Healthy Habits for Families
The more preparation you do, the more you reduce the temptation to pick up the phone and dial for greasy, salty take-out just because “there’s nothing else in the house to eat.”
Healthy Habits For Families | Wellness and Nutrition
Nutrition and wellness are as much about preparation as execution. It means preparing meals ahead of time with food you thoughtfully, purposefully purchased. It means taking a little extra time at the market to read labels to ensure that what you’re putting in your cart is truly good for you. It means portioning foods like lean meat (such as fish and skinless white poultry) into healthy amounts, as the Pritikin Eating Plan advises. And it means pairing the foods you’ve purchased to create great meals.
Bottom Line, the more preparation you do, the more you reduce the temptation to pick up the phone and dial for greasy, salty take-out just because “there’s nothing else in the house to eat.”
Below are links for good advice on choosing your food with your health in mind.
- Using the Nutrition Facts Label
- How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label
- Reading the Food Label
- Understanding Food Labels
- Food Labeling
- What Nutrients Are and More
- Nutrition.gov – Spotlight Nutrition Information
- FDA Consumer Nutrition Updates
- Changes to the Food Label
- What are Nutrients and Macronutrients?
Healthy Habits For Families | More Tips For Eating Healthy
Shop purposefully. And make sure you’re not shopping on an empty stomach.
Shopping for groceries without a plan, and while hungry, is a sure way to come home spending more money than you had planned and buying the kinds of foods you should be avoiding.
Before shopping, make a list. The best way, often, to start your list is to gather up all the recipes for the meals you plan to make over the next few days; then list the ingredients you need. This way, you increase the chances that you spend only within your budget and decrease the chances that your eyes will wander down that old cookie aisle.
Speaking of the cookie aisle, a busy family life can often lead to increased consumption of junk food. It’s natural. Junk food is quick, filling (at least initially), and often portable. The busier the family, the more appealing these attributes are. The trouble is, of course, these foods can lead to severe health issues, even in the immediate future (that’s why we are now experiencing a childhood obesity epidemic).
What’s more, the unhealthy habits that lead to regularly eating junk food can have unwanted – and serious – impacts for years and even decades to come, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. A child who is not shown how to eat healthfully will become an adult with the same issue.
Below are links for more information on how to eat healthy for not only families but everyone.
- Eating Healthy on a Budget
- Eat Better for Less
- Eight Healthy Eating Goals
- A Basic Overview of Healthy Eating
- Healthy Eating for Older Americans
- Eat Healthfully
- Heart-Healthy Eating
- Eating for Better Health
- Healthy Eating for Diabetics
- Eating Healthy According to the Surgeon General
Healthy Habits For Families | Staying Active
With football practice, dance recitals, and everything else that is supposed to help keep your kids on their feet, it can be difficult to notice (let alone address) inactivity. Is your child, for example, really moving around all that much during soccer practice? How much time is spent standing on the sidelines (or in the goal) or sitting on a bench?
Often, parents are so busy keeping their kids active, they mistake the exhaustion of getting everyone where they need to go with the exhaustion of exercise. Put simply, sitting behind the wheel or sitting around during practice is sedentary and is no replacement for real exercise.
One way to address inactivity is to track your steps and make small changes. For instance, something as simple as a wearable fitness tracker can mean the difference between wondering if you and your children have moved enough and knowing that you haven’t, that you still have 500 steps to take before you hit the goal you’ve created for yourselves.
Further, pairing fitness tracking with food tracking can make your family’s goals more attainable.
Below are links to help you and your family move more.
- Staying Active in the New Year
- Staying Active in the Winter Months
- Summertime Activity Guide
- Staying Active to Fight Childhood Obesity
- Activities for Your Whole Family
Healthy Habits For Families | Setting and Tracking Goals
Speaking of achieving goals, the first step to achieving your goals is setting them. It seems like such a simple thing, but setting goals can mean the difference between success and failure.
First, you’ll want to consider exactly what you’re trying to achieve.
Different folks have different goals.The goals you need to set if you’re looking to put on muscle as a 30-year-old male are likely much different from the goals of a 45-year-old woman who wants to lose weight, which are, again, much different from what a 17-year-old female needs if she’s looking to win the next swim meet. There are goals regarding time, exercise, and diet, and there are many variables. Know the variables, and know the work that they take, and there’s a much better chance you’ll know success.
Below are links to articles with more guidance on setting healthy goals.
- Setting Goals for Weight Loss
- Personal Health Goals
- Healthy Goal Setting for Kids
- Healthy Behavior Goal Setting Worksheet
- Get Ready, Get Set, Goal!