Wish your kids would eat their greens? Worried about their future health? What about your own? Want to be that family you admire that never gets sick and where everyone looks fine and fit?
On the facts and statistics page of HHS.gov, they note that only 1 out of every 3 kids are physically active each day! And less than 5 percent of Americans engage in 30 minutes of the daily recommended dose of physical activity daily. So chances are high your family might not be getting the physical activity that you need to maintain good health.
Additionally, food intake for the typical American family exceeds the recommended amounts for calories from sugar. As well as for refined grains, salt, and saturated fats.
According to Total Dentistry of Cincinnati, a dental office in Cincinnati, OH, “The public has been warned for years that drinking pop can lead to cavities and other health problems. What some people don’t realize is that sodas aren’t the only beverages laden with sugar. Even supposedly ‘healthy’ drinks can contain tablespoons of the stuff.”
Don’t beat yourself up. Poor diet and lack of fitness are a problem, not just in your home, but in the majority of homes across the US. Want to improve but don’t know where to start?
Here are some of the best hacks and simple strategies that can boost the overall health of your loved ones.
The easiest way to healthier meals: Stop eating out.
Not only will you be saving money on the short term, but you will be protecting your kids from excess sugar, salt, and calories. This is the case with restaurant food, too, not just fast food joints.
Time.com reported on a study which showed that 92 percent of meals in US restaurants had more calories than the daily recommended amount.
Whatever you serve at home–so long as you prepare it and it isn’t prepackaged–is guaranteed to be healthier for your kids than eating out.
Do the cutting board test.
Want to know if what you are serving your kids can be qualified as nutritious? Do the cutting board test. If you need to pull out a cutting board in order to prepare the meal, chances are high you’re using ingredients that are considered “whole” foods.
For example, most fruits and vegetables all need to be cut in order to be incorporated into a meal. Whereas, microwave dinners, canned, or pre-prepared foods don’t.
Good snacks in. Bad snacks out.
Expecting your kids to not snack on the junk food in the pantry is putting the bar too high from the start. Want to avoid the nagging and the inevitable tussle overeating junk foods? Commit to no junk food in the house.
Don’t want your kids to snack on chips and other high-sugar foods? Stop buying them. Don’t even have the option of them in the house if you are serious about changing your kids’ taste buds. The good news is you can change your kids’ sweet cravings to cravings for healthy foods.
Your kids might initially raise a fuss about carrot sticks or fruit as the snack. But often kids will insist on snack and then claim to have little to no appetite for family meals. Don’t fall for it. If they are truly hungry, they will eat your healthy snack. If they are not, they can afford to wait until mealtime.
Gamify fitness with your kids.
Worried about too little physical activity going on in your house? And too much gaming time? This trick works especially well if your children have a competitive bent.
Outfit everyone with step trackers or fitness wearables. If your child has a phone, you can also download a step app instead of purchasing a wearable.
Then see who can take the most number of steps in a day or a week. The winner gets an extra hour of game time when tallies are counted.
Make sure your yard is safe to play in or that they have space in which to run around.
You set the tone.
Your kids will pick up on your behavior and attitude toward foods. If you make healthy eating a normal part of your life, pretty soon, your kids will do the same.
It is okay to eat non-nutritious foods sometimes. In fact, eating them every once in a while can help it not turn into a serious craving with a binge session soon following. Just don’t make a habit out of it and you and yours will be all right.