Parents, we hear you! Juggling a family and your own health goals is hard. Parents (read: superheroes) often place personal goals on the backburner while prioritizing the needs of their family. Some even feel a tinge of guilt when taking “me-time” to go to yoga class or the farmer’s market.
What if there was a middle ground between being selfless and selfish? What if the best thing for you and the best thing for your family were the same thing? It’s possible, #NoomNerds. Consider these five habits of healthy families:
1. Go on adventures
Forget exercise or workouts. Those words can even bore adults to tears, nevermind children. Instead, go on adventures! Hiking, ice skating, biking, scavenger hunts. Make activity a norm in your family. Move your bodies in ways that feels less like a chore, and more like a field trip.
2. Eat together
Make meal time so much more that stuff-your-face time. Actually sit down at a table together, forgoing all electronics, for just one meal a day. This encourages family-wide mindfulness (like slower eating), and at the same time you can connect as a family. Learn about each other’s days, laugh, and appreciate your meals. Not only will you all likely be healthier and more satisfied with your meal, but closer as a family.
3. Engage in agriculture
Spark your kids’ interest and respect for real food. Visit a farm that grows loads of apples or funky veggies (many even have petting zoos!). Or, bring it home: Plant your own tomato seeds and watch a plant slowly come to life as a family. Live in an apartment or struggle to even keep fake plants alive? Grow some basil in a window sill – no green thumb required.
4. Family meal planning
Let your kid(s) choose one or more meal a week. If they’re old enough, involve them in the prep, too! This sparks interest, ownership and pride in the healthy meals created. Do they want tacos? Make a turkey filling with whole grain wraps. Chicken nuggets? Whole-grain breaded and baked chicken tenders should do the trick! Make these meals tasty, so “healthy” doesn’t become a cringe-worthy, nose-scrunching word in your home.
5. Set an example
Monkey see, monkey do. If mom is eating an apple and almonds, kids want it, too! Conversely, if dad is complaining about broccoli, the kids will, too. And if mom is always talking about how ice cream is off limits to her, the kids will start to believe it’s “bad” too. Ask yourself how your words and actions are perceived by your children. You’re probably more impactful than you think!
Bottom line: Your family does not have to be a barrier. Getting and remaining healthy can be a subtle family affair with benefits for everyone involved – for years to come. So tell us, superheroes, what will you try?
Author: Taylor Bathel