Have you ever noticed that families tend to all have the same shape? Obese parents usually have chubby kids and thin moms and dads typically live with children who are fit and active. Healthy living is a habit that we pass on to our spouse as well as our kids. Here are a few simple ways to help your family make good diet and exercise choices:
- Plan outdoor activities. Set aside one day each week for doing something active as a family in the great outdoors. Swimming, hiking, biking and sledding are all good activities for every season.
- Make time for a family dinner. A 2000 survey showed that preteens who ate dinner with their families were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables than those who didn’t. It’s also a great way for the family to connect emotionally.
- Don’t use foods as a reward. Many parents make the mistake of rewarding picky eaters with dessert if they eat a nutritious meal. This can lead to a long term aversion to healthy foods, according to researchers.
- Make your home a safe haven. Select soothing colors and furniture that are pleasing to the eye and comfortable. Everything in your home, from colors to lighting can affect your sleep habits and overall health down the road.
- Get a doormat. Or take a cue from Eastern cultures and remove your shoes before entering your home. By some estimates, up to 85 percent of the dirt in our homes is brought in on our shoes. Wiping your feet or removing shoes will keep you healthier and your home cleaner.
- Don’t give up on healthy foods. When my son was little, his pediatrician assured me that it usually takes about 10 introductions to a food for a child to decide whether or not they like it. Just because they don’t like it the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t be a hit once it’s familiar.
- Slim down as a family. It’s estimated that two-thirds of Americans are overweight. While this number is shocking, we can take comfort in the fact that healthy choices made by one family member often rub off on others.
- Show your kids where their food comes from. Take them to a farmer’s market or grow your own garden together. Involve them in produce selection and cooking so they’ll understand how food makes its way from the ground to the plate.
It only takes one person to make the choice to have a healthier home life. While you may encounter resistance to change in the beginning, your family’s health is worth fighting for. Talk to your chiropractic team about ways that you can encourage healthier habits for your family members. They’ll be able to help you understand how important it is to take steps to keep your family healthy so they’ll be around for years to come.
Photo credit: A family walking by ☺ Lee J Haywood. Used under a Creative Commons license.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.