Habits of Healthy Families

The earlier you can develop healthy habits as a family, the more likely your kids are to roll with them. This can be really important for helping them to make lifestyle choices that will serve them well as adults too. 

If you’re trying to make sure that your family lives a healthier life, adopting some of these habits could make a big difference. 

Making healthy eating your new lifestyle

If healthy eating is a way of life for your family, it’s hard for kids not to develop good habits around nutrition. 

If you don’t have unhealthy foods in the home and only dish them out as real treats, there’s a much better chance that your family will come on board with eating well, especially if this is done from a really early age. That said, it’s never too late to get your family eating healthily! 

Drawing clear lines around “everyday” foods 

On a similar note, healthy families tend to draw clear boundaries around which foods are classed as “everyday” foods and which are foods that can be eaten but not as a staple. 

In a nutshell, “everyday” foods are the healthy kind that can make up the bulk of your meals and snacks. Nutritious, whole foods fall into this group.

Anything that is processed and high in sugar, salt or fat goes into the other category and while they aren’t completely banned, they shouldn’t be eaten every single day. 

Ideally your kids will know the difference between the two groups and why certain foods fall into the “everyday” group while others don’t. 

Cooking Together

Getting kids involved in making the meals and snacks that go on their plate is a healthy habit that can help to create a positive relationship between your family and good nutrition. 

Make cooking a family activity and get everyone engaged in preparing food. Even small children can be given a role in the kitchen, even if it’s just setting the table or stirring the bowl when you’re baking together. Bigger kids can take a more active role and get a bit more hands on.

Smart Snacking

Traditional snacks such as cookies or crackers can be high in sugar and salt. Swapping them for fruits and raw vegetables is often a much healthier choice. Lots of fruits are naturally sweet and you can team raw veggies such as celery and carrot with nut butters for a more filling snack. 

Making time for meals

Too often, mealtimes are a rushed affair. If this tends to be the case in your home, try getting into the habit of making eating more mindful and mealtimes more leisurely so that everyone has time to fully digest their food. Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity for spending time together as a family. And that means no devices at the table!

Making Physical Activity a Priority

Making exercise a key part of day-to-day life is another healthy habit to adopt. Pretty much anything goes, as long as it gets everyone moving. Get creative and find activities that the whole family will enjoy and it might not feel so much like exercise. 

Even a gentle walk in the morning or evening as a family can count and it helps to boost mood, reduce anxiety and can even improve sleep patterns. And it cuts down on family screen time, which is another bonus!

Encouraging Gratitude

An easy way to do this involves encouraging your kids to keep a gratitude diary and write down 3 to 5 things that they’re grateful for. This can be really simple and doesn’t have to be anything truly profound. In fact, expressing gratitude for the smaller things in life can be more effective. 

Studies have shown that gratitude diaries can help to improve wellbeing, promote better sleep and even boost immunity. From a parental point-of-view, those are some pretty cool benefits! 

Minimizing Screen Time

Spending time apart from your devices is a great way to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the whole family. Research has linked technology to increased levels of stress and anxiety. When you think of it like that, you can see how important it is to get into the habit of reducing your family’s screen time. 

Making mealtimes a tech free zone is a great start to putting this healthy habit in motion. You can take this a step further and have a whole day dedicated to being turning off from technology. Screen Free Saturdays or Sundays, anyone? This is a great opportunity to spend some quality time together without the inevitable distractions that come with technology.