This post is sponsored by Knowledge University. They challenged me to be a part of the Grow Happy initiative and compensated me for sharing my family’s results on Something Swanky. All experiences and opinions expressed are my own.

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In case you are wondering wondering how surfing a dessert blog landed you on a post all about healthful family habits, be sure to check out my first Grow Happy post for the run-down on this awesome initiative that I’m a part of in conjunction with Knowledge University. There’s also a pretty dang good healthy (and sweet) recipe, so seriously click over and check it out!

So what is the Grow Happy initiative? Knowledge Universe launched the Grow Happy initiative to offer families tools, tips, recipes, advice and inspiration that can help us all make simple, small changes that can lead to healthier lifestyles. They’ve created this step-by-step printable Goals Tracker to lead your family through setting realistic goals and tracking them.

Set family goals for health and track them using #growhappy | www.somethingswanky.com

In the past couple of months, my family has really made some tremendous leaps in improving our healthful behaviors and attitudes. We used to be a pizza-eating, soda-drinking, happy-meal-consuming, frozen-yogurt-topping-loading family who looked at calories and fat on nutrition labels instead of the ingredients. Thanks to the Grow Happy initiative, we are now a family with a health conscience, concerned with the true nutritional value of a meal and how it will affect our bodies.

We consistently meet the Food Goals we’ve set for ourselves to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, drink 64 ounces of water per day, and choose unprocessed, whole foods when we can. And on a typical day, we exceed these goals! I am so thankful for the Grow Healthy initiative– it was the extra push we needed to really come together as a family and literally “grow healthier.” Especially when it comes to nutrition.

Our Body Goals have been a little more challenging to meet. However, keeping the Goal Tracker visible on our refrigerator definitely helps remind me to reach for the goals we set, which are:

  • turning off “screens” 30 minutes before bed
  • get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • limit screen time to a max of 90 mins per day
  • exercise every day

family goals

 The third and final set of goals inspired by the Grow Happy initiative is for our minds. Here are the goals my family originally set using the Goal Tracker:

  • Read, read, and read some more with Emma
  • Practice a foreign language
  • Have more in depth conversation at dinner

With the chaos of our upcoming move and graduation, these goals have become a little derailed. So I’ve made some modifications along the way (gotta be flexible, right?!), and here is what we’ve managed to do in real-life to improve the health of our minds:

  • Use any “wait” time (at appointments, restaurants, in the car, etc…) for teaching Emma to write her letters
  • Make sure Chris graduates (check!)
  • Put down our electronic devices at meal time to ensure there is opportunity for conversation

As you can see, we had to do a little improvising. But, again, having those goals visible on our refrigerator was a constant reminder that I wanted to improve the mental health of our family. And even though we haven’t quite met the first set of goals we wrote down, I think we definitely made an effort towards improvement that we wouldn’t have otherwise made during this crazy time!

The Grow Happy Initiative has improved the overall healthy of my family and quality of our lives more than I would have thought possible. If you’re interested in making some health changes with your family,  head on over to the Grow Happy website, print off a Goals Tracker, and take a few minutes to sit with your family and set some new goals! You won’t regret it.

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Knowledge Universe, which teaches and cares for 130,000 kids aged infant through school aged every day in its KinderCare Learning Centers, CCLC (Childrens’ Creative Learning Centers) and Champions programs, just announced the company is teaming up with Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to help fight childhood obesity. Knowledge Universe is committing to healthy, PHA-approved practices in all of its 2,000 early learning and before-and-after school extended learning centers and sites across the country. Inspired by their PHA commitments, the company launched the Grow Happy initiative to offer families tools, tips, recipes, advice and inspiration that can help us all make simple, small changes that can lead to healthier lifestyles. I’m excited to join in and set some healthy goals for my family, and share our progress here!

Visit the Grow Happy Blog for helpful tips and suggestions to get your family started!
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