As the reliance on technology increases, families have become more physically inactive. A systematic review on sedentary behavior found that children can spend as much as 60% of their day sedentary, contributing to poor health outcomes.
To combat this issue, Canada has issued its own 24-hour movement guidelines, encouraging both children and adults to keep a balance between sleep, sedentary behaviors, and physical activities.
While staying active is good, there are also other healthy habits families should foster.
Here are some routines your family should consider having:
Getting them invested in healthy eating
Creating nutritious meals is a key component of a healthy family. It’s often children who are the pickiest eaters, so it helps to involve them in the cooking process.
Not only will they better understand what goes into their food, but they can also learn simple recipes like healthy snacks that they can prepare by themselves. For older kids, you can have them decide what meals your family will have for dinner, which integrates lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains.
This way, they can look forward to eating the food they chose.
As shared by feeding behavior specialist Jessica Mancinik, the key to motivating family members to eat nutritiously is to not force them, but rather, introduce them to different tastes and textures one at a time.
Children are more likely to reach for the most accessible snack, so you should also make healthy options like sliced fruits or yogurt cups easily available for them. By bringing positivity to healthy food, your family will learn to adapt and transition to healthier eating.
Having more sleep
While many know that kids need sleep for growth, parents should also consider improving their sleep habits as well.
For adults who want to get more fit, most weight loss plans now consider the connection between sleep and weight.
Science tells us that people who get less shut-eye are hungrier throughout the day, which leads to stress eating sweets or carb-filled foods.
A great way to ensure everyone is ready for sleep is to establish a bedtime routine. Everyone should follow a 30-minute routine before their designated bedtime like drinking warm milk, brushing their teeth, and turning off all gadgets.
That way, your household knows what to expect and becomes more willing to follow through. Plus, it’d be easier to convince your children to follow suit, since you’re modeling the behavior for them.
Going for a walk together
As mentioned earlier, integrating movement as part of your family’s day is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
For people who don’t usually exercise, walking is a simple way to stay active, take a break from using gadgets, and get some fresh air.
Our post on strengthening your family bonds shares that walking together is a great way to bring your family closer together, giving your family time to talk and share your day.
You can opt to have a 30-minute walk right after dinner to spend quality time, with the benefit of regular exercise.
Tidying up the house
Another important habit your whole family can build is to keep your living space more neat and orderly. Regular cleaning can keep pests and mold out of your home, which may otherwise cause you and your family to get ill.
Be patient when teaching your younger children where to place their toys, books, and clothes, so that they can build a habit of returning their items when they’re finished.
To motivate your other members to clean, you can set a timer for the fastest cleaner to get a small reward.
It’s important to change up each person’s chores so that everyone remains well-rounded in all aspects.