Why is Family Day in the middle of February? With ice crusting over your windshield and the sun still rising after breakfast, wouldn’t a day off in June be more enjoyable? Maybe, but that’s not the point. If you can’t beat February you might as well join it, and the best way to do that is to get out there with the people Feb. 18 celebrates: Your family! If you’re wondering how to do Family Day RIGHT, keep reading…
We’re talking ice skating, shinny and tobogganing here. Snow forts can be built and destroyed, snow angels made, and snowball wars declared. If there’s no snow, a nature walk through a local park will get everyone excited about spring. Who knows, you might even spot a groundhog! Just make sure he sees his shadow, OK?
If there’s one thing that helps family fun go smoothly, it’s snacks. Since you’re getting active, why not reach for healthier, easy-to-prepare foods that don’t waste your efforts? Trail mix instead of potato chips, popcorn instead of french fries, and this easy trick from Olympic gold medalist and Men’s Health Champion Cassie Campbell-Pascall: “Sometimes I just pull cut-up veggies out of the package and put them on a plate with some dip. If my family is hungry before dinner, this stops us from snacking on unhealthy foods.”
Nothing goes better with outdoor winter fun than heading back home for Chili Night! Besides, who doesn’t love a great chili in the middle of a cold winter? Countless studies have shown the positive effects of sharing a meal together. As if that isn’t motivation enough, here’s an easy recipe for Grizzly Bear Chili to get you started!
If this new approach to Family Day turns out to be a blast, why not make it a weekly or even daily thing? Of course, every day can’t be a holiday — wouldn’t that be nice? — but there’s no reason you can’t sprinkle parts of the day throughout the week. Veggie sticks before dinner on Monday, Chili Night on Wednesday, a family stroll on Friday after work…you get the idea. Spending time with loved ones is why Family Day is important, and as Cassie says: “A quick half-hour workout can really relieve stress after work. Come home and go for a family bike ride, come home and go to the park.”
Turns out February is a GREAT month for Family Day! So grab your gloves and/or galoshes and get out there…
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.