How to keep mind and body healthy during the pandemic

From exercise videos and healthy food recipes to mindfulness tips for kids and silly ways to have fun, there are plenty of reasons to smile while stuck at home

Families are under a lot of stress trying to juggle work, family and their children’s online education. The toll it is taking on caregivers and kids varies but everyone is being impacted in some, unprecedented, way. Local companies and other organizations that focus on health have come up with many ways to stay active and keep the mind healthy. Below you will find a list of the many ways to keep the family active and, hopefully, happy.

Fitness & Mental Health

Active for Life is committed to raising physically literate kids and offers many fun activities that families can do at home. Check out 57 awesome family dance jams, 42 easy activities to keep kids busy while parents work, 11 active ways to celebrate Easter, six active games to play with a pair of socks, and many more.

Amiquebec – Action on Mental Illness – offers programs and services by phone and online to help families during this difficult and isolating time. There are support groups, workshops and counselling for families.

Anxiety Canada has posted an article, COVID-19: Balancing Public Health and Mental Health with tips for families about overall well-being.

Canada’s National Ballet School is inviting family members of all ages to follow along to its dance videos.

Champions for Life is putting together a list of activities – My Active Family – that families can play together to help build physical literacy and stay active during this time of isolation.

Club Gymnix, a local gymnastics club, is hosting online workouts on its Facebook Page.

The Do Yoga With Me Youtube channel offers a large library of classes, including Hatha, Vinyasa, post-natal, mindfulness meditation, fundamental practice, and Yoga for little ones.

Common Sense Media has posted a new article How to Protect Kids’ Mental Health During the Pandemic that offers new activities and ideas for supporting kids who miss their old lives and are feeling stressed during these times.

Concordia Athletics Sports Camps is offering an array of online videos on their Facebook page to help keep kids active, learning and having fun. Take part in a workout, learn some soccer basics, try your hand at juggling, and more.

Tune into Emmy award winner Debbie Allen’s Instagram Page for a FREE live dance class every Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Fab Fit Fun (yes, the makers of those colourful boxes filled with products) also offers tons of online content FREE – check out videos on mental and physical health, wellness, meditation, and more.

GoNoodle.com is a great site to get the kids up and moving through its movement and mindfulness videos and games.

The Government of Quebec has posted a Self Care Guide (in French) with important information on the Corona Virus and the best ways to prevent against catching it.

Recently, high school students in Calgary started the Joy 4 All Project to bring comfort and a smile to lonely seniors. By dialing 1-877-569-4255, callers can hear pre-recorded, continuously updated jokes, poems and positive messages created mostly by young people. The teenage founders wisely went with “old school technology” to make it easier for the older generations to participate.What a great initiative by these teens – please spread the word about this awesome project.

Modo Yoga NDG is offering yoga classes on Instagram Live so that families can roll out their mats, wherever they are, to breathe, stretch and relax. Learn more on their Facebook Page or Instagram Account

Parenting for Lifelong Health has produced a set of six, one-page tips for parents, including planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.

Studio Trybe in Montreal is offering online yoga classes on Facebook and Instagram. From Monday to Friday, adults and teens can join a class from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. and kids can enjoy their own class from 3 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.

A local swim instructor – Karina Renaud of Swimforce – offers an online program that allows parents to teach the basics of swimming in their home bathtub. The company is offering a special COVID-19 yearly membership for just $25.

Looking to lift your spirits? Head to The Happy Broadcast and/or sign up for its newsletter. Each week, you will receive happy tidbits of information that you can share with the family. For example, with India’s lock down, hundreds of thousands of undisturbed, endangered sea turtles came ashore for the first time in years to lay 60 million eggs. Experts expect that the lock down may lead to the biggest fall in CO2 emissions since World War II. LEGO has modified some of its moulding machines to produce face visors for frontline healthcare works, and it is making more than 13,000 a day. And last but not least, two pandas in a Hong Kong zoo tried unsuccessfully to mate for more than a decade. With the zoo closed to the public, they finally succeeded!

The Montreal Children’s Hospital is hosting ‘Unexpected Ways to Move’ on Facebook Live, Mondays to Fridays, 10:30 am for 20 to 25 minutes. These exercise sessions can help kids stay fit and healthy while giving them a little break from the daily routine.

Getting outdoors is a great way to clear your mind and to clear the head of cabin fever. As long as you continue to practice social distancing (two metres away from others), there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors. Check out these 30 Classic Outdoor Games for Kids by WIRED.

Although YMCAs are closed, the organization has recently launched The Y at Home, a website with activities to keep people active and engaged. Enjoy workout videos, craft projects and other activities for kids.

Fuel for the Body

If your kids love smoothies, check out these easy recipes by Tasty Junior, that kids will enjoy to the very last slurp!

And, if you find your kids getting bored with the family recipe repertoire, check out this kid-friendly recipes by Tasty … stir fries, french toast, pizzas, desserts, home-made chips, and more.

If you follow cooking- or recipe-sharing sites, you might have noticed many people stuck at home seem to have a great desire to make bread. If you are experiencing this urge, check out these 7 beginner bread recipes from kitchn and learn more about yeast, flour and kneading techniques.

With limited access to grocery stores and some products being hard to come by, big-batch cooking can be very useful to parents and can help cut down on the time spent cooking every day. Check out Bon Appetit’s 97 Big-Batch Recipes that allow you to eat well, all week.

Radish Kids is hosting virtual cook-along classes specifically for children on its Facebook page. Join Founder Samantha Barnes, a former teacher and part-time homeschool mom, for weekly classes or check out past classes in the video collection.

If you’re looking to reduce your food budget, you don’t need to skimp on nutrition or taste. Visit Taste of Home for 60 budget-friendly dinners. Also, remember that planning, preparing and portioning your meals will help you stick to your goals.

Many of us tend to snack more when we are bored. To help curb bad snacking habits, check out this list of Smart Snacking Ideas from KidsHealth. This list is broken down into different age groups.

Try your hand at making these delicious and healthy apple chips. The kids will love them!

With so much time at home, this could be a good time to allow the kids a chance to start mastering the art of cooking. If so, check out Jamie Oliver’s Tips for Getting Cooking with Kids.

At the best of times, finding meal ideas can be frustrating. Now that many parents must make three meals a day, inspirational ideas could be very welcomed. Check out Dinner Mumspiration on Facebook. This online community allows parents to share their creations and recipes and offers up new ideas every day. I personally use this space often and it has kept my kitchen repertoire fresh and healthy.

This Cheesy Beef and Macaroni Recipe from Spend with Pennies is simple and absolutely delicious. It’s pure comfort food and a good one for kids to do with the parents. Bon Appetit!

Grand Potager is offering a free online programming series on their Facebook page to help you develop the skills to start your own edible garden at home! Planning your vegetable garden is already available, band another workshop entitled All you need to know on fertilization in the garden is coming soon.

The Rainbow Grilled Cheese Challenge invites children to make a rainbow-coloured grilled cheese sandwich and post a photo or video of their creation. The initiative is to show students of Summit School (a Montreal school for youth with developmental disabilities) who are stuck at home, that we’re all in this together. Have some fun making a snack at home and share your support with our community. Don’t forget to hashtag #rainbowgrilledcheese #disabilityawareness.

Restaurants are now closed around the city, but takeout and delivery is still available. Check your favourite local eatery to see if they are offering special menus and try to support them during this difficult time. Remember that UberEats is currently offering FREE delivery.