Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Committing to these lifestyle habits as a child can make it easier to stick to as an adult. Creating healthy habits for your whole family can be tough as you navigate the time and energy needed to make good choices, but it’s worth it!
- Keep Healthy Foods in the Home. When healthy foods are readily available, it’s easier to eat healthily. Stock your pantry with healthy staples like whole-wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, brown rice, nuts and seeds, and yogurt snacks (like fruit or veggies). Keep fresh fruits in the kitchen at all times for a quick snack on hand when hunger strikes.
- Model Healthy Eating. One of the best ways to get your kids to eat healthily is to model healthy eating habits yourself. If you make healthy choices, your kids are more likely to follow suit. Eat together as a family and take the time to discuss healthy foods. Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer – focus on enjoying your food and spending quality time together.
- Have Meals as a Family. Eating as a family is great for more than just the food. It helps develop positive relationships with your kids and strengthens your bond, which can help improve their health in many ways.
- Eat Healthy Meals at the Table. Even though eating on the run is convenient, fast food usually contains high amounts of fat and it can be difficult to estimate how much you are actually consuming when your meal comes in a paper bag or plastic container. Committing to eating together at home can boost relationships and limit fat intake.
- Be Active Together. Practicing physical activity as a family is not only fun, but it’s a great way to get moving and spend time together. Go for walks, bike rides, play tag, or basketball – anything that gets everyone up and active.
- Limit Screen Time. When families spend excessive amounts of time in front of screens, it can be tough to find the time or energy to get active. Try setting limits on screen time (TV, computer, phone) and replacing some of that lost time with physical activity.
- Make Sports a Priority. Encouraging your kids to participate in sports is a great way to promote healthy habits and help them stay physically active.
One of the best things you can do for your family’s health is to start early. If you can get kids into healthy habits when they’re young, it becomes a part of their lifestyle and they are more likely to stick with it as they grow older.
If you would like more information on how to reach your family health goals, contact your primary care provider or our Nutrition Coordinator, Rachel Beyer, at 503-769-4380.