ight be a few weeks away, but the new year is well and truly on the way. I love new year, my favorite part is, of course, making resolutions. This year, how about setting a resolution for your family to be healthier? It’s a resolution that with a few small lifestyle changes should be relatively easy to keep.
Want to make your family that bit healthier? Here are a few simple things that you can change to boost your family’s health:
Cook from scratch
If you already do this, you’re halfway there already. If, however, you often buy ready meals or jars for your dinners, make the commitment to start cooking your family’s meals from scratch. Not only will this make family mealtimes healthier, but it will also save you money. (A major bonus if, like me, you are always trying to save.)
You might think that on weeknights cooking from scratch is too hard, especially when your kids need dropping off at different places. However, it’s not, it just takes a little smart thinking; that’s all. Make life easier for yourself by investing in a slow cooker and popping dinner in there in the morning before heading off to work.
Be active on the weekends
Instead of spending weekends sat at home in front of the television, find ways to become a more active family. Plan activities like bike rides and hikes and make sure that you spend at least four hours being active on both Saturday and Sunday.
To make being active more fun, think about ways you can gear your activities towards the kids. For instance, for hikes, ask your kids how many bugs, birds and animals they can spot. Or, for a bike ride, challenge your children to see who can ride at least 5 miles. If you make being active fun and enjoyable, your kids will be more inclined to spend time away from the television.
If you or your partner smokes, it’s not just your own health you’re risking but also the health of your kids. Even if you smoke outside of the house, you can never 100 percent eliminate smoke from your skin or clothes. Parents who smoke are putting their kids at risk of second-hand smoking without even realizing it.
Want a healthier family? Yes - then you need to encourage anyone who smokes to quit. Yes, it will be hard at first but it’s worth it in the long run. As well as being more prone to cancer, smokers are also at risk of developing nasty lung conditions, like COPD. Not only do these types of conditions affect your family life, but the COPD treatments, for example, can be incredibly expensive. Do you really want to have to claim on your health insurance because of a habit you have?
Ban junk food
Banning junk food doesn’t mean that you can never have your favorite snacks, it just means looking for healthier versions of them. You don't have to cut out cakes and other treats completely; you just need to make them yourself.
By making your own cakes and cookies instead of buying them, you can control what goes into them. While they might not be as healthy as fruit, you can swap some of the ingredients for healthier ones. For example, instead of using sugar to sweeten treats, use natural honey and fruit juice.
There are lots of other ways your family can become healthier, but these are just a few of my favorite ideas.