(Family Features) For many people across the country, carving out time from busy schedules to spend with loved ones can be difficult. However, when opportunities arise to experience bonding activities together, the results can be fond memories and a deeper sense of security.
“Many families, mine included, usually put a lot of energy into planning fun events and special trips to create memories,” said Amanda Mushro, TLC lifestyle expert and fairlife ambassador. “These get-togethers help us cope with challenges and remember to make the most of each day. This year, while disappointing, has revived our chances to slow down a little and savor the little moments that happen at home every day.”
Build Strong Bonds
Life gets busy, and in the shuffle it’s easy to overlook the importance of quality time with your friends, family, and significant others. Commit to regularly (and safely) spending one-on-one time with each loved one as a special treat you can all cherish. Even if it’s just snuggling and watching a favorite show together, crafting or doing an activity you both enjoy, try making an effort to slow down and strengthen your bonds.
Leave the technology behind and go for a walk or a bike ride together once or twice a week. It’s a ritual you can look forward to while taking advantage of the time together and the chance to burn some energy. You can take outdoor appreciation even further by planning camping trips to enjoy the joys of wildlife through activities like bird watching, fishing or impromptu scavenger hunts.
Make Meals a Family Affair
Not only does getting the whole family involved make the preparation faster, it’s a chance to squeeze in some time and maybe even some learning and sharing. Kids can help with measuring and other age-appropriate tasks, and the casual setting is a good environment to get kids talking about what’s on their minds.
If evenings are too rushed to make an all-hands approach practical, instead try carving out some time on the weekends or once a month for a few hours of baking up batches of a favorite treat. You can also find new and fun family-friendly recipes. Even if the recipe doesn’t turn out well, the time spent doing it together is a treat on its own.
Enjoy Tasty Treats Together
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of ice cream to light up a face and mood so break out the scooper and make some sweet memories. Set up your next sundae bar with a tasty option like fairlife Light Ice Cream, a delicious, lactose-free frozen dessert with a strong nutrition profile compared to traditional ice cream. It comes in seven flavors, so there is something for everyone.
Avoid Life’s Stressors
Outside influences can have a major impact on your mood and ability to enjoy your time at home. Try turning off your phone notifications for a few hours of uninterrupted home time. If clutter is creating havoc, look for ways to improve your home’s organization and get everyone in the house to pitch in to keep things in place.
Schedule Weekly Fun Nights
Designate a night each week to have fun together playing games, watching movies or dancing. Pull out the board and card games or get some fresh air with yard games like croquet or bag toss. Sign up for a virtual cooking fitness class. When it comes to movies, enjoy old favorites together or introduce kids to beloved classics from the ’80s and ’90s and incorporate fun traditions with snacks and special treats.
Rethink Dessert for Better-for-You Moments
Special moments and gatherings often revolve around food. With some simple (and tasty) adjustments, you can still savor every moment, including dessert, without overindulging.
Choose a light(er) frozen delight. A cool scoop (or two) of dessert is a perfect cap for all kinds of cuisines and making smart choices can help manage the calorie load. One example is fairlife Light Ice Cream, delicious frozen desserts expertly crafted with ultra-filtered milk and natural flavors for a lactose-free product with a rich, creamy texture. In comparison to traditional ice cream, it has less sugar, fat and calories. Additionally, depending on which of the seven flavors you choose, it contains 8 or 9 grams of high-quality protein.
Make fruit the star. Fresh berries or seasonal fruit like peaches with fairlife Vanilla Light Ice Cream are a refreshing and more nutritious option than a rich cake or pie filled with added sugars. Or try dipping fruit like grapes or strawberries in chocolate for bite-sized treats.
Serve perfect portions. Occasionally treating yourself is actually a good way to help keep your healthy lifestyle on track. It minimizes the sense of deprivation that can lead to overeating. The trick is to manage your portions. Miniature cheesecakes or tarts are enjoyable ways to treat yourself with a sweet ending to the event. Or try making your own ice cream sandwiches using reduced or sugar-free cookies and light ice cream for the filling. Each pint of fairlife Light Ice Cream has 3 servings per container.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Couple playing Chess)