We all wish for a happy and healthy family. But with the pressures of work, the impact of technology and kids’ aversion to all things leafy and green, keeping your loved ones well can be easier said than done.
Experts agree the key is taking a team approach, involving both kids and adults alike. Everyone is more likely to stick to healthy lifestyle choices when working together.
Here are five healthy habits you can adopt as a family:
1. Lead by example
When we become parents, it’s easy to let our health and fitness fall by the wayside. Staying fit and preparing fresh foods takes time and energy; it can be easier to let things slide, thinking we’ll get back on track when the kids are older. But keeping up a healthy lifestyle will help you feel good and set a great example for your youngsters. Make exercise a priority and talk to your kids about the way it makes you feel. Explain your healthy food choices and let them see you trying and enjoying new foods.
2. Be active together
Being an active family doesn’t mean you have to start signing up for marathons or slogging it out at the gym! Make fitness fun by riding bikes together, kicking a footy at the park or playing your favourite tunes and having a ‘dance-off’. Invest in old-school toys like hula hoops, skipping ropes, kites and frisbees and see how much fun everyone has without a screen in sight. Walking to and from school together is another easy way to make family fitness part of your everyday routine.
3. Grow a garden
The pros of planting your own fruit and veggie patch are endless. It brings the whole family outdoors for a healthy dose of fresh air and vitamin D. Kids will learn about where their food comes from and gain a sense of pride from looking after a garden. Growing your own pesticide-free produce is also healthier and brings down the cost of your supermarket bill.
4. Cook together
If the idea of letting your kids into the kitchen (and the resulting mess) makes you nervous, try to focus on the benefits. Children are more likely to eat something they’ve helped prepare. Cooking also offers loads of learning opportunities, from literacy (reading a recipe) to simple maths (measuring ingredients). And seeing the journey foods make from the garden to the plate can be a life-changing lesson in nutrition.
5. Dine together
If your household has slipped into the habit of eating evening meals in front of the TV, invite everyone up to the table and make dinner a time for socialising and sharing. Kids are more likely to try new foods when they see you eating them. Family dinners are also the perfect time to teach healthy habits like eating slowly, chewing well, and stopping when you’re full. If your children are reluctant to talk about their day, try these fun conversation starters to encourage everyone to open up.
Nutritional support for your family
Even the healthiest families need a nutritional boost sometimes. Oz Farm’s 100% Australian-made milk formulas are tailored to meet the nutritional needs of every family member, from infants and school kids through to pregnant women, busy mums and seniors. Simply add water to create a delicious, nutritious drink packed with all the goodness you and your loved ones need to stay strong and healthy.