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How To Keep The Whole Family Healthy

Making time for a healthy lifestyle for the family can seem time-consuming and overwhelming. Luckily, the good news is that making a few small lifestyle changes can lead to healthy habits that don’t need much thought or effort to make part of your family’s daily life. 

Get creative and make healthier habits into the life of your family and your daily schedule. Whether you’re a single parent, co-parenting, or married, a stay-at-home parent, or working, here are a few easy ways to make more time for the whole family to be more healthy and active.

Find free times for activity

Keep track of each family member’s daily activities for one week. By keeping track, you can get an idea of when you might be able to get the family together for some physical activity. It can also help you see if there are any activities you can cut back on so you can spend more time together in a healthy routine

Find two half-hour and two hour long time slots that you can use for some family activity time. Weekdays are usually the better choice for the half-hour activity slots and weekends are better for the hour-long options. Try to spread out these time slots so your activity is spread out across the week. Use these time slots for things like walks, bike rides, games in the garden, and other physical but fun things to do. 

Plan a weekly menu and prep your meals.

Pay attention to how many times you grab food on the go for one week. You might be surprised by how much you rely on snack food. Find some free time when you can do a little planning so it will be easier for you to learn some healthy food preparation methods and find the time to fix healthy snacks instead of pre-packaged, processed options.

Simplify your family’s schedule

As a parent, you can feel like you need to do it all. In fact, this kind of non-stop pace isn’t sustainable or healthy. Try prioritizing your activities and see what you can do without so you’ll have more time for the things that matter. Save yourself time with lists, routines, and tricks like doing your shopping online. You can buy just about everything online now, from your groceries to kid’s medicines at an online pharmacy

Take baby steps, not giant leaps

As a parent, making sure that everyone in your home is taking proper of their physical and mental health can be a lot to handle. The trick is to take baby steps. Getting healthy is a journey. You don’t have to overhaul your entire life all in one go or try to do everything at once. Make a few small changes at a time, and work towards a healthier family lifestyle in a more gradual way. 

Ask everyone in the family to do their part

Depending on their ages, your children can help you to prepare healthy meals and help you around the house. Treat your family like a team and encourage everyone to work together. You’ll have more time, and your kids learn some responsibility that will be useful to them as they grow up. 

Live by example

If you want your children to eat healthily and get enough exercise, you will have to model that behavior. You don’t have to lead a perfect life, but if you can model good habits, the rest of the family will be more likely to do the same. 

Eat Better

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is what refuels the body and provides energy for the day.

Help the children to learn good food habits by getting them to help plan and prepare at least one meal each week. Sit down to eat together as a family as often as possible. When you eat, take your time, and chew slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell the body that you are full.

Try to eat more vegetables and fresh fruits. Aim for a total of two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. Feed the family more whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, rye, and whole-wheat pasta. Try to eat at least three ounces of whole grains every day.

Make sure everyone is getting plenty of fluids. Choose water, low-fat or nonfat milk, and low-calorie beverages.

As a parent, try not to treat food as a reward. Offer praise, not ice cream for a job well done, so the kids don’t learn that food has to be earned. Teach appetite and portion control by not insisting on a clean plate. Let your children ask for more if they are still hungry.

Get in the habit of reading nutrition labels to learn about what’s in your food and what portion you should be eating. This information can help you select foods that fit your family’s needs. Don’t cook with butter or vegetable oil. Use healthier versions like olive, canola, or sunflower oil.

Get Active

Make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Take a walk together before or after meals. Be active by shooting hoops or playing tag together in the garden. Get active in the home too. For example, get everyone involved in the dusting, vacuuming, gardening, or walking the dog. These activities are good ways to burn calories. Make sure you know what your daily calorie needs are. Balance the calories you consume with calories you burn.

To encourage children to be active, limit TV, computer, and video game time to less than two hours a day. Limit your own screen time too to set a good example. Try to be a good role model to your children, and find ways to be more active in your own everyday life. You can do things like parking further away from the store, getting off the bus a stop early, or cutting back on your own television time in exchange for exercise.

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