Having a toddler or two at home is no easy task. We chatted with our friend Sanaz of @srunsforcake about her day to day life with two littles at home. Not only is Sanaz a momma of two, she’s a marathon runner, lover of all things plants and a lawyer. Sanaz is taking over our Instagram over at @perfectbar showing us how to pack a kid’s lunch and make snacking fun for kiddos!
Sanaz tells us how Perfect Kids has become the perfect addition for her kiddos lunch box – or a snack for herself! Perfect Kids has 8 perfectly hidden superfoods in each and every bar, making it easy for kids to get their daily fruits and veggies in and keeping parents happy. Find Perfect Kids in a Target near you!
Get to Know Sanaz Sekercioglu of @srunsforcake
Let’s start with your own health story – what has it been like?
My health journey began in college when I realized eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was a real disservice to my health. I started exercising to feel better and began cooking. I found a love for the gym and a real passion for cooking. I stuck with both throughout law school and made my health a priority. After having my daughter, I started running and immediately fell in love. To run long distances, I had to fuel my body with real foods and ditch the less is more mindset with food. I replaced what I once thought of as “healthy foods” with real foods. More plants, less processed foods and fewer preservatives. After having a baby my appreciation for long term health truly changed. I wanted to feed her the best I could and wanted to fuel her body to be strong and healthy. I’ve found that life is a balance that takes work and requires mindfulness. I try to aim for a balance with exercise and food every day to help me feel my best without making me feel deprived or exhausted. At 35, I truly believe I am the healthiest I’ve ever been and I am so thankful and grateful for my health.
What has been the biggest challenge turned lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Letting go of the self-imposed expectation of perfection. I’ve always tried to do things as perfectly as possible and found myself stressed when I can’t or don’t. I’ve spent the last two years really trying to appreciate the fact that perfection is always changing and what you may think is perfect today may not be tomorrow. I am trying to evolve as a person and embrace that things are constantly changing which means being adaptable and having an open mind. This mindset takes work but the change has been tremendous in my personal and professional life.
You can never go wrong with a snack platter style lunch! Wash and chop some fruit, veggies, add a side of something crunchy like crackers, pretzels or veggie chips and think of a protein your kids like. Depending on your kids’ dietary needs and school guidelines, you can pack a Perfect Bar, cheese stick, small yogurt or smoothie. Kids love a little bit of everything so these no-cook lunches are always a hit because there is sure to be something you kid loves.
What is your number one piece of advice for parents with picky eaters?
My daughter would live off of bread, cheese and apples if I let her but it’s true that your job as a parent is not to force your kids to eat everything but rather its to keep offering variety. I’ve found that kids eat with their eyes and they are far more willing to eat foods that look fun or are creatively plated. As my kids have gotten older, having them help in the kitchen has also made a big difference because they are included in the process which gives them a sense of comfort. If I can get my daughter to just taste a new food once a week, it’s a huge win. Sometimes she loves it, sometimes she doesn’t but I always celebrate her willingness to try something new.
What is your must-do self-care practice that helps you stay balanced with your busy schedule?
Exercising fuels my body and mind. I workout at 5:00 am four to five days a week and it’s more for my mental health than anything else. There are very few things that can interrupt or require me to cancel an early morning workout and I love that my family is sleeping when I leave and often when I come back. I felt stressed before about finding time for movement but when I get it done first thing in the morning, it starts my day on a positive note and is one less thing to stress about. Moms often feel guilty about not doing enough or being around enough for their kids, so for me, I’ve found that early mornings don’t require me to take time from family/work (since everyone is sleeping) and overall lets me enjoy my exercise guilt free.
And finally, what is your favorite Perfect Bar?
Blueberry Cashew is my obsession!!!