Monday, February 17, 2020

Making Health a Family Affair: Simple Steps To Future Proof Your Health

Wazzup Pilipinas!

When you have a family, every step you take is observed and even adopted. Kids learn based on the model, and parents are their role models during the formative childhood years. Healthy habits are developed and adopted over time and the entire family plays an important role. So, if you want to make health a family affair and instill some good habits into your children, do it as a team.

They know the importance of quality time

Healthy families know the value of doing things together. You can’t just tell your kids to go out and play, you should set up an example instead. Since, kids these days are inclined to spend all of their time indoors, create a healthier routine. Pick at least three days a week and spend 30 minutes to an hour on a fun outdoor activity. You can easily use this to your own advantage as well. When you skip your regular workout, but you still need that post-exercise thrill, go for a speedy walk with your kids. You can even challenge them to race you. This way you’ll bond, spend time outside and take up a regular physical activity.

Never skip breakfast

If a parent skips breakfast in the morning, the kid won’t be so hungry in the morning as well. Kids repeat our motions because they want to be all grown up. So, give a good example of never skipping breakfast in the morning. Breakfasts are essential to our morning routine because they fuel our body right after an all-night fast. Eating during an hour after waking up jumpstarts the metabolism and gives us the right energy we need. Even for your kids’ meals, stick to healthy unprocessed food like oatmeal decorated with fruit or scrambled eggs decorated with pieces of colorful veggies. If your kids are picky eaters, break this bad habit by decorating their breakfast with pieces of fresh fruit or veggies.

Share meals together

Mealtime brings family close and strengthens their bond. You will get an opportunity to discuss their day while you also influence their healthy eating habits. When you sit at a table together without your phones and without any time limits, you get to truly enjoy the meal and each others presence. Even if you can’t sit together through every meal, aim to share at least one together.

When you do this, you model healthy behavior to your kids and get to control their portion size. You can also invite your kids to suggest some meals and you can even cook them together. To make sure that your kids eat enough veggies and fruit, make sure each meal is based on it.

Healthy snacking is an option

Kids love to snack because snacks are too tasty and easy to consume. But, the point of a snack is the fuel you up between meals so you won’t starve until lunch or dinner. Since a bag of chips or a chocolate bar is a source of empty calories you need to explain the difference first to your kids. Then, offer a healthy snacking option like carrot slices, apples, bananas, greek yogurt, nuts or dried plums. Make sure your kids have these options available to them when you’re not home. Stock up your fridge or pantry with a variety of healthy snacks and remind your kids that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

They are also creative together

This is especially important if you have younger children - spend time on creative projects together. Parents will use this as stress relief, while kids will boost their imagination, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking. For example, you can both color together. Parents can express their artistic side while coloring an adult coloring book. Whereas, kids can color their own age-appropriate coloring book. This way you’ll both enjoy a moment of peace, while also engaging in a great activity together.

If your kids are teenagers, you can find a DIY project like sewing or a pottery class. Cooking together is also a creative activity and kids of all ages can participate. All you have to do is give them a suitable activity they can master with confidence.

They do one fitness activity together

It goes without saying that healthy parents create the environment for their kids to be healthy as well. SO, if you as a parent prioritize exercise as an integral part of your lifestyle, your kids should follow as well. You should definitely sign your kid up for a fitn=tness class appropriate for their age. You can both sign up for a martial arts class at the same fitness center. This way your kid will be proud that you are doing the same type of activity at the same place and most likely fall in love with it more easily.

Also, do one fitness activity together. You can go running around the block or cycling on the weekends. Find a suitable bicycle for your kid at Bicycles Online and embark on weekend cycling adventures.

They also embrace mental health activities

In the age of video games and YouTubers, you can’t expect your kid to pick up a book on their own. Reading is a forgotten activity among adults as well. So, in order to inspire your kids to seek an adventure hidden within pages of a book and foster their creativity, thinking skills, imagination and increase brain power, set up a family book club. You can all join a public library and make reading a family affair. You can catch up on the classics while your kids explore the adventure series The Famous Five or the Harry Potter books. This will increase the chances of your kids reading later in life. Furthermore, they will improve their concentration, communication, exercise the brain and also explore an alternative way to have fun.

When you do it as a family, you can discuss your current reads on a weekly basis and exchange your views and thoughts on various topics.

They talk

A family book club is a great way to work on your communication skills. Even if you don’t prioritize reading, you should prioritize talking and this feeling of trust in your kids. This is yet another trait of healthy families because communication is a sign of a healthy atmosphere at home full of love and trust. Your kids shouldn’t be afraid to approach you when they have problems, issues or other dilemmas.

Don’t just rely on eating together to get a chance to talk with your kids and share experiences. Turn it into a weekly date. This will further strengthen your bond and create a healthy atmosphere for your kid to confide and share.

Put a limit on screen time

If your kid is old enough to have their phone, you need to set up some boundaries. Life happens when you are present in the moment, not glued to the screen. Moreover, kids who spend too much time on their phones or in front of a screen have a short attention span, struggle with obesity, and also affect their behavior and development.

When you put a daily limit on screen time, you’re doing your kid a favor, even though they might protest it. Moreover, you should also put a limit to your own screen time to lead by example. Create no-phone zones in the house, like at the table or during homework time. Don’t let your kids take their phone to bed, because there’s a risk of them using it during the night. Instead, create a charging zone in the living room where everyone is expected to put their phone at 8 pm in the evening. The phone should remain there until the morning.

Prioritize proactive health care

Regular health checkups are important especially when your child is growing up. You should teach your kids the importance of dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. This way, you’ll stop any dental issue from turning into a cavity or a lost tooth and teach your kids that they are responsible for their health.

Create a schedule together

You should plan all healthy family activities together and put them on a calendar. Plan daily, weekly and monthly schedules. Put this schedule somewhere where everyone can see it and be reminded of an upcoming activity. Consult this schedule when you need to make some impromptu changes to your routine. Regular practice turns a healthy activity into a healthy habit so make sure to respect this schedule and enjoy the fun activities together.

With a bit of planning, creativity, and effort, the entire family can make health a family affair. This will also leave room for some indulgences and turn them from guilty snacks into earned treats.

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