“Finish your spinach!” is the healthy-mom saga of yesteryear, and thankfully is heading towards extinction. And truth be told, “there are starving kids in Africa!” is hardly a justification for plowing through one’s broccoli. Am I really going to feed starving children by eating your terrible vegetables, Mom? These things don’t promote health – just confusion. Modern parenting and a little common sense present an array of new options for moms to pass along the message of health and wellness to their kids. Be it spa-ing, yoga-ing or healthy eating, Spa Week’s Hot Mom Spa Squad shares their tricks for getting their kids off to a healthy start. Moms, how do you instill a mindset of health and wellness in your kids? Carol Cain, NYCitymama I instill a mindset of health and wellness in my children through my own efforts of incorporating them in my life. My children see my commitment to working out as a part of my daily routine. They hear me talk about food choices and we discuss healthier options when ordering at restaurants and shopping for food. Making fitness fun has also been something that has helped them to understand how it can be a part of all our lives, not just my own. Dawn Smith, Not Just a Mommy Living in the Pacific Northwest means we have access to an abundance of healthy eating options and amazing outdoor activities. My boys play outside in all types of weather and enjoy visiting local farms where they learn where their food comes from, and appreciate the work that goes into it! Our goal is to instill a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity and healthy food choices. Kerri Gristina, Raising Three Savvy Ladies Keeping my girls active is a big priority. During the spring season, my girls play soccer, softball and lacrosse. Offering healthy meal options and planning meals together allow us to create a sense of wellness as a family. Just the other day, we made dinner together. I grilled chicken and the girls washed the lettuce and cut up celery, carrots and cucumbers. We topped it off with big glasses of ice water. Being healthy as a family instills a sense of wellness that will last a lifetime. Shannon Nelson, A Girl’s Gotta Spa I lead by example with the 5 senses. Hear: when I’m going to the spa and why it is so important physically and mentally. See: that I write about the same and make it my career. Touch: whether it’s rubbing their back or head, I always make sure I show them how to relax their mind. Smell: relaxing scents like lavender and invigorating fragrance like citrus and explain how it helps. Taste: different healthy foods and feed them knowledge on the benefits to their body. Nicole Kempka, RedLotusMama On Sunday I took my 6 year old daughter to her first yoga class. I hope she becomes a yogini too! Nicole completed the 31-day Yoga Challenge at her local yoga studio and blogged about it here. Downward dog by example. Kia M. Ruiz, Bodhi Bear I instill health and wellness with my family by leading by example. My little yogi likes to show off his toddler salutation to almost anyone who will watch – he does his yoga practice as he imitates me doing mine pretty often. My husband and I also made a pact that food would not be a prize or punishment for our family before we had kids. It is fuel, fuel that we can make in ways and consume in ways that really help us enjoy it. Tree Lindsay – Motherofpearlitis Growing up in the 60s and 70s, my friends and I were easily occupied with outdoor activities – most involving the use of our imagination. Fresh air, running, playing, and climbing were all a part of our “exercise program” – although, back then, we didn’t look at it as exercise… just FUN! With our children living in the “age of the computer,” we have to inspire them to put down the video game controller, the television remote, the computer mouse, and the mobile phone and do something physical that’s good for them! Encourage them to get their mind and body RIGHT to get the most out of life! Ruth Staiman, Fashion Office Lead by example. I walk or exercise almost daily. Each of my kids has a sport or activity that they commit to. They grocery shop with me & we come home with veggies, fruits, WATER, wheat bread & crackers. We eat fresh fish caught from the ocean when the boys catch it. We don’t eat fast food & we don’t have junk in the house. Once in a while we have a treat. It’s how we roll. Results? My college age son cooks his own food and texts me pictures. He plays basketball and goes to the gym because he loves it. Lead and they will follow.