PLAN to be Healthy & Stress Free

April 20, 2022 General /Family

It’s 6:28 p.m.; your phone is ringing, the laundry needs folding, and the kids still need a bath… and then you hear it, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” This question can drive parents crazy! Luckily for you, you’ve planned ahead and proudly respond with, “grilled chicken with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and fresh fruit with yogurt parfaits.” Right? OK, maybe not.

You may be thinking, who has time to plan meals like this? Well, if you’ve got 15 minutes, you do!

Planning meals ahead of time can help parents save time, money, and avoid the stress that can come from “I’m hungry!” demands. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead can also help your family eat healthier and spend more time together.

Here’s how to PLAN for healthy, stress-free meals:

Pick your meals.

List what you’ll need.

Agree on a time and place.

Never shop hungry.

The Real Meal Deal

“Together at the Table”

As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe, happy and healthy. When it comes to offering healthy meals and snacks, it’s not just about the foods we offer, but the time our family spends together that’s important. Family meals play a big part in children’s health, and they’re a great time for learning and family bonding. Sharing meals together at the table offers a time for families to relax, laugh and talk about their day.

Make an effort to eat together as a family… and have some fun when you do!

Restaurant Night. Pretend you are at a restaurant where everyone in the family has a role to play. For example, one person takes food orders, one person serves the food, one person refills water or milk and one person cleans the table.

Letter Night. Help your children try new foods and learn the alphabet by offering a letter-themed food during meals. For example, on “A” night, you could offer asparagus, apples, or avocado.

Foods of the World. Pick a country to learn more about and try some of the foods that come from that country.
Table Talk. Take turns asking and answering questions during mealtime, like:

What was the best part of your day?

Who did you talk to today? What did you talk about?

What are you looking forward to doing this week?

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Sharing meals together as family isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort.
Families eat better, together.

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: