With many of us are spending more time together at home these days, it’s a gift and opportunity to embrace. In my house we are making it a mission to lead a healthy family life together. There’s no better time than now! Your kids will always look to you, so set the example for their futures, as the things you all do together now, may be traditions or activities they want to incorporate in their future families. Below are some fun ways to entertain and encourage your whole family to become the healthiest versions of themselves.
Make spending time together a priority
By spending time being with one another you are creating a healthy environment mentally, You’re creating a space where the kids will feel comfortable talking to you. However, it’s more than just the time together, it’s about nurturing a strong family unit of support. Encourage talking about feelings and whatever may be on your children’s’ minds. This in itself is the foundation for building strong family relationships. So, plan fun things to do and take turns choosing. Maybe one week you or your spouse picks, the next you let a child choose and rotate.
- Having dance parties
- Movie nights (on occasion). You could make every Friday night family movie or game night. Make homemade pizzas together and pick out a board game to play or movie to watch. This will be an event every week that the kiddos will look forward to!
- In the winter, go sledding and build snowmen
- In the summer, take a picnic or go for a swim
Encourage healthy exercise
In spending time together, plan some physical activities that don’t necessarily feel like exercise. It’s about moving and being outside when possible. In the summer there are tons of opportunities for swimming, hiking, games in the yard, biking, walking, etc. In winter, depending on where you live, you may have to be creative with getting outside. Bundle up and try sledding, skiing, tubing or walking.
Have meals together
While we all lead busy lives, sadly many families don’t spend many meals together. Parents will eat separate from the kids, dinner will be on the go, breakfast may be skipped, etc. Does this sound familiar? Well, for many this is the reality, but it doesn’t have to be. With more time home these days, there lies opportunity to make positive changes.
Actionable steps to implement:
- Make a weekly meal plan and have the kids come up with a few meals they’d like to eat
- Talk about healthy options and encourage diversity and adventure in trying new foods
- Cook dinners together
- Assign tasks- set the table, help with cooking, after dinner dish duty, etc.
- During the meal, go around and share some highlights of the day or a new fact you learned. These often turn into great conversation starters!
At least once a month plan an activity your whole family can partake in such as raking leaves for a neighbor, making holiday cards for the local nursing home residents, volunteering at a soup kitchen, etc. There are many wonderful, easy and fun, even virtual opportunities in every community for your family to make a difference.
Tell bedtime stories
Firstly, set a bedtime for the kids and stick to it. If you choose, make weekend bedtimes later which is something kids often look forward to! When going to bed, set a routine of brushing teeth, putting, bathing, pajamas on, etc. After, pick out some stories to read or make up your own. After talking with many families, this is something kids really look forward to and it’s a wonderful way to end the day, tech free. Often times, children fall asleep much easier when relaxed with a bedtime story.
The most important takeaway here is to spend time together, as much as you can. It’s the moments shared that create a positive environment and ultimately a healthy lifestyle for everyone! Making family time a priority may be a great New Year’s resolution for 2021.
Together you will be on your way to health, happiness and lasting memories!