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It’s important for families to have healthy habits. From eating healthy, to being active, healthy habits are formed best when practiced together.
12 Healthy Habits For Families
How do you build healthy habits? How do you teach your children the importance of eating healthy? How do you and your family get more active? Well, let me help! I know that life can get busy, and the things that never get crossed off the To-Do list are the ones that allow you to have a little fun! These healthy habits for families are focused on getting the whole family moving, eating better and having fun. Together.
Here are Tips For Healthy Children and Families
A good laugh never hurts anyone. You have heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”, well, there is actually research behind that statement. Laughter triggers healthy emotional and physical changes in the body. Laughing also strengthens your immune system, makes you feel happy, helps diminish the feelings brought on by pain, and relieves stress and anxiety. Nothing works faster than making you feel better than a good laugh. Laughing is contagious, if you laugh, chances are the people around you will laugh too.
Find something to laugh about with your family regularly, laughing supports both physical and emotional health. Best of all, laughing is free, fun, and easy to do!
2. Reduce Stress
Stress can cause various issues and it’s important for you and your family to find ways to relieve stress. Kids experience stress and anxiety just like us parents do. Search online for free videos for families that incorporate yoga or deep breathing exercises. For more information on what exactly stress is, how it affects you and how to relieve it, read this article on Ways To Relieve Stress.
3. Be Proactive With Healthcare
Be sure to keep your regularly scheduled well visits, for you and your child(ren). Well visits for children track your child’s growth, behavior, eating and social development. If you or your child isn’t feeling well, be sure to contact a doctor.
4. Get Outside And Play
To get into shape, you have to get moving. And what better way to get moving then to go outside and get moving as a family. Family fitness is not only good for everyone, but it helps create long-term healthy habits. Ideally, kids should have some kind of physical activity every day, and us adults should be exercising four days a week. I’m not saying that you have to go out and do a 5-mile run, but how about a nice walk around the subdivision. Play basketball as a family, get out the scooters, go for a family hike, go for a family bike ride, there are lots of options! When you opt to exercise together as a family, you not only get in more exercise time (which is good for everyone’s health) but you are also getting in more family bonding time.
Having a hard time getting everyone outside? Too hot? Too cold? Short on time? Try a friendly competition of jumping-jacks, push-ups, or planks during commercial breaks or between your favorite streamed episodes. Everyone will have a little fun together and it’s great exercise.
5. Set Technology Limits
Yes, parents, that means for you too. That means no phones. You can make this a daily habit by selecting specific times during the day where everyone takes a phone break, maybe at dinner time or for an hour right before bed. When it’s family fitness time, I would also recommend leaving technology behind.
6. Meal Prep As A Family
Have the kids sit down with you while you meal plan the family menu for the week. Ask them what they would like and suggest they try to make it. Yes! Kids love to learn new things and with a little guidance they can probably make their favorite meal. Just think of how proud they will be of themselves! Not only are you teaching your child important life skills (cooking!), but you are also promoting healthy eating habits. Take them to the grocery store and the farmer’s market with you, the more involved they are, the more interested they will be about learning about cooking and making healthy food choices.
Make sure you are offering fruits and vegetables at every meal, don’t force anyone to eat them, but have them available. And remember to eat your fruits and vegetables, be a role model for healthy eating. The kids are watching and learning from you.
7. Have Healthy Snacks Readily Available
Look for ways to make healthy choices easier and within reach. Have fresh vegetables cut up and have them next to the hummus in the refrigerator, have almonds visible before the cookies, and make sure fruit is ready to eat and easy to grab. A nice bowl of fruit in the kitchen is always a good idea.
Talk, talk, talk. I know life gets busy, I know that when you are done with work for the day, the last thing you want to do it talk more. But talk. Communicate together as a family about your day, dinner, what shows are your favorite on Netflix, anything! A great time to do this is at meal time, when everyone is sitting down together (without their phones). This is not only important communication, but it is also family bonding. Communication affects everyone’s overall well-being.
This one goes along with communication, we are all bound to make mistakes when parenting. Kids make mistakes too. It’s important to admit those mistakes and ask for forgiveness, this creates an open door for communication. Asking for forgiveness will not only help your well-being, but you are also modeling positive behavior to your kids. Holding grudges and being upset never helps anything.
10. Be Thankful
Communicate with each other why you are thankful. We do this in our family every night before bed. It’s important to show your kids what you are thankful for and teach them to appreciate the things they are thankful for.
11. Wind Down Together
For a good night’s sleep, it’s important to wind down before bed. Take a break from your phone, the TV, and just relax a little. That means us adults too! You can read together or alone, play a board game, or work on a puzzle.
12. Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is an essential for adults and children. Children especially. Quality sleep helps in growth, development and just makes for happier kids! Aim for an early bedtime with that wind down time.
If you find yourself having a hard time getting your family involved in these healthy habits, remember that modeling these healthy habits is a good place to start. You can’t force your family to do certain things, but if they see you doing them and being happy and healthy, I would guess that they will want to join in on the healthy fun.