Enjoy an Active Mother's Day with Your Family

What’s your idea of the perfect Mother’s Day? If your answer involves sleeping late, lingering over a bountiful brunch, and doing as few household chores as possible, you’re envisioning the kind of day moms everywhere dream of having. After all, it’s an occasion when (theoretically, at least) you’re supposed to be pampered! To make the most of your day, plan some activities that will allow you to have fun with your family and still meet your fitness goals. This doesn’t mean you have to pack your day with so many things to do that you’re all exhausted by nighttime. You can sit down to a South Beach Diet–friendly lunch together, enjoy one of the activities listed below, and still have time to fit in that manicure you’ve been needing.

Be a sport
Don’t consider yourself much of an athlete? You don’t have to be in fighting trim to go bowling or play miniature golf with the family. If you don’t feel like leaving home, head out to your backyard and invite your kids to lead you through some of the drills they do during soccer practice, or pitch balls to your little baseball player.

Take a hike
If you’re following our South Beach Diet exercise suggestions, you probably already are taking a daily walk. Next Sunday, turn that walk into a hike, and lead your family on an adventure to a local park or preserve. Plan your route in advance to make sure it’s not overly ambitious for the little ones. You want everyone to have a good time and not overdo. Pack a small backpack for each family member, stocking it with water as well as healthy snacks. And don’t forget to take along a camera, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a soccer ball or jump rope to use at your destination!

Plant a garden
How nice that Mother’s Day falls at the peak of planting season. Get your whole family involved in creating a garden. Even very young children can help you by digging and scattering seeds in the soil. (Plan ahead by showing your kids seed packets and asking for their input on which vegetables your family should plant; radishes can be very rewarding because they grow so quickly.) If your garden is already growing, enlist your children’s help in pulling weeds and watering the plants.

Get back to nature
Take your kids on a “bug safari” right in your own backyard. Bring along a magnifying glass so they can get a bugs’-eye view of various specimens — caterpillars, ants, maybe a worm or two. You could even make bingo cards that have pictures of things they can look for in the yard. Just in case they can’t find any live creatures, include some items like shiny stones or pine cones. Join in the fun and run around with your kids as they explore. Feeling a bit more ambitious? Take your little adventurers to a zoo or to a local arboretum.

Shop ‘n cook
Take your kids shopping for local vegetables and fruits at a farmer’s market or local farm stand. Let your kids pick out what they might like to make for dinner. When you get home, assign everyone something to do, whether it’s washing the lettuce, stemming fresh strawberries, or setting the table. By the time you all sit down to Mother’s Day dinner together, you’ll be ready to share not just a healthful, South Beach Diet–friendly meal, but a great conversation about how you all spent this active and special day.

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