I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for Summer for about 6 months now. It’s finally starting to get warmer now and we are beyond ready to enjoy the outdoors and get more active as a family. We plan on taking a ton of walks this summer in our new BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Duallie Stroller (currently on sale!). We are actually planning on using our double stroller as our primary mode of transportation since most of the places we like to go are within walking distance. Aside from walking more, we have other healthy family habits that we have been working on this year too.
Healthy Family Habits:
Eat less sugar! This is huge! (Check out our post on 10 tips for quitting sugar if you need help.) Really make an effort to read your nutrition labels. There are so many surprising items that are loaded with sugar! Going sugar-free wasn’t difficult for me, but what was hard was making the effort to stop using candy & ice cream as a bribe for my toddler. In the long run, it pays off.
Eat more whole grains. Add whole grains to your diet as often as you can. The Kodiak Cakes in Chocolate flavor is our favorite way to add in whole grains. Delicious pancakes that we top with Cary’s Sugar Free Syrup. The kids can’t get enough and neither can we. You can also turn the pancake mix into whole grain muffins too for another quick whole grain snack!
Have less screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have 2 hours or less of screen time daily. It even suggested that using educational apps doesn’t benefit children much; that rather the benefits come from the interaction of parent & child, not the media. (source) Spend time outside or even just hanging out and talking instead!
Set a reading goal. I miss reading. This is a legitimate goal of mine. Currently I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss, but if anyone has any good book suggestions please comment them below! If you have older kids, a summer reading challenge is a great idea. I had a friend growing up who’s family rule was that every minute spent reading earned them 1 minute of watching T.V. So if they wanted to watch a movie they would have to read for the equivalent amount of time first. I love this idea, but it seems like it’d take a lot of commitment from the parents to enforce.
Have a designated game night. This could be board games or even more physical games like tag, but a designated game night will really help create strong family bonds & gets everyone away from the TV/computer. You could even let older kids invite friends or cousins over to play as well and make some homemade pizza to top it all off. Traditional “family night” is Monday, but you could do this any day of the week. Why make a specific night for this? Because otherwise you’ll always say you’ll do it one day and then it never happens.
Walk more. Creating healthy family habits is as simple as just going for a walk to the frozen yogurt shop instead of hopping in the car. Plus, walks are a great way to get the family talking instead of just sitting in silence listening to the car radio.
Always carry sunscreen with you. Make this a habit and teach your children the importance of protecting your skin. And yes, contrary to popular belief, you can still get tan while wearing sunscreen! Ask any lifeguard if you don’t believe me 😉
Eat together. This one gets difficult as everyone gets older, especially if you all have your own activities, like sports practice, part time jobs, etc. BUT as often as you can, sit down at the dinner table and eat together, with no TV on in the background!
Eliminate stress. What stresses you out? For us it’s a dirty house and not having a set schedule. Toddlers love the predictability of a schedule. Having one in place eliminates, or at least reduces our possible melt downs. The dirty house thing mainly just stresses me & Scott out. I write specific deep cleaning chores on our monthly calendar so that we remember to stay on top of it.
Encourage good hygiene. We love this Mini “Wash & Brush” Timer. It flashes a green light and then turns red when it’s time to stop brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Perfect for teaching kids good hygiene habits. The hand washing button is 20 seconds and the teeth brushing button lasts 2 minutes.
These are the healthy family habits we’ve been working on lately. Some of these are definitely going to be easier than others especially depending on the age of your kids. Right now with our kids being 1 & 2 we have a lot of control over most of these habits. Starting these early will make it easier to keep your whole family healthy and hopefully, keep those family bonds strong as ever.