I grew up in a large Italian family, where food was the showcase of every occasion and gathering. I learned unhealthy habits as we sat around talking, laughing and just enjoying being together. Truthfully, healthy living was not a priority, but enjoying decadent dishes together, was a large part about who we were.
I loved every second of my loud childhood, but being the naive girl I was, I had no idea that I was learning patterns about food and exercise that would haunt me to this day. Now as a mom of two kids who adore junk food, but still love their veggies, I want to be a healthy role model and give them a firm foundation of healthy habits and how to take care of their growing bodies.
I’ve learned that getting healthy as a family doesn’t have to be hard or boring, but it does require intentional planning and the understanding that nutrition doesn’t have to be bland.
These easy ways to get healthy will change the way your family views wellness and teaches kids that proper nutrition can be delicious!
Get active together
Make it a priority to move more and get active as a family every day. The focus of ‘moving more’ should be more about fun and creative ways to add movement into your day to day, than about strict and rigid rules. Try making an obstacle course in the backyard or having a dance party for some simple ways to get you intentionally moving as a family.
Make small changes in food choices
Nutrition doesn’t have to be boring! Instead of throwing out all the junk-food on the first day, focus on simple, healthier swaps at snacks and meals. Starting small will help you ease into a healthier diet and not overwhelm those who LOVE their snack foods. (We just might have a few of those in my house…)
Try these simple swaps to get started….
- Swap Coconut oil for vegetable oil.
- Swap a healthy snack mix for chips. (This mixture of Seed & Fruit from Enjoy Life is a great alternative that’s gluten, dairy and nut free!)
- Swap a carb-filled snack for one that’s filled with protein to keep you full longer. This is my FAVORITE on-the-go snack!
- Sneak chopped up veggies into recipes for an extra boost of nutrition. (Here’s how I sneak veggies into the diets of my kids.
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Work out together
You can still get fit without spending hours in the gym! My kids and I love the MomSanity workouts at home and after 20 minutes, we are exhausted and have worked hard together. This simple activity is instilling a love of exercise and healthy living in my kids.
Plus, MomSanity focuses not only on physical well-being, but also on being spiritually fit as well. These family-friendly workouts are safe for the whole family and encourage us to seek God in everything, even in getting healthy.
Have a family health challenge
Nothing helps forge a family like friendly competition! Make getting healthy a challenge with a reward at the end. Challenge ideas include:
- Exercise contest- who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups, etc…
- Resisting sweets- see who can go the longest with resisting sweets
- Weight-loss challenge- see who can lose the most percentage of weight in a given time.
- Host a family Olympics- award a gold, silver and bronze medal for the top performers
- Best vegetable eater- which child will be crowned the ‘Best Veggie Eater’ in the family? Keep track of veggies eaten during a given time period and see who wins.
Pray together for self-control
As a family, pray for God’s help with self-control and the ability to get healthy for His glory. Dive into His Word together for verses on self-control, temptation and keeping your body pure (His temple).
Set goals and reward yourselves
Whether your goals include swapping fruit for ice cream, eating at home more or starting to exercise on a regular basis, don’t forget to reward yourself. Tracking family wellness goals can be a fun and rewarding experience for all!