As a parent you are always looking for ways to improve your family’s health. It will always be your responsibility to keep your children active and well nourished. In an age where obesity is at an all time high, it makes you anxious to think about what’s in store for your little ones in the future. Transforming your wellness and your family’s wellness doesn’t need to be difficult.
You just need to understand the basics surrounding fitness, food and mental health. When you can fully immerse yourself into a healthier way of living, your family will instantly start to feel the benefits. Living a long and happy life is all about educating yourself on nutrition and forming healthy habits right now. Check out these really simple and easy ways to improve your family’s health starting today.
Practice Good Habits from a Young Age
If you have very little ones in your household, then now is the perfect time to start instilling those good habits. Do some research on the Early Life Health Nutrition Coallition and you will soon see how your child’s health can be shaped from the moment they enter the world. If you can expose yourself, your newborn or your toddler to wholesome and nutritious foods for example, you will be building a solid foundation for their health right from the beginning.
We automatically snack on whatever is in front of us, especially kids and teens. The trick to combat this is to load up the refrigerator with ready-to-go snacks. Also redefine the difference between snacks and treats. We rely on snacks to keep us going throughout the day so it makes sense that we treat snacks as a mini-meal. Treats on the other hand are high in sugars and low in nutrients. These should be eaten in moderation if you want to improve your family’s health.
A simple way to keep healthy snacks available is to keep a container of celery and carrots or other veggies – peeled, cut-up, and ready to eat – in the fridge at all times. Keeping them in water keeps them crisp. Keep slices of chicken and cheese the fridge as well. Load the fruit drawer with berries, apples, and oranges. Ice-cold water chills in the fridge instead of sugary soda or juices.
Make it a Priority to Eat Meals as a Family
It is so easy to get caught up in running here and there and just grabbing snacks on the go. Even when everyone is at home, unless the meal is planned, it can be difficult to not just grab something quick and easy and never come together at the table.
This change to eat meals together requires intentional planning. You may have to turn down activities that would keep you away from home at dinnertime. Menu planning was essential. A Crock-Pot or Instant Pot might become your best friend. Make rules as well such as no TV or cell phones at the table. If everyone knows what is expected of them ahead of time, it will be a lot easier. Even if you cannot manage the time everyday, even a few days a week will make a difference to improve your family’s health.
Research shows that when families dine together, they tend to eat more vegetables and fruits — and fewer fried foods, soda, and foods with trans fats. The family bonding time also reduces stress.
Even when the kids are grown, you will be amazed by how much they will l still look forward to lunch or dinner at home. The old stories they will talk about will be stories that happened around the family dinner table. The place where everyone laughed, cried and celebrated all of life’s little and big events.
Increase Your Family’s Water Intake
This may seem like a minor thing, but drinking more water can make a big difference. Our bodies are 60 percent water and because our body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion and just about everything, it’s important to continually hydrate. Instead of having soda or sugary juices available at meal time, consider making water the primary drink. If you’re packing your child’s lunch, make sure to include water. This will help promote a healthy lifestyle for their whole life. The more you increase your water intake, the more your body will crave it.
Cut back on screen time.
Work to remove all electronic devices – including tablets, phones and televisions – from each bedroom in your home. Yes, really! This will not only help your family go to bed earlier, but it will also help them sleep better. Keep the TV in the family room, and make movie or TV-show watching a family affair. Family meal time should also be an screen-free zone. Set limits on how much TV, computer and gaming time each child has based on their ages.
Encourage More Outdoor Activities
We all know that screens can take over our lives far too much these days. This is why it is important to encourage your children to get outside and move their bodies on a regular basis in order to improve your family’s health. Instead of reaching for that games console control, it’s time to kick around a football or go for a run in the park!
Reduce Stress as Much as Possible
You might be dubious that your kids are stressed or anxious, but you would be surprised at what their little minds can be thinking. If you think your child is feeling overwhelmed, have an open and honest conversation about how they are feeling. Find out what might be triggering their anxious thoughts and do your best to alleviate them if possible. It might be worth talking to their teacher to see if they display similar behaviour at school. There is a lot you can do when it comes to managing your child’s stress levels, but you need to pinpoint the issue as soon as you can. Once you have found out what is causing their stress, you can come up with solutions to work through it together.
Although you might not think your family is living a particularly unhealthy lifestyle right now, there are probably many more things you could do to improve it. All in all, as long as your kids are getting adequate nutrition from a very young age and they are as active as possible, they will feel the physical and emotional benefits.
Try to get the entire family on board with these small changes and your children will begin to lead by example. Your family’s health will always be incredibly important to you, so take the right steps now and you will always have peace of mind that you are doing your best.