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May 6, 2015
5 Health Habits for Moms

5 Health Habits for Moms

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

There’s one instruction that flight attendants give just before taking off that makes most mothers, including me, balk. It refers to putting on your oxygen mask in the event of an emergency before helping your child to do the same.

The suggestion to put yourself before your child seems contrary to good mothering. It’s not. When you’re juggling kids, a partner, the household, aging parents, and a job, or any combination of the above, meeting your health needs actually helps you to better care for your family.   

Here are five top tips for moms that encourage better health while setting a good example for the rest of the family. 

Feed your bones

You ask your kids to drink their milk, and I hope you drink milk, too. Milk is packed with bone-building protein, calcium, and vitamin D, along with other nutrients for good health.  A Spinach-Banana Smoothie made with Hood Milk provides one-third of your daily calcium needs and is a good source of vitamin D. A glass of Simply Smart Chocolate Fat Free Milk has 35% of the calcium and vitamin D you need every day, and it helps replenish the fluid, protein, and carbohydrate you lose during exercise, which you should do on most days to keep bones strong. 

Eat your breakfast

You want your kiddos to have a balanced morning meal, and you should, too.  Taking just five minutes to down a bowl of whole grain cereal topped with fruit and Hood Milk goes a long way to preventing mindless munching on high-calorie foods later on.  Dashing out the door? Grab a small container of Greek yogurt or Hood Cottage Cheese, whole grain cereal, and fruit. Prepare Spinach Egg and Cheese Cups on the weekend and pair with a whole grain roll for breakfast on the go. 

Prioritize sleep

It may seem like sleep is a luxury, but it’s as important as any other healthy lifestyle habit.  Insufficient sleep saps your energy to deal with busy days, makes weight control difficult, and increases the risk of developing depression, diabetes, and heart disease. You may be able to “function” on less, but you need about 7 to 8 hours of slumber every night.  If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. 

Stay connected with friends

With so much going on at home, you may allot little, if any, time to get together with the very people who help keep your stress level in check.  Try to visit with the people who mean the most to you on a regular basis. You’ll have more time for your friends in the future, so stay involved now.   

Take time for you

I know, I know. It’s almost laughable to think that you could eek out a few minutes every day to be alone with your thoughts or to do something for yourself, but give it a shot. Take a look at your schedule and see if you can rearrange your day so that you get at least 20 to 30 minutes in a row to “reboot” by doing what you enjoy, such as taking a bath, reading, or walking. 

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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