There comes a point in your life when you realize the significance of taking care of your health. Making the necessary changes already presents a challenge, but when your family isn’t cooperative it can make the journey even more difficult. Essentially, it becomes important to set the standard and create routines that get your entire family interested in caring for their well being.
When you first start weaning your children at six months old, it’s likely that they will eat anything you put in front of them. They experiment with textures and tastes at this age and often, you find that they will be more willing to try new things. If you have ever had a child with an allergy or baby eczema, you know that finding new food can be a minefield, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot get them involved in healthy living. Even adults with allergies learn the best foods and medications so that they can live a more normal life. Picky children who deal with skin complaints as a result of a certain food may have fear surrounding it, but perseverance is key!
The idea of trying to get your kids to eat more veggies or get your spouse to start working out at the gym on a regular basis might seem like an uphill battle, but with the right strategies and attitude, it is possible to get everyone to adapt to healthy lifestyle changes. Below are a few suggestions on how to accomplish this.
Lead By Example
It’s kind of hard to tell your children to eat their vegetables when you’re chowing down on fast food or telling them not to smoke when you pull on a cigarette every time you feel stressed out. To get your entire family on board with healthy living, you have to lead by example. Start changing bad habits like smoking or drinking, begin working out regularly, learn how to cope with stress in positive ways, eat well-balanced meals, and get plenty of rest. Simply seeing what it has done for you can be enough inspiration for them to want to try.
Make Exercising Fun
If you want to get your kids away from their screens and your spouse off the couch you have to find creative ways to make exercising fun. Trying to get everyone a gym membership or to follow along with a workout video at home just isn’t going to work. Yet, if you plan a day of swimming, going to the park and play baseball, walk the dog and play fetch, have a dance party, or complete household chores to some of your favorite tunes, staying active becomes a fun activity that everyone is willing to participate in.
Prepare Healthy Meals Together
Instead of plopping a plate of steamed veggies and baked chicken in front of children who are used to eating nuggets and fries, make healthy eating a fun experience by preparing meals together. Kids get a kick out of being big helpers to their parents. When they’ve worked with you in the kitchen to prepare these healthy meals they’re more inclined to eat them to taste the final results.
Get Creative With Incentives
There’s nothing like a small incentive to get a person inspired to meet their goals. You can use this concept to encourage your family members to lead healthier lifestyles. A child is more inclined to eat all their food at mealtimes if they know that there’s a reward at the end of the week. Just make sure it’s not something unhealthy (like suggesting they get junk food or candy as a reward). Come up with creative incentives that make healthy living worthwhile. For instance, if your children eat all their vegetables for the entire week, you’ll take everyone roller skating. This is a fun physical activity that also reinforces the exercise you need to get to stay healthy.
Everyone learns and adapts at a different pace. You can’t expect your entire family to eliminate all the unhealthy foods from their diets and exercise at least an hour a day five times a week overnight. Just as transitioning to a healthier lifestyle can be challenging for you it can also present challenges for your family. So, it is best to take it slow. Instead of trashing every sugary or salty item from your pantry, perhaps you start by finding healthy alternatives to some of their favorite snacks and foods and slowly transition them over. Instead of expecting them to work out every day, start by choosing a day of the week where you guys engage in fun physical activity and then work your way up to more days as everyone gets used to it.
Prioritizing your health is essential to your overall quality of life. Those who adopt healthier lifestyles are happier and live longer. While you want this for yourself and your family, making the transition isn’t always easy. If you’re trying to create a happy, healthy, home environment for your family, your best bet is to use the above-mentioned advice to get everyone on board.