Family Wellness – Top Tips To Get Your Family HealthyOctober 8, 2018
As a mom, it’s always tricky to navigate the realms of personal health, knowing full well that you’re also doing it for your family. Ensuring that your family stays healthy is largely up to you as a parent, which puts a lot of pressure on you to help implement healthy habits and come up with nutritious recipes. For me, it’s constantly at the back of my mind and it influences many choices, from defining shopping lists to choosing family activities. But it’s not impossible to ensure family wellness, and it begins with YOU!
Here are my top tips to get your family healthy. Some are easier to implement than others, but you’ll find which ones suit your family and maybe you’ll gain some inspiration from others.
Make Outside Activity A Daily Pre-Requisite
Come sunshine or overcast days, getting outside is a boost for the soul as well as the body and mind. Getting some fresh air rejuvenates the body and instantly lifts the spirits. On sunny days, a dose of Vitamin D direct from the sun actually boosts your mood. True story! My husband and I get outside every day for a run or a brisk walk, but where our kids are concerned, it’s a little more difficult to encourage. They will always prefer playing on the iPad, playing Lego or Instagramming on their phones. For them, this is the new normal, and they would do it day in and day out if they could.
To help them maintain a healthy way of living, we’ve made a rule that they need to get outside at least once a day. Aside from walking home from school, they also need to get outside for a walk, a bike ride, a swim or simply just to hang out in the garden. The changes we see in their headspace after being outside are phenomenal.
Encourage Physical Activity
As parents we know that fitness is an essential component to a long and happy life. But as kids, who are naturally active, they don’t see it as important. It’s so much easier to grow into a healthy adult if you’ve had the right building blocks as a kid, so we get our kids enrolled in physical activities that they actually enjoy.
Each kid has had the opportunity to choose an extra-curricular activity that they enjoy, and they take part in it regularly. The youngest prefers Judo, the middle child simply enjoys going to the gym with his friends, and my oldest daughter is into hip-hop dancing. These activities fuel them and up the feelgood factor of their day, so I am more than happy to invest in this type of happiness.
When it comes to family holidays and outings, we tend to try and do something that is active in a fun way. We have beautiful backdrops all around us, so we try and go hiking to explore them all. We take holidays on the coast where swimming in the sea or surfing is a daily activity. We do simple things like longboard or skateboard together, go on walks together, go to a trampoline gym together or whatever it takes to have fun in an active environment.
Make Healthy Food Delicious Food
Eating for health is so much easier when you’re older, but as a kid or young adult, you only want to eat food that you love. So, the answer is to make healthy food delicious. It’s not that difficult. We are a family of vegetarians so already we need to be more creative with our meals to ensure we get the right nutrients. The simplest things are usually the most effective.
I like adding hidden vegetables in family favorites. We love spaghetti bolognaise (who doesn’t?) using lentils or vegan mince, so I add a ton of veggies into the mix to add flavor, but mostly to add nutrients. I blend cooked carrots, baby marrows, mushrooms and broccoli with the tomatoes. This makes a thick, creamy, nutritious tomato sauce to go with the mince, onions and vegetable stock. Not only does it add mounds of flavor, but it also increases the nutrients of the dish by 1000!
I also make my family drink vegetable juice on the regular, but not before mixing it with their favorite fruits. A good mix is carrot, cucumber, celery and spinach juiced together with loads of sweet and juicy apples. The sweetness from the apple and carrot far overrides any vegetable flavor, making it a completely delicious juice.
Education Is Paramount
Keeping our kids in the loop with regards to healthy living is so important. From instilling values of personal hygiene, to making them mindful of their impact on the planet, on themselves and on others. Keeping them informed and making them conscious of how their behavior, eating habits and fitness regime will have an impact on their overall wellbeing is of vital importance. If they can see how a healthy lifestyle will benefit them in the long run, they can make their own decisions on how to improve themselves in terms of body, mind and soul.
This is something that I’ve made a part of my children’s lives from the get-go, and they are all consciously making better choices for themselves and their personal wellbeing. My six-year old talks about having healthy food before he can have a treat, my 15-year old has an incredible self-care and skincare routine, while my 17-year old has her own fitness regime that she carries out on her own in her room along to her favorite music.
Making conscious choices about family wellbeing is a family initiative, but it begins with the parents. If you can bring your kids up with the right health, fitness and wellness values, they will carry this forward in their own lives. Such an incredible gift to give your kids!
Katherine Stott is a mother, a wife and a South African freelance writer with over a decade of experience in blogging, writing for SEO and managing communications. She writes on a number of different topics, but health, fitness and wellness are her main topics of interest. She writes for a number of different local wellness businesses such as The Physical Evolution, a health and fitness portal, Healthi Choices, a wellness portal, and Linctagon, a natural cold and flu prevention medication.