Healthily Ever After. Wouldn’t that be the perfect goal to head for?
Disney are launching a Healthily Ever After campaign to inspire life-long healthier behaviours in families through story-telling, imagination, fun and play, its hashtag is #HealthilyEverAfter and the video below captures the heart of the message. Click the link above and you’ll go to their amazing site where you can find a ton of ideas for cooking, crafting and playing to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle in your family.
I don’t know about you but since the twins arrived both dad and I have been very attentive with the girls’ health and fitness. From encouraging them as babies to try new tastes, to taxi-ing them around to their various after school clubs week in week out. We hope that by setting standards early on in life, when they are willing to listen to us, we are setting them up for a healthy and satisfying life.
Luckily Disney has helped enormously on this journey as many a character has allowed us to add that little bit more encouragement along the way. We watched Cinderella cooking in the kitchen, so we decided to do some baking and made some Cake Pops.
There was our Ariel moment when we decided to introduce fish into their diet. It worked! The girls are huge fans of my Italian fish stew.
It would be fair to admit that I have pulled each Disney princess into our mealtimes, Belle when we visited France and ate moules mariniere, Jasmin from Aladdin when we tried a hummus dip with carrot sticks and even the Frozen girls Anna and Elsa inspired us to come up with a summertime pudding which we all enjoyed.
Our tricks and tips worked on the whole as the girls will eat a wide range of vegetables and foods. This is great as it means we can sit and eat the same meals together and when we go out to restaurants we aren’t constricted to the very predictable and boring kids menu.
Healthily Ever After
Well it hasn’t always been easy and still today we have moments when we hear, ‘I don’t like that!’ – cue squeaky, moany voice.
As babies, still in their highchairs, the time came to present them with their first ever roast dinner. This is a Sunday favourite for dad and me so it was definitely one we wanted to introduce to them. We were very excited and took extra care in the preparation to make sure all fresh ingredients were used, not too much oil, no extra salt. We wanted this to be perfect.
We chopped it all up into minute bites and presented it on their favourite plates as we all sat down together to eat the classic British Sunday Roast.
Both twins looked at their plates. Alice burst into tears, not quite sure what in the heck’s name had been placed in front of her and Bessie turned her head and tried to swipe the bowl off of the highchair tray. Well caught, dad!
This wasn’t going to plan. I quickly drew up a mouthful of food from my plate, popped it in my mouth and loudly (it was only the four of us) made ‘Mmmmmmm’ noises to dad, ‘Oh try that Dad, it’s delicious!’. Dad got the game and joined in with the same enthusiastic noises. As we worked our way through our meals, remarking on Every Single Mouthful, the girls started eating their food.
Of course it hasn’t always been the case but we have one family rule: You must at least try it once. If you still don’t like it then you are allowed to leave it to one side but on the whole this trick has worked wonders.
We also encourage them to try stronger tastes that we may have chosen off the menu. Alice prefers blander food whereas Bessie often tucks into her dad’s curry and always asks for pepper on her food if dad is putting some on his. Oh and she prefers brown sauce to ketchup!
Play time – getting active
The second part of healthy living is being active and with young children we have found it incredibly easy to encourage. In fact the twins don’t even see it as ‘sport’, they see these activities as playtime. We have scooters, bikes, roller skates and of course Baxter to walk. We have skipping ropes, balls and all kinds of other games that make you move.
For after school clubs, the twins have swimming on a Monday, Brownies on a Tuesday, dance on a Wednesday and the latest is Performing Arts on a Saturday morning where they sing, dance and learn to perform. You can imagine the excitement when it was ‘Let if go’ week and there’s nothing quite so inspiring as a trip to Disney on Ice to encourage the girls to get active. They now want to take up ice skating lessons!
We can’t expect our girls to always be on the ball and willing to be active all the time so an important part of our family time will be factoring in downtime. Dad is the best at this as there’s nothing he likes more than a cuddle on the sofa so he will ask the girls to choose a favourite film and Disney is always top of the list from classics such as Rapunzel and dad’s favourite Jungle Book to recent movies like Inside Out and Maleficent.