Keeping your family healthy is one of the many huge undertakings for every mom. It is a big job considering the fact that health includes nutrition, diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and more.
When moms are looking to ensure their family is eating well, their ideas can often land on deaf ears. However, there are several suggestions for moms who want to win the battle against junk food and laziness for their families.
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Avoid reaching for trans fats or foods with a lot of preservatives. Instead, choose whole-ingredient foods and those that are natural. With a home full of whole food ingredients, your family will be forced to combine whole ingredients to make a meal – this is always healthier than something pre-prepared that will include a lot of preservatives, chemicals, and other unhealthy ingredients, like genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other unnatural products.
When you shop with children, it may be best to set expectations before entering the store about whether any unhealthy snacks will be purchased. In a similar vein, it is a good idea to have a plan about what you’re going to cook for the week, what snacks you want to offer, and what you want in your children’s lunches. This way, you don’t leave the store with more than you actually need or items that aren’t healthy for your family.
Having a balance of foods means you also have a balance of nutrition for you and your family. The American Heart Association encourages this balance and also encourages the following to ensure healthy eating:
- Encourage a lot of fruits and vegetables and get your kids involved in choosing them so they’re excited to eat them
- Make sure to purchase whole grains rather than stripped-down pastas or bread – these have more fiber and natural ingredients and are better for your family’s nutrition
- Choose healthy and “good” fats when purchasing oils and fatty foods – these can include olive oil, fish oil, and sesame oil
- Add nuts and seeds to your family’s diet – these are heart-healthy and give your family a natural and healthy source of fat and are great for snacks
- Opt for fresh vegetables over frozen or canned, as they will not only taste better but have more of their nutritional value.
- Eliminate sugary and calorie-heavy drinks and replace them with water
While it might seem like a long fight to get your family on board with eating healthily, by slowly incorporating new techniques and foods and slowly removing the less-healthy options, it won’t be so difficult for your family to adjust. One of these suggestions is to limit your salt intake. Slowly add less salt to your foods as you cook and replace it with other healthy seasoning options like fresh or dried herbs, lemon or lime juice, and spices.
Other suggestions for healthy options are to limit dairy intake and start to cut back on portion size. Oftentimes, Americans don’t realize how much they are truly consuming and really don’t need nearly as much as they eat. By slowly cutting back portion size, your family will consume less and be within healthier caloric intake levels. Additionally, it is a good idea to try to limit some dairy intake if it is a common food in your household. This is because dairy products are often very high in fat and contribute a high amount of calories to your family’s diet.
Exercise is crucial for your overall health and that of your family. Oftentimes, with the time constraints of school, work, and family necessities, exercise takes a backseat. However, this isn’t ideal for the health and healthy habits of your family. Finding ways to incorporate exercise into your family’s daily life is critical and can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. There are some easy and quick exercises the entire family can partake in, and by making it a group activity, your whole family will enjoy it.
Also, if your kids are not involved in athletics or other activities, it is imperative to get them active and moving. You can always choose exercises that are kid-friendly and keep them motivated and excited to work out with you.
While you don’t want your family to live within the confines of a terribly strict diet and exercise regimen, as they may get burned out, it is important to teach your children how much they’re consuming and when enough is enough. A good way to do this is to use a calorie counter or some kind of fitness app to keep track of how much you and your family are consuming in a given day. According to WebMD, children should consume between 1000-1400 calories per day; women should consume between 1200-2200 calories per day; and men should consume between 1200-2800 calories per day. All of these values depend on activity level, height, and other factors, so you should check with your physician before determining any calorie count for you or your family.
The importance of supplements is massive for everyone in your family. Where our food falls short, supplements make up for what we’re lacking and keep us healthy, focused, and energized. When seeking out wellness and nutrition supplements, you want to be sure you’re choosing the right one for your gender, body’s needs, age, and activity levels.
In addition to choosing supplements for what you’re trying to accomplish, it is critical to choose those that give your body what it needs. For example, women often lack calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. Certain supplements are better for women, and you would want to choose those based on your age and exercise/energy requirements. Additionally, there are supplements you can choose for your male partner, who needs to replenish, or for your children to ensure they’re getting the right nutrition for their growing bodies.
To keep your family healthy and happy, utilize the above tools and suggestions, and then find balance. You don’t have to deny your kids ice cream to keep them healthy; you just have to make it a treat and not a typical indulgence. Teach your family to love feeling healthy and exercising, and they’ll be healthy for life.