Happy Mother’s Day! Mothers are some of the hardest working people on the planet. Having children is nerve-wracking, you’re responsible for the upbringing of a human being, and trying to make the right choices for you and your family is a tough responsibility.  It’s not easy to balance work, children, family and still have time to work out, grocery shop, prepare meals and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but there’s no one more qualified to do the job than moms. Sorry dads! Here are some tips on spending time with your kids while teaching them the advantages of being healthy.

Taking the kids on your grocery run is a great teaching tool. When they’re really young, you can talk about colors, shapes and names. As they grow you can show them the value of what they’re eating and have them help plan the meals. They’ll feel included and you’ll get a chore knocked off your list.

Having them help in the kitchen is like math and science class. They’ll learn measurements and how to experiment with flavors and textures. They can start with easy tasks like rinsing the fruit or putting all the cut veggies in a bowl until they’re old enough to help peel and cut. If they’re still interested when they’re teenagers you can have them actually cook the food with you. This prepares them for the real world and they’ll learn how to have delicious foods without mom around.

Prepping meals for the week is a great way for them to give you some input on what they like and why and you can get creative together while making sure to include all the major food groups. It will give them a sense of responsibility and they can’t complain they didn’t like something later on.

When it comes to working out, babies are great workout equipment. Taking a walk or a run with the stroller gets you both out in nature, and usually they’ll be out like a light while you cruise for a good 30 minute heart pumping walk or run. Babies also make great weights. Lifting them up and down all day is great for building arm strength. As they grow, so will your muscles. Having them in an excer-saucer while you’re doing sit-ups is a great way to work on your abs and then make funny faces.

As they grow, make the jungle gym the ultimate obstacle course for both of you. They’ll get excited about chasing or being chased, climbing up or across the apparatuses and making their way up and down the slides. You’ll be excited to finally do a pull up, cross the monkey bars, climb the rope swing, and running after them.

These days most races include a kids mile, have them sign up, too, so you can both run together. Practice together and keep building their endurance until they can run a 5k, too. They’ll value the time together and brag about their medals when they cross the finish line.

If they decide to participate in extracurricular activities, their after school practices can be your training time. While they’re at band practice mastering Beethoven, you can be at the gym mastering the stair climber.

If they get TV time, that’s 30 minutes of, usually, uninterrupted time you can get a yoga session in or some quick interval training.

There are plenty of moments to enjoy each other and show them how much fun fitness and health can be. These are lessons that they will remember and hopefully emulate as they become their own person. Promoting these good habits benefits the whole family and as a mom, take it all in and know you are doing the best job.