Happy Mother’s Day parents. Enjoy the lavish brunch and pampering. Next week you may go back to eating cold half eaten leftovers off your child’s plate. Or, consider ways to nourish moms, physically, emotionally and playfully.
This year I established a goal for Lively Kitchens to partner with like-minded professionals that are experts in their field, strive to provide superior customer service and are compassionate about their clients. This month, music therapist and birth doula Kate Taylor of Creative Childbirth Concepts® provides recommendations for some simple yet creative ways to nourish yourself and your family.
Any parent who has found themselves eating a toddler’s table scraps while clearing the dinner table probably knows better: you can’t survive on half noshed nuggets. Yet, we do. Sometimes at five p.m. we may have rushed through our day caring for others only to realize that we have not eaten much at all. So, we react and scramble. Gobbling up whatever is in front of us. Parents, please! This is no way to nourish ourselves.
Consider all the ways we get depleted as parents: pregnancy, raising energetic children, stressing over finances and draining our emotional resources. Now, let’s ask, “how can we find simple and practical ways to nourish ourselves?” Believe it or not, there are simple and creative ways to find nourishment throughout our busy days including solutions to help you feel fed physically, emotionally, and playfully.
- Physical Nourishment
I remind most new parents about the importance of establishing meal prep and meal time habits early as a family. Sharing a meal is pivotal to helping establish routines and healthy choices that will last a lifetime for children. The importance of nourishing your child’s relationship with food starts with yours and making it a playful part of experiences rather than a chore. Sharing in meal time prep is one of the easiest (free sous chefs) and educationally sound practices to prompting a love for healthy, fresh foods.
Next, I encourage families to set an easy to follow daily nutritional routine. Make this the foundation of your day. Whether that’s a morning smoothie, a nutrient dense soup at lunch or taking your daily supplements as a family, the key is consistency and quality. Growing families need high quality foods and supplements that are rich in iron, B-vitamins (including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, B6 and B12), iodine, EPA and DHA, lean protein, vitamins A, C, D and E, and finally bone building minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium.
- Emotional Nourishment
Whether you find time first thing in the morning by adding a gratitude prayer or an evening mantra as part of of a nighttime yoga routine, mental nourishment is just as important as physical nutrition. Establishing time for mental unwinding can help us stay on track to physically nourishing our body especially during times of stress. Honor your accomplishments without comparing. Simply put, stay in a positive frame of mind as much as you can. Speak as kindly and as positively to yourself as you would to a close friend who needed encouragement. If you have a hard time with positive self-talk, try journaling your thoughts or using a certain song that has encouraging and uplifting lyrics. This allows us to nourish our brain in a mindset that promotes growth through happiness rather than fostering negativity that breeds regret, sadness or worse emotional depletion. All these lead us to making unhealthy meal choices under pressure, cause imbalance and stress in our relationships and can hasten the aging process on our bodies.
- Playful Nourishing
So, what is the recommended daily allowance of fun? Wait, there isn’t one?! Playing is just not something we all think about doing everyday. But, fun IS something we all need (some desperately) in our lives. Next time you’re at the park with your child or grandchild don’t watch from the bench, get up and play! Try the swings, it’s really freeing and sets you up for feel good hormones, joy even, throughout the rest of the afternoon and early evening when exhaustion begins to set in and bad moods tend to take over.
Playing some music in the car, dancing around the house or finding a spring concert series to follow are also great ways to get started having fun. Step outside your comfort zone and find new ways to nourish your soul through laughter, prayer, even making art or music. Better yet, combine them all and super charge your daily dose of playful nutrition!
Creative nourishment for the mind, body and soul is important to achieving overall wellness. Finding fun ways to nurture yourself and your family will determine how sustainable it can be in the long run. After all, if something is fun we are likely to want to try it again. Make nourishing yourself and your family part of your daily routine and wellness will be more easily attainable. Lifestyle can be just as impactful on our longevity as the types of foods we eat.
So, here is a fun challenge, pack a nutritious lunch, gather friends for some playful movement and emotional nourishment at a Picnic in the Park. If you live in McHenry County, IL, join us on Sunday, May 20, from 3 pm – 5 pm at Deicke Discovery Zone, 12015 Mill Street, Huntley Park District, Huntley, IL
Kate Taylor, board certified music therapist and birth doula founded Creative Childbirth Concepts® in 2007 to empower families to use art, music, movement and other creative experiences to achieve wellness especially during fertility journeys, throughout pregnancy, childbirth, even during new parenting adventures. Kate draws upon almost 20 years of experience as a music therapist and nearly 10 years a doula and childbirth educator to deliver innovative curriculum and therapy for expectant parents. Kate enjoys teaching creative methods that integrate counseling, writing, movement, music and art into birth preparation classes. By offering private birth consultations and customized creative childbirth classes, Kate provides unmatched mentorship for parents and support to childbirth educators. Kate has completed advanced clinical training in assisting water births, providing NICU support, as well as applications of guided imagery, neurologic music therapy and hospice care counseling. Kate provides prenatal and postpartum music therapy services and assists families through labor and delivery as a birth doula across the NW suburbs of Chicago. Kate is also skilled at providing music therapy for personal wellness, awareness and for families living with special needs and grief.
- Visit www.birthmusic.net for more information or contact Kate Taylor, MA, MT-BC at email@example.com 216-704-659
- Facebook – Creative Childbirth Concepts® Music Therapy & Doula Services
- Follow Kate on Instagram @birthmusictherapy
- On Twitter @musictherapy4me
- Offices are located within Holistic Care for Women and Family at 121 Madison St. Algonquin, IL 60102
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