5 Tips for Becoming Healthier as a Family

Board games, movie nights, vacations—lots of things are better as a family.

Spending family time by eating healthier meals.

Planning family time can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Ensuring you’re providing enough family time can help your family in a variety of ways:

  • It creates stronger family bonds.
  • It improves mental well-being and helps your kids feel loved and safe.
  • It can even reduce stress.

Family time is a must, especially now that kids (and adults) are easily occupied by their phones and TV. This can be detrimental to overall health and well-being. In fact, not spending enough time together can increase feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Becoming healthier as a family provides many benefits. If you’re stuck on how to get your family moving in the right direction, here are five tips to make better health a family goal.

Make family time active time

Ask your kids for ideas on ways to be active as a family and follow through on some of their favorite picks. For example, if biking is a fun activity for your kids, make time to bike as a family.

Not only does cycling is a low-impact workout that can help your joint mobility and your heart, but you’ll be spending time with the people you love the most. You’ll also reap the benefits of being outside. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Stay away from screens

Every moment sitting is a moment nobody's moving. Long periods of inactivity increase the chances of obesity, high blood sugar and blood pressure, excess body fat, and bad cholesterol levels.

Limit kids' TV, computer, and video game time to only one or two hours each day. Keep in mind that kids imitate their parents. Set a good example and minimize your screen time too.

Related: Screen Time for Children: How Much Is Okay?

Keep a family activity log

An activity log simply tracks everyone's progress. Each activity is assigned different points, and as you and your kids complete an activity, record the points on the log and display it where everyone can see like on the fridge. If your family enjoys a little competition, set goals each week for your kids to work toward. This adds more incentive to stay active each day.

For a sample log, visit actionforhealthykids.org.

Provide healthy food choices

By stocking your kitchen with healthy food choices, you’re encouraging your family to eat healthier. Just make sure that healthy foods are easily accessible for everyone in your home so that when hunger strikes, they can quickly reach for a healthy snack.

For example, you can put a bowl of washed fruit on the table where it's easy to see and grab. Eating healthy is also a lot easier when foods like chips and candy aren't in your pantry. Spend time looking over your weekly grocery list and either eliminate or substitute unhealthy food choices.

Gather in the kitchen and around the table

Create a routine that phones and other electronics are not allowed during meals and refocus mealtime on family time. Let your kids help you plan and prepare meals. Over time, they will learn how to cook healthy meals, which helps them as they grow older maintain a good relationship with healthy foods.

Related: Become a Healthier At-Home Chef

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