It’s fulfilling and wonderful to extend our lifestyle values to our children and family members. When we feel good about something, we want to share it and support our loved ones in living it also!
The purpose of the Four Cornerstones— Food, Body, Emotional Well-being and Spiritual Growth— is to provide a balanced, sturdy lifestyle to support the whole you, your energy, true wellness and health and vitality, your joy and the fulfillment of your purpose.
These Cornerstones can be taught to family members and adopted for children and for the collective of the family. In this way, you can expand your own lifestyle to help enrich and deeply nourish the well-being and health of your whole family in a powerful, well-rounded way. It feels really good to know that as parents and/or head of the household, we are looking to honor and nourish the whole family on not just a physical level, but also on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well.
Practicing these Four Cornerstones together can create true health in a family, real closeness and intimate connection. And when all four Cornerstones are paid attention to, each member can feel that deep nourishment, which translates into a truly healthy life!
Here are some ways to practice the Four Cornerstone philosophy in your family. Of course, these are some baseline ideas. I encourage you to find others that resonate with you and yours as well. ☺
I like the idea of sharing adult foods with kids, versus making separate foods for the little ones. This is how family meals are usually constructed all over the world. This encourages a wider range of tastes for little ones, especially for veggies, fruit and healthier foods.
You’ll notice that the “kid’s menu” at any restaurant is mostly crap! Why should kids have to be relegated to eating chicken fingers and french fries? My younger, Mosie, loves kale— probably because I ate so much when I was pregnant with him!
Share the Glowing Green Smoothie® in their sippy cups. It’s so fun to drink the GGS with a straw! If you need to make it a little sweeter for them, you can always add extra banana and the other fruit.
Cut up veggies and fruit for after-school snacks to create a natural food, plant-centric lifestyle.
Avocado and hummus toast and almond butter and jelly sandwiches are great preschool breakfasts to help sustain learning brains.
I love Udo’s oil, which you can pick up at any health market. It is a cold-pressed oil made of various seeds that contain important Omega-3 fats for healthy brain development and heart health. I pour some over the rice or soups we often eat at dinner.
Roasted sweet potatoes and veggies are a great way to get more veggies in.
We love lentil and chickpea pasta— which is easy to cook, gluten-free, and a great way to get protein in.
One-pot meals are easy and nutritious! Please check out a whole host of free recipes here on our site.
Taking care of our bodily temple is vital to do for ourselves and to teach to the whole family.
Honor evening routines— not just for little ones, but for yourself. We have an open tub combined with a shower setup in our master bedroom, so part of the routine for the whole family is to take a bath and shower together in the evening. For the kids, the evening ritual also includes books and cuddling/stillness time.
Touch is a critical part of wellness and nourishment. I’m a big believer in cuddling and touching often, but of course this would entail what is within your own comfort zone and what feels good to you as a family.
Nature. It’s wonderful for the family to be out in nature together, which fosters stillness, awe, connection and expansion. We love having picnics out in nature, eating outside, and playing outside as much as possible. The kids often make their own toys and games out of the sticks and rocks, when left to their own creativity.
This is a big one. Being seen and heard and supported for simply BEING each of our unique selves, not what we do or accomplish, is paramount to each family member’s well-being.
At dinner, try saying grace or reading a verse or an intention, and going around sharing what you are grateful for.
Try to pare down more stillness time in your family’s schedule for just being together, with fewer activities around going out. Board games are awesome!
You can teach expression to children in writing if they are too young to write. I encourage my kids to draw out big feelings or things they feel scared or troubled by, to help them get it out in the open, and for us to discuss what we can do about it.
Practice active listening. Really try to see and hear each other without distraction or assuming you know and glossing over what they are trying to express. Being heard is so important for self-esteem.
This is about connecting to the core of who each of us are, the transcendence of understanding that we are more than just our human form. We are all part of something greater!
Dr. Lisa Miller, a researcher out of Columbia University, found that when mothers and children share some kind of spiritual practice together, there was an 80 percent reduction in the probability of that child developing depression over a lifetime. In fact, she found that this was the most protective factor against depression overall!
Share the “why” behind your values and beliefs. For instance, I share with my kids about one of the reasons we are plant-based is because the great yoga Gurus taught us to not eat meat, to help with spiritual development and meditation.
Create meaningful rituals together. We light candles for special days, and we have altars all around our house with photos and statues of our spiritual Gurus and figures. We pick flowers together in our garden regularly to place on the altars.
I hope some of these resonate and inspire you and your family!
Please keep in touch with me and share how your family practice LIVING the Four Cornerstones.