If you’re looking to make some positive changes regarding your and your family’s health, the best thing to do is to make small changes to your daily lifestyle. It can feel overwhelming to know where to begin, so start with these simple tips.
Getting a kid to eat a vegetable can be as fun as trying to give a cat a bath. The best way to overcome this feat is simply exposure. Include something green at every meal- spinach is an easily versatile leafy vegetable full of vital nutrients. Chop and mix it into scrambled eggs, throw it into a smoothie with frozen fruit, or make a salad with hard boiled eggs and a tasty dressing. The more kids see veggies on their plate, the more normal it will become.
Tip: Instill a family rule that everything on your plate must be tasted at least 3 times.
Playing games that require movement is an easy way to get the kids’ heart rate up while having fun. Have a dance party, play a giant game of hopscotch, chase bubbles, ride bikes, or even just a simple game of Simon Says with lots of fun movement.
Tip: Form simple habits that promote exercise, like parking in the furthest spot in the parking lot at the grocery store.
Exercising your brain is important, too! A great way to encourage a strong, engaged brain is to promote the arts in your family. Have designated nights of the week where each family member picks a creative activity. Journaling, reading a book, having quiet meditation time, or doing puzzles are all great ways to keep the brain turned on while the electronics stay off.
Tip: Place writing utensils and paper in accessible but organized areas around the house to encourage spontaneous creativity.
When it comes to getting the whole family active, Mother Nature is your friend! Try to have at least one outdoor activity as a family each week. You can take a family bike ride, throw a ball together at a local park, go swimming, or go on a hike. Time together outside will create special memories and traditions, and has positive impact on mental health, as well.
Tip: A simple walk around the neighborhood after dinner is a great family activity.
When thinking about creating healthy habits in your family, you can’t forget the importance of meaningful conversation among family members. Ask questions that help you get to know each other and form tight knit relationships. This will help each individual feel valued, respected, and safe, which all contribute to healthy living. Have dinner together as a family at least twice a week, and be intentional about the discussion.
Tip: Each family member shares “A Rose and a Thorn,” sharing a highlight and a low point of the day. Take turns asking follow up questions and responding to one another.