Energetic Quinha McBride was determined to teach her two toddlers how to eat well and enjoy the outdoors while they were young. Now, this active family can enjoy exploring Colorado and leading a healthier lifestyle, together…

Name: Quinha (pronounced “keen ya”) McBride'
Children: Two
City: Fort Collins
Occupation: Development manager at Partners Mentoring Youth

Q: Why did you become a LiveWell Mom?

A: I heard about the program via Facebook and wanted to become an advocate among the community of moms I interact with in Fort Collins. LiveWell Moms is a great resource for new ideas, updates about school food legislation and support for families wanting to be healthier and more active.

Q: Describe where you are on your journey to health and wellness?

A: I choose to be very active, and I was worried about how I would continue healthy behaviors and have time for running and biking once I had children. But my husband (a passionate soccer player and hiker) and I just made a commitment that our kids will be part of our active lifestyle. My son and daughter love to hike, play in the park and join our adventures in their jogger or bike trailer.

Being active and eating healthy is just so important. Every Sunday, I try to plan the meals for the week because I know how hectic the weekdays can get. I believe sitting down as a family to eat together is essential. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it – you can never give up!

Q: What motivates you to promote healthier eating and more active living?

A: I’ll never forget a college class called “Food in Society” that forever changed the way I saw food. That class opened my eyes to different foods, farming and where food comes from. I had never thought about what was going into my body, and my eating habits were terrible. But ever since then, I’ve been a huge proponent for eating less processed food, cooking at home and avoiding fast food whenever I can.

Q: Why do you believe it is important to instill healthy habits in children starting at a young age?

A: It’s so hard to undo bad habits, why not just teach them healthy behaviors from the start? Then, hopefully, once my children get older, knowing how to make good choices and live a healthy lifestyle are just ingrained.

Q: What special healthy efforts that you are making with your family are working really well?

A: Giving kids options is critical. I start at the grocery store, where I involve them in picking out the fruit, helping with cart and choosing healthy food. At home, I put lots of veggies on their plates to let them choose to eat what they want from various healthy alternatives. If they don’t eat the broccoli, they can have an avocado. But, I’ll still put the broccoli on their plate next time as a choice. They are learning and experiencing so much at this age… And as a result, my kids are really healthy eaters.

But one thing I have to be cautious of is to not let my personal tastes negatively influence my kids. I hate mushrooms, for example, but I continue to buy and offer them to my children. It’s the same with activities. I want them to experience as much as possible and develop their own tastes and preferences.

Q: What piece of advice have you been given – or given to others – that has made an impact on your efforts to live a healthier life?

A: It’s ok to speak up. We often don’t realize how much we can have an impact on one another. And by just being a positive role model, you can be so influential. I am constantly having people ask me, “You have so much energy, how do you do it?” I share how eating well and staying active makes me feel so good. People can see your success, the benefits of making good choices, and that’s a perfect opportunity to inspire people.