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Take care of YOU!

May 9, 2016
Amanda Bohlen , MOV Parent

There is a children's book called, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff. If you are unfamiliar with the popular children's book, it's an account of a boy giving a hungry mouse a cookie. The mouse then starts a chain of requests that keeps the boy busy all day. Beth Brubaker used that clever story to write a poem called, "If You Give Mom a Muffin." The poem is not only humorous but very realistic. The poem starts by giving mom a muffin and then she wants a cup of coffee. After she pours her cup of coffee she sees something that needs done around the house, which starts a chain of events of other things that needs done. She is so busy doing those items that she forgets about the coffee, which is now cold, and her muffin that the kids have eaten. We may smile or chuckle at the poem because it's the truth, but in reality when did the mom take time for her? As moms we are so caught up in doing everything for everyone else that we put ourselves last.

May is the month to remind yourself to take care of YOU. We all associate the month of May with Mother's Day. Every year, the week of Mother's Day is also National Women's Health Week. National Women's Health Week is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. Kick-off starts on Mother's Day, and is celebrated to the end of the week, May 14. Mental Health, Exercise and Nutrition are some of the steps they recommend that you can take to better your health.

Mental health is something we don't normally think about when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Part of your mental health is getting enough sleep and managing your stress. I'm guilty of getting my children to bed and then staying up longer to have some quite time. The problem in doing that is I don't always get my 7-8 hours of sleep. Your body needs that time to rest and rejuvenate. When we don't get enough sleep then we tend to do things the next day to help keep us awake that aren't healthy. Make it one of your goals for the month to get enough sleep. Stress can become so severe that it overwhelms our ability to take care of our family and ourselves. I was to that point last year and didn't realize it. The best way to manage our stress is to find support and stay active. A popular way that people are releasing stress is by coloring. There are many adult coloring books that you can purchase to help relieve the stress.

We hear time and time again how important it is to be more active and exercise. Physical activity has numerous benefits like controlling weight, chronic diseases and improving our mood. However, sometimes it's just hard to do. Whether you work in an office all day or you spend the whole day working from home it can be difficult to find that time to be active. We have to make the time for ourselves. Analyze your day and see where you can make improvements. Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move every hour. Take your kids to a playground or park and walk or play with them. Just the other day I took my children to our community playground. Instead of sitting at a picnic bench and watching them play, or playing on my phone, I decided to walk around the playground to get extra steps in. We also had a race while they were learning to ride their bikes. Sometimes I was faster and other times they were but the nice thing was my heart rate was up and we were all having fun.

Eating fruits and vegetables is good for the whole family. Fruits and vegetables give us essential vitamins and minerals and other important health benefits. Not only do fruits and vegetables reduce our risk of chronic diseases but they are also filling and low in calories. As always, my column would not be complete without a recipe. Below you will find a fantastic kid-friendly recipe from the USDA that encourages fruit intake and is great for summer weather. Change up the flavors to suit your children's tastes.

Yogurt Popsicles

Makes: 12 popsicles


6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 cups yogurt, low-fat vanilla

Other Items Needed: paper cups (3-ounce,) wooden sticks aluminum foil


Pour yogurt into melted juice concentrated and stir until smooth. Place cups together on a baking sheet. Pour yogurt/juice mixture into paper cups. Cover the cups with a sheet of aluminum foil. Insert stick for each popsicle by making a slit in foil over the center of each cup. Freeze popsicles until firm. Run warm water on the outside of each cup to loosen each popsicle from the cup.


Colorado State University and University of California at Davis. Eating Smart Being Active Recipes.

Amanda Bohlen is the new family and consumer science educator for The Ohio State University Extension in Washington County. She received her bachelor's in family and consumer science education from Ohio University and her master's in curriculum and instruction from Ohio Valley University. For the last seven years she has been in the classroom teaching high school students' financial education, child development, nutrition and culinary skills.



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