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6 Myths About Mindful Parenting

6 Myths About Mindful Parenting
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Mindfulness is a very popular concept these days, and there is a mindfulness practice for just about everything — Mindful Eating, Mindful Walking, and even Mindful Pooping (seriously, it’s a thing that I learned in my Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Class).

Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment without judging it. Sounds simple, but it’s not easy. You know what else isn’t easy? Raising children. It’s actually hard — really hard.

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Raising children in today’s increasingly complex and stress-filled world can make our jobs as parents feel nearly impossible. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to bring mindfulness to parenting, so I’d like to dispel some of the biggest myths once and for all.

1. Practicing mindful parenting takes a lot of time.

The good news here for all you busy parents is that mindful parenting doesn’t take any additional time out of your already jam-packed day. It’s not another thing you have to add to your to-do list. Practicing mindfulness is the act of bringing non-judgemental attention to what you’re doing in this very moment, over and over and over again. But if you’re wanting some tips on how to get started, you can always try this five-minute meditation to help center yourself and remind you to be mindful throughout your day.

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2. Mindful parenting is all about your children.

Although it’s true that your undivided attention will benefit your children in numerous ways, mindful parenting will actually enrich your life as parent because you’ll get a front row seat to the joy and wonder of your children’s experiences. By bringing your full attention and curiosity to reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the eleventh time, you might notice that it’s strange that the Purple Cat and Blue Horse are the only animals with non-realistic colors. But in all seriousness, you’ll be surprised at what you notice when you start to bring a “beginner’s mind” to everything you do.

3. Mindful parents are anti-technology.

This just isn’t the case, and there are actually a lot of technological innovations that can help you be more mindful, such as the free app Insight Timer, which helps you track your daily meditation sessions, and the Spire device, which tracks your breathing patterns to help keep you calm. Many mindful parents do in fact choose to limit technology in their households or at least set firm boundaries about acceptable use. Some parents even choose to create formal “Family Technology Contracts” where they can stipulate that devices are not allowed at the dinner table or after 9 PM, for example.

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4. All mindful parents meditate.

Meditation surely helps, but it’s not an absolute requirement for mindful parenting. Meditation helps train your brain so you can notice when your attention wanders and then bring it back to the present moment. I like to think of meditation as mental bicep curls — they will surely make you stronger, but so will picking up the groceries.

5. Mindful parenting is a Buddhist endeavor.

Anyone can practice mindful parenting, Buddhist or not. There are many secular meditation practices that can help you create a meditation habit, even in just a few minutes a day like this one here. Remember, meditation is not the only path to mindfulness, but it’s something to help train your brain to notice each time your mind has wandered off.

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6. Mindful parents don’t get angry.

Leaving the best for last, wouldn’t it be great if you could just practice mindfulness and and live happily ever after in a state of bliss? Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s not going to happen. Things are still going to bother you, and your 2-year-old daughter will probably still throw an occasional full-blown tantrum, especially when leaving the American Girl store empty-handed (sore subject for the author).

Conclusion

Although there are many myths, mindful parenting is simply about slowing down and noticing what’s going on right here and right now without judging it or trying to change it.

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Mindful parenting is not another thing to add to your to-do list or another way to compete in the parenting Olympics. Mindful parents believe everyone is doing the best they can, including themselves. They try to create a safe environment to talk about their feelings and what they’re experiencing. They make a point to create rituals that foster connection.

They also know how challenging it can be when they’re overwhelmed and exhausted. And they also know that when their patience is running thin, that this too shall pass.

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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