Father-infant bonding can be a challenging assignment for new dads. The first few weeks of a baby’s life are filled with breastfeeding sessions with mom, making it hard for a new papa to find quality, non-diaper changing time. The playing field levels out over time, and once the baby is a couple months old there are opportunities to find meaningful attachment for both parents.
However, when it comes to extracurricular activities for dads and babies/toddlers, the menu is grossly catered to the mother. Whether it be a mom/baby yoga class, guppy swim lessons, toddler tumbling, or kiddie kitchen training, America is rife with “mommy and me” activities; dads be darned.
Of course, there are certain corners of the country where “daddy and me” classes are offered and flourishing. In fact, NYC Dads Group sponsors boot camps, organizes yoga classes, and schedules meet-ups for other involved dads. In smaller metroplexes—like the Midwest town where I reside—a dad would be hard-pressed to find such a resource.
Creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness are traits every father needs to develop, and there are a wealth of pastimes a dad and child can partake in. Our buddy Mark Segedie—fitness trainer for Mamavation and dad to three boys—affirmed the difficulties of paternal bonding but was eager to offer helpful suggestions to make the task easier than managing a bedtime tantrum. Read Full Post >
The calendar has officially declared that fall has arrived, even if the weather is slow to get on board. This cooler season isn’t unlike summer in that it is full of wonderful ways for you and your family to stay active and healthy.
Here are thirteen fun things you can do with your loved ones. We encourage you to try one activity for each week of Autumn.
1. Play at the Pumpkin Patch.
The pumpkin patch is a great way to get off the couch and get some fresh air. Most patches have hay rack rides, petting zoos, and even playgrounds. Get the most out of your time, challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin, or get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch. There’s lots of fun to be had by all.
Whether you’re at the pumpkin patch or at your grocery store, don’t forget about the other delicious plants growing on the vine. Fall welcomes the season for winter squashes like butternut or acorn. The shapes are fun and the flavors are delicious. Experiment with new tastes with Butternut Squash Fries or Roasted Acorn Squash Salad. Read Full Post >
Let’s be honest. We don’t always have time to squeeze in fitness, even when we plan ahead. If this happens to you more often than you’d care to admit, we have the perfect solution: Try working family time into exercise time—you’ll bond with the people you love while working up a sweat in the process. It’s a win-win!
Get started with one or more of our eight active ideas below:
Focus on food. In summer and fall, pick-your-own farms are abundant and usually involve lots of walking. Make a day of it. This season, apple orchards and pumpkin patches are ripe for the picking!
Look for fun runs. A lot of community races encourage family participation with one-mile fun runs or walks, and they almost always benefit a good cause. Read Full Post >
Make sure to stop and smell the roses and play with the kids.
I think that all too often so many of us get so wrapped up in what we are doing and creating that we forget what’s right in front of us. It’s so important to remember to make sure that we are not so focused on making a living that we forget to make a life. I need this reminder so often that I have a plaque that says it on my entertainment center at home. It’s great to be focused, as long as that focus is also directed to finding balance.
When I first started Live Big With Ali Vincent I met Carmen Martinez who wrote into me asking for help. Originally I was just going to spend the day with her and her family to give them some pointers, cook a little, move a little and then part ways. After talking to Carmen and then seeing wow her family reacted to her getting real with her feelings about how she felt, I knew this probably wasn’t going to be the case, I fell in love with the family.
I went to the farmers marketwith the whole family. The kids got to see a variety of new fruits and vegetables and pick out what to get as we talked about the different ways they could prepare each and help their mom out. The girls were thrilled at the idea of helping, and I believe this is where their family turned the corner. For so long Carmen was trying to do everything on her own; by doing this she took away the opportunities for her family to give to her. The Martinezes have not only gone from always having mom watching what she was eating (aka dieting), to planning, cooking and eating healthy food together. They were all getting results and dropping weight where weight needed to be lost.
I wanted to reward them as well as push then to that next level of working together as a family on the road to living a life of health and fitness. So I challenged them to an all-in-one family weight loss challenge.