With so many children being overweight or obese, parents need to take steps to help their children live healthy lives.
Your approach towards family health will make all the difference.
If kids see you embracing a healthy lifestyle and feel supportive by you, it will have a much different result than kids who are lectured about the need to lose weight while their parents eat whatever they want and rarely exercise.
So how can you make getting fit a family affair? Focus on exercising and eating right.
Exercising as a Family
Kids, and even teens, want to spend time with their parents.
Quite often the family structure seems like a revolving door. As one parent returns home from work, the other parent is either heading off to work or driving the kids somewhere.
It’s important to set time to do an activity together as a family. Begin by scheduling one activity per month and work toward doing weekly activities.
Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Go bicycling together
- Spend the morning at the community pool
- Hike in a park
- Take a long walk
- Play a game of volleyball
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Sign up for skiing lessons
- Jump on the trampoline
As a parent, it’s important for you to set the example. Your kids need to see you working out regularly and enjoying it!
To help motivate everyone, purchase a wipe-off board and turn it into a fitness chart.
- Make six columns
- Along the top write “Name”, “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday” and “Friday”
- Underneath the “Name” column, write the name of each family member
- Any time a family member completes 30 minutes of exercise, he or she should write the exercise in the appropriate space
As a family, decide on how many accumulative minutes have to be recorded in order for the family to do something special together (i.e. trip to amusement park, movie night).
Your kids will love the idea!
Eating Healthy as a Family
You have control over what food and beverages come into the house.
If you don’t purchase junk food, then the kids can’t ask for it. If it’s difficult shopping when your kids go with you, then ask a family member or a friend to watch your kids so you can shop alone.
As age appropriate, involve your children in cooking. Let them have fun tearing up lettuce, making a veggie pizza or flipping the switch for a yummy smoothie. When kids participate in fixing meals, they are more apt to try new foods.
If your kids are really struggling with eating healthy food, consider having one splurge night a week. Kids can choose to have a meal of their choice, but limit the serving size. Save fast food outings for very special occasions, rather than as a backup plan when you don’t know what to fix for dinner.