Family on a trek day in the mountain looking at the viewMaybe your family is already health conscious, but there’s always an opportunity to improve in little ways. Whether you’d like to eat a bit healthier or you’d like to see your family spending more time out in the sunshine, there are policies and practices you can gently introduce to your household to make your goals into a reality. Getting kids — and adults, for that matter — into a groove can be tough at first, but habits stick. And you can help to create them.
You can lead by example by participating in the routines you implement, even if you already feel motivated to live a healthy life. Teamwork can be crucial for encouragement, especially within the family unit. Kids love to copy their parents — even if their parents are doing yoga and eating salads.
There are so many pieces of healthy living, from the physical body to the mental and emotional life, and your house can be a place where they all thrive.
1. Exercise Together
People of all walks of life need physical activity to be healthy — experts recommend at least 30 minutes a day. While you don’t have to drag your kiddos to pilates, finding a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy will motivate you and the kids to get out and move. Ask your whole family what they’d like to do. See where their interests lie and work with them. Maybe you’ll end up on a jog together, or maybe you’ll be tossing a frisbee in the park with the family dog.
Setting aside time in your family’s daily schedule can turn your family workout routine into a fun habit. When you find something you all love, it turns your family exercise time into quality time together.
2. Have a No Screen Zone
Screen time isn’t great for kids or adults. Screens can harm the eyes and brain cells, and encourage sedentary habits. Whether you implement a physical no screen space in your house or you set time aside to put the phones and tablets away, taking some time to engage more mindfully with your surroundings can be beneficial for everyone in the house.
It can be hard for kids who are used to screens to take time away, and that’s part of why it’s so necessary. Taking time and space apart from screens can make room for healthier habits like reading and more engaged forms of play. This might even be a great policy to adopt for yourself and the other adults around, as it can be easy to get stuck to your phone much more often than you realize. Putting devices down can foster genuine connection, especially if you’re spending more time with your family indoors.
3. Cook Healthy Meals for the Family
If you’re in control of mealtimes, you can take the opportunity to introduce healthier meals for the whole house. Family meals are important to build a sense of togetherness within the household and to make sure everyone is eating healthily and together. If you’ve been in a bit of a rut cooking recently, reviving some healthy cooking ideas can be a great idea for creating a sense of community around healthy living.
You can start slowly, as introducing little changes to well loved household favorites can make a big difference over time. Toss in a few more vegetables or switch out a refined grain for a whole grain. Soon, your family might just be chowing down on salads and greens all day long.
4. Keep Healthy Snacks Around the House
Similar to making meals, keeping healthy snacks around the house will encourage everyone to eat them. Doing the grocery shopping for your family allows you to make smart choices before you bring anything home. Junk food is much more tempting when it’s in the house than when it’s simply a craving. Treats are fine in moderation, but stocking your pantry with healthy alternatives will normalize healthy food and eventually make it stick.
Making sure everyone in the house is staying hydrated and drinking water is also a part of healthy living. Keeping sodas and sugary drinks out of the house and limiting the drink options to natural juices and water will keep the whole house more hydrated and vibrant.
5. Prioritize Mental Health
No matter how young your kids are, it’s never too early to open up the conversation around mental health. Just like physical health, mental health is an important part of overall wellness. Ask your kids about their emotions and hold regular, normalized conversations about how you’re all feeling as a family. When you open up, your kids will be more likely to open up as well.
Encouraging self care can be a great way to implement mental wellness practices from a young age. Help your kids practice acts of self care by guiding them to journal and fostering creative expression. The adults in the house can also benefit from this, as spending extra time considering mental health can be a great reminder to take a little extra care.
From the inside out, encouraging wellness for the family will help everyone thrive. Little steps can lead to big positive change, and your dedication will help everyone see the amazing benefits soon enough.