Healthy Fall Family Traditions

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Healthy fall family traditions that do not include stuffing your face with Thanksgiving fixin’s or halloween candy can be something to look forward to with anticipation.  My four-year-old son recently reported that “Playing Wii,” is his favorite family tradition.  As far as I am concerned  that’s right up there with overdosing on candy corn which isn’t good for anybody. He may not know the definition of “tradition” but we have been playing a lot of Wii Sports lately.  As my children age, I realize the importance of creating family traditions.  They create a sense of belonging to a bigger tribe, create warm memories and impart our values in an entertaining manner.

There are the expected formal family traditions and  then there are the inadvertent spontaneous ones which happen to be my favorite. When I was in grade school I swam in the ditch by my grandparent’s orchard each summer.  Splashing in the water and floating on inner tubes with my cousins. Looking at the ditch now, filled with floating objects of indeterminate origin and the slick sheen of pesticides, I wonder why I was allowed to jump in to begin with.  Regardless it is a positive  family tradition that is forever etched in my mind.

It is never too early (or too late) to start a tradition with your family.  The key is to keep them relaxed and to be open to spontaneity-your kids may even lead the way .  Here are some ideas to jumps start some outdoor, easy and affordable family traditions this fall.

  1.  Visit an orchard to pick fruit.  We go blueberry picking at a farm outside the city each summer.  My children love running through the blueberry bushes and we all help make blueberry muffins when we return home.
  2. Plant a garden.  The planting, watering and harvesting teaches the importance of where food comes from and how to eat healthfully.  We even planted a fruit tree for each of our sons.  Each can take care of “their” tree and learn how to prune and maintain each tree.
  3. Visit a pumpkin patch.  Let each child pick their own pumpkin to carve (or doodle on if they are too young for a knife).
  4. Leaf raking.  An activity that is typically a chore turns to fun (for the wee ones) if you rake the leaves all around your kiddo and allow them to kick through the piles of leaves.  Just be prepared to rake and re-rake the same area.

More family tradition ideas can be found on the mumbling mommy blog here.