When you become a parent, you are taking on a new list of responsibilities. It is up to you to make sure that this new little human can survive and thrive with the way that you raise them. The older your family gets, the less reliant the kids will become on you, measuring their independence and eventually flying the coop in most cases. It is important to never take that time for granted. It tends to fly by, and all of a sudden you realize that the kids are all grown up.
One thing that you can instill in your kids is the importance of a healthy lifestyle. When they are young, they will probably carve those sugars and sweets more than balanced foods. They also might want to play video games or spend time on a tablet when they are bored. How you view health as a family can set them up for wellness for the rest of their lives.
The key is to consider health for everyone, not just your kids. When the whole family unit can adopt healthy practices, this will create healthy habits in your children that can make them more likely to prioritize wellness as they get older. Here are a few ways to look out for the health of the whole family.
The importance of exercise cannot be understated, especially for children. Obesity and heart disease are huge problems in this country, and an active lifestyle can stave off some of these negative effects. The best way to encourage your kids to exercise, no matter their age, is to do it with them. Find a fun, competitive sport that you all can enjoy together. Go on bike rides through local trails around town. Try short day hikes that can be driven to in an hour or two. Spend time outside running around and chasing each other in the yard. The more active the entire family is together, the easier it will be for health to remain a focus going forward.
Very few children love drinking water. They probably prefer juice or soda or sweeter drinks. But drinking enough water is a pillar of total body health. Most people do not consume the recommended amount each day, so it falls to you to find ways to encourage hydration for the whole family. Challenge them to drink one, two, or three refills of a reusable bottle each day. To make sure the water is clean and safe for them to drink, consider what water treatment solution your home should incorporate. Maybe you can enforce a glass of water with certain meals. The more water the whole family drink, the better off their body’s cells will be.
A balanced diet is another major pillar of wellness that you should prioritize for your family. Everyone should be getting a good mix of fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and dairy to provide them with the necessary nutrients. But you can take things a step further with nutrition by purchasing dietary supplements. Many parents give their children multivitamins in gummy form when they are young because they are fun, tasty, and can boost nutrient levels further. For the adults in the home, you could always choose a different product like fiber supplements, which support optimal gut health. Make sure that the family uses these products in combination with a good diet, as relying on them to cover gaps in nutrition is not a good idea.
Grow a Produce Garden Together
Want to hit multiple aspects of health with one activity? It’s time to start a produce garden with the kids in your backyard. Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and/or herbs can accomplish multiple positive effects on your family. First, it can teach your young children about responsibility and taking care of something. Second, it gets them outside in the fresh air and sunshine more. Third, it provides healthy foods that are necessary for their nutrients. As a bonus, it might be easier to convince your kids to eat vegetables if they have helped grow and harvest them. Working together on a produce garden is a fun activity that can bring the family together, all while supporting multiple healthy habits.
Lead From the Front
When trying to encourage healthy behaviors in the family, it is far more effective to lead from the front than from the back. If you are trying to get your kids to make changes, but are not willing to commit to those same practices, they may decide that it is not worth it. Instead, be the first to adopt these behaviors so that the rest of the family will want to follow along. Start exercising yourself and come up with activities that everyone can participate in. Drink more water to demonstrate its importance to your kids. Start taking supplements and create a plan for a veggie garden. If you lead the way, then the family can follow and their wellness will improve.