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Elizabeth Street


Getting Your Family to Live a Healthy Lifestyle Is Easier Than It Looks

Nov 18, 2013

Getting Your Family to Live a Healthy Lifestyle Is Easier Than It Looks

Introducing your family to a healthy lifestyle can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. At home is one thing, but what happens at school, playdates, and extracurricular activities may be out of your control. We turned to well-known food analyst and mother of four Robyn O’Brien for her take on how to transition your household--without losing your sanity.

"We didn’t potty train our kids overnight, and we didn’t wean them from a sippy cup in one day either. Change takes time. And a healthy lifestyle is a lot like religion; it’s not one size fits all. You need to choose what's right for you and do one thing at a time. Want to ditch the artificial dyes? Start there. Or maybe it’s that high fructose corn syrup that's got to go first. How about dumping genetically engineered ingredients? It's about baby steps.

As a mother, I get how loaded this issue can be. I fed my kids tubes of blue yogurt and nuggets, and I didn’t want to hear about the issues in our food system. But together we can restore the health of our little ones. Give yourself the permission, grace and flexibility to embrace the 80/20 rule: Do a good job 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent of the time, we live in the real world. Guess what? Blue cupcakes happen."

For more from Robyn O'Brien, check out her TED Talks episode in the video below.

By Robin O'Brien and Dr. Lindsay Heller, Psy.D 

Dr. Heller is a mother of two sweet girls. When she’s not playing “tea party,” she’s a professional nanny consultant known as The Nanny Doctor. She blogs, tweets, and Facebooks endless nanny wisdom. Check her out here at or on Twitter @thenannydoctor.

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