When we moved to this area two years ago, one of the things that drew me to our particular neighborhood was the amount of kids I saw out and about. I remember seeing kids outside walking and riding bikes, and I loved that our neighborhood boasted playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, and an amazing pool. Our backyard backs to a golf course, and after dusk, we can walk the course and explore the creek down the green. I wouldn't ever describe myself as an outdoorsy person, but it's part of our family rhythm to get outside every single day. Even if we can't go far, the kids at least burn off some energy on the playscape I got them for their birthdays last year. 

Before I start sounding like a crotchety old lady with my "back in my day" stories, let me throw a fact out here: 

70% of moms played outside when they were kids whereas 31% of their kids play outside today. Play is disappearing at home, in school, and in communities although balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient and successful society. 

Is this video right or what? 

Back in my day, even though I had a tv and Nintendo in my bedroom and much preferred reading a book to running a race, I still played outside all the time. When I was a kid, I rode my bike all over town, I explored the woods, I dug in the dirt, I walked along creeks, and I caught fireflies. Outdoor play was a cornerstone of my youth, and you can bet that those memories are so special to me that I'm going to make sure my kids get outside to create some of those memories of their own.

It ain't easy. We are in full swing of the school year here in the Adams house. For Jude, this means homeschool, piano lessons, swim team, community Bible study, and golf. For the girls, this means preschool three mornings a week, dance class, tennis, and our homeschool co-op on Thursdays. Nonetheless, I still make them get outside and play. 

We are go-go-go all the time (except for a glorious two hour nap time in the afternoon). My childhood was similarly packed with dance and sports, and because of that, I ate a lot of junk food and fast food growing up. Needless to say, it's been an uphill battle changing three decades of bad habits. [proof]

When Caroline was young and didn't have many words, one of her first clear phrases was "McDonalds! No onions!" This was a huge wake-up call to me that I needed to do better, not just for me, but for my children. Caroline, before age two, could recognize all the fast food logos because I'd swing by so often to grab quick lunches, drinks, or snacks while we were out and about.

So now I do things differently. No more McDonald's (I had to cut that cold turkey), I pack adorable healthy lunches for my girls for preschool, and I never leave home without a better snack alternative. For us, our absolute favorite go-to grab and go snacks are the CLIF Kid Zbar®. They're:

  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Have important nutrients for active kids
  • Appropriate portion size for kids in flavors they love
  • Have no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors (or synthetic preservatives)

And my kids are bananas for them. Right after naps, my kids grab their favorite CLIF Kid Zbar®, and they head outside.

On sports days, I throw them in our family lunch bag and the kids can enjoy them either before or after practice (and here's how different my kids are: Jude usually likes his after, Caroline likes her before, and Lu eats half of hers on the way to practice and saves the other half by placing it under her carseat for after).

CLIF Kid® makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives. Let me tell you: I feel 1000 times better hearing my kids chant for a Zbar versus "McDonalds, no onions"!  

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Posted on September 15, 2016 and filed under blog.