So you want to be healthy, but your family doesn’t. You are ready for a lifestyle change, but your family isn’t. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Want to find out how to get the entire family choosing healthier option?? Below are some tips to change your entire families lifestyle.
Start the communication about health or diet with your family
I think you need to start by being honest. Tell your family that you are sick of being sick and tired and you are trying to make some changes.
Involving the entire family in a clean eating and fitness program is pertinent to their overall health and wellness. In a child’s eyes, exercise and healthy eating may seem boring. However, by involving all members of your family in a lifestyle change, they can all work together to support each other in reaching their goals.
Below are a few steps you can take to keep your family happy and healthy. Whereas trying to add every one of these steps at one time may seem like a daunting task, try adding only one per week. It is much easier to stick to a new healthy lifestyle when small changes are being made over a period of time. The idea is to let the family adjust slowly. This way, they will be able to sustain the healthier lifestyles for longer.
Here are a few tips to help you along.
Step 1: Utilize fun family activities to incorporate more exercise into your lifestyle. By adding in a degree of fun, children will not even realize they are exercising. Balance TV time with exercise time. Even family TV time can be a way to incorporate more physical activity into your day. During commercials, instruct everyone to get up off the couch and exercise. Challenge each other to see who can do the most jumping jacks or sit-ups. It can be fun to rename exercises for very small children. Instead of sit-ups, call them ‘Princess- ups’. Little boys might enjoy an exercise called ‘Bob the Builder muscle builders’. At the next commercial break, switch roles and let the adults tell the children what to do. Older children may enjoy a challenge, such as a contest to determine which member of the family can do the most push-ups.
Step 2: Let the entire family participate in meal planning. Try searching for healthy recipes online and letting each member of the family choose ones they would like to try. Young children are much more likely to try a dish that they have chosen themselves, than one a parent has chosen for them. It can also be fun to set a meal theme every week. For example, one week, challenge every member of the family to find a new recipe that uses a green vegetable, such as broccoli. The following week could be an international theme, such as making a homemade quinoa dish, a vegetable filled stir-fry, or an Italian pasta sauce made from home-grown tomatoes and spices, served over a bed of spaghetti squash. Eating the same veggies every night gets old quick as healthy as it is. Variety is important. Try them out at home.
Step 3: Family members should hold each other accountable. Let the entire family engage in keeping everyone accountable in adhering to your healthy living plans. It can be fun to assign certain task to certain family members, and young children appear to thoroughly enjoy this. For example, one family member should be responsible for ensuring everyone else participates in some form of physical activity every day. Another family member should help monitor the kitchen and make it a point to keep an eye out for any unhealthy foods, such as potato chips or cookies. When a person is spotted eating something that is not healthy or not participating in a family physical activity, they must perform a chore such as washing that night’s dishes, taking out the garbage, or helping a sibling clean their room.
Step 4: Get rid of the junk food. Processed foods are one of the number one causes of obesity today. Most processed foods are full of salt and sugar to enhance their flavor, which is detrimental to your health and waistline. Practicing clean eating can help keep body weight levels within a healthy range, and also helps fight off illness. Instead of eating popcorn, chips and cookies in front of the TV, offer bowls of freshly made fruit salad, carrot sticks, or even homemade chips made from thinly sliced sweet potatoes. Processed foods are void of nutrients that do not provide children with the energy they need to run and play. You may notice that by offering healthier snack alternatives, the energy levels of all the members of your family will start increase.
Step 5: Get back to the basics. Many studies have shown the benefits of following a paleo lifestyle, and it is an especially effective way to get children to eat healthy foods. ‘Paleo’ refers to the type of foods that were consumed by our ancestors who lived in the Paleolithic era. Because of this, it is often referred to as the caveman diet. Your children will think it is great fun to pretend that they are eating like a caveman. This diet, by nature, does not allow the consumption of any processed or unhealthy foods.
Step 6: Start a rewards program. Children are usually motivated to perform any action when a prize is involved. Try creating a sticker chart, where your child can place a sticker on a grid every time he or she chooses a healthy snack or performs at least ten minutes of physical activity. When a set number of stickers have been received, the child gets a small prize. Try to steer clear of rewarding with treats of candy or junk food. Make sure each family member understands the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. There are many documentaries available that teach how dangerous the over-consumption of fast foods, junk foods and soft drinks are. Reading easy-to-understand health articles with your family and watching a few of these documentaries can help them understand why the entire family must work together to keep each other healthy.
Where as all of the above tips may not be suitable for every family, they can provide you with a basic outline of how to set a strong foundation for your family’s new lifestyle. By working together, each member of your family can become fit and enhance their overall levels of wellness.