For those who don't acknowledge Lent, you can still take this time of year to talk to your kids about sacrifice and gratitude and maybe instill a few boundaries for their favorite luxuries. Check out eight different nonessentials your kids could consider giving up this season.
- Video games. Your kids (and your sanity) could probably use a break from video games, so encourage them to pass up Xbox in favor of outdoor adventures over the next few weeks.
- Nighttime snacks. Regularly pass out popcorn or cookies an hour or so after dinner? Skip the late-night snacks and let your kids spend that time being active instead.
- Soda. Have your little ones swap out soda for juice, milk, or water to boost their health and fill up on the good stuff. Help them stay satisfied by adding fresh fruit to plain water or blend vitamin-rich smoothies for them to sip on.
- Screen time. Your kids will be shocked by how much free time they have if you set a limit on their daily screen time. Allot only a few hours each day for TV shows, phone minutes, iPad usage, and handheld games.
Read on more for kid-friendly Lent ideas.
- Sugary cereals. If your kids love to munch on sweet stuff early in the day, try steering clear of Frosted Flakes. Offer fruit-filled smoothies, yogurt parfaits, agave-topped waffles, or healthy granola bars.
- New toys. "No new toys" may sound like a nightmare to your children, but it will give them a better understanding of how much they already have. Encourage them to get creative by drawing, reading, or crafting instead.
- Candy. If they regularly grab Reese's Pieces for a midday snack, motivate your kids to avoid all candy. They'll retrain their taste buds and be forced to satisfy their afternoon hunger with healthier fare.
- Complaining. You'll love this plan: challenge your kids to several whine-free weeks, and the blissful positivity will be music to your ears. Even better? They'll start to recognize how often they gripe and hopefully learn to limit their complaints.
Another idea? Rather than motivating your kids to cut out certain foods or hobbies, encourage them to add healthy, positive habits and pastimes to their routines instead. Inspire them to increase their daily activity levels, try new foods, volunteer, or read more books.