to keep a well balanced diet including lots of fruits and vegetables. It helps that my three year old son will often pick fruit over candy!

    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  32. https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/534100201209090049
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  33. Keeping a calendar helps keep me on schedule.

    vandenbossche3@hotmail.com

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  34. https://twitter.com/618mom23boys/status/534504777632059392

    vandenbossche3@hotmail.com

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  35. We have always treated fruits as desserts, so they still think of it that way.

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

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  36. My tip to keep my family balanced is to make sure we eat healthy and get enough exercise.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  37. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/534925193819340800

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  38. I try to keep them balanced by feeding them right, getting plenty of rest and letting them know that I love them often. hall490@comcast.net

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  39. My tip for balance is to blend fun activities with necessary work!
    drasylve@hotmail.com

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  40. We try to keep our fridge stocked with healthy foods because I think that the more they surround you, the more you’ll eat them.
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

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  41. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/536366167334457344

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  42. we balance our meals with options of fresh fruit and veggies.

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  43. https://twitter.com/raggammuffin/status/536504499394080768

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  44. we try to eat healthy dinner together as a family and go for a walk after dinner.
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  45. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/536613303930212353
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  46. It sounds like you're doing a great job at helping yourself and your family maintain balance. It's something we have a problem with, in many areas (food and beverage choices, computer time vs. interacting in real life, getting enough sleep, etc.). One tip I have is to remain mindful of what you're doing and the consequences it may have, e.g., staying up to watch The Tonight Show might mean you'll be over tired the next day.

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  47. I tweeted about your blog post and the American Beverage Association promotion:
    https://twitter.com/NotherAnneOther/status/536894748439482368
    Thank you.

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  48. We struggle with getting plenty of time outside, so we have made a point to take evening walks as a family for fresh air and exercise.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

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  49. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/538968076365365249

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

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  50. I try to use clean foods & encourage physical activity.
    thank you

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  51. Tweet https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/539286678016258049

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  52. we find balance by keeping a calendar of all our activities

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  53. Well, it's interesting that this subject is brought up by a soda company. My parents always had cases of coke in our house (I'm so old that I remember bottle) down in New orleans. We don't do that, but sodas aren't banned. We have them at the movies or at the ice rink.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

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  54. I posted a tweet too: https://twitter.com/AnnaZed/status/541409269145280512
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

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  55. Eat healthier snacks, limit junk food, get to bed early.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  56. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/rhoneygee/status/541512695329980417

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  57. remembering to keep God first is the best step in keeping balance in our family pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  58. i tweeted https://twitter.com/thepryfamily2/status/542863297494523904 pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  59. We try to make sure our kids get exercise when possible and eat healthy meals together as a family.

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  60. we try to keep a routine, a certain lunch time, certain nap time.. and I ATTEMPT to get my family to eat veggie, but it never works out the way I want to!!

    vanitizebaby@yahoo.com

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  61. tweet https://twitter.com/MeandBells/status/544607444165353473

    vanitizebaby@yahoo.com

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  62. We focus on drinking mostly water and staying active! truckredford(at)Gmail(Dot)com

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  63. https://twitter.com/eliza_elliott/status/544692193282125825 truckredford(at)Gmail(dot)com

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  64. DON'T PUSH FOR MORE THAN YOUR FAMILY CAN HANDLE, AS LONG AS EVERYONE IS HAPPY THAT'S WHAT MATTERS afjackly@oakland.edu

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  65. https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/544716795819474944 afjackly@oakland.edu

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  66. i try to write out a schedule every week of all the events going on that way we can schedule time together as a family.

    amypugmire@live.com

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  67. https://twitter.com/1amypugmire/status/544749323271942144

    amypugmire@live.com

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  68. We eat right, get enough rest (most of the time) and try not to stress too much.
    bingomamanorma at gmail dot com

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  69. We try to eat a balanced diet!
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  70. My best tip is planning. Planning for daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and a 5-year plan. You can make sure you have balance by trying to keep things as orchestrated as possible, less chaos and missed opportunities, and doing it keeping healthy balance for rest, healthy foods, chores, studying, etc.

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  71. we keep by eat alot of fruit and vegs

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  72. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/545666499881746432

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  73. We ride bikes and we eat at least one meal a day together.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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  74. I try to make sure we eat things in moderation and get exercise.
    sonyadmorris@gmail.com

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  75. Link to tweet:
    https://twitter.com/catholicfanatic/status/546523688082759680
    sonyadmorris@gmail.com

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  76. I think cooking your own meals is a great way to make sure to help maintain balance. As long as the bulk of what you eat is good, natural food, a treat here or there won't throw you off balance.
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

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  77. tweet - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/546538674565808128

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  78. I always encourage healthy snacks. And our kids are also involved in a lot of sports.
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  79. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/546703343293169664
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  80. Plenty of fruits and veggies for snacks and no junk.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  81. Tweeted

    https://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/546851536555745280

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  82. We try and make room in our schedule for physical activity so the body is exercised as much as the mind.

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  83. I highly suggest eating as many meals together throughout the week as possible AT the table with NO electronic devices allowed. We do this for dinner most nights and for all meals on the weekends. It is wonderful and a great way to reconnect!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  84. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/547451455884382210
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  85. Eat balanced meals and try to avoid fast foods except on rare occasions.
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  86. Drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest and try not to sweat the small stuff!

    bingomamanorma at gmail dot com

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  87. I make homemade meals with veggies to keep them balanced
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  88. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/547761418909798400
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  89. we eat healthy meals and try to make exercise a regular activity

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  90. We make homemade meals, drink water and no sodas, try to stay active, and eat all our meals together !
    My email is redaurelie(at)gmail(point)com

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  91. My tweet https://twitter.com/AurelieRed/status/547792569900335104

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  92. make sure to make time for everything from work and school to fun time.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  93. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/547836148999917569

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. We try to exercise several times a week, keep junk food out of the house and eat lots of fruits and veggies

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  95. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/547856940944990208

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  96. I limit after school activities and make sure we eat dinner together as a family with no devices

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  97. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/547893855073226753

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  98. My biggest struggle is finding the time for all of our family activities. So I do my best to manage our schedules so that the kids have enough down time and get enough rest.

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  99. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/547911318930350080

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  100. We make it a point to eat at least 1-2 veggies with each table meal

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  101. https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/547915452869931008

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

Throw in your two cents!