October is National Family Health Month! It’s so important to discuss health and overall good choices as a family to instill good habits in your children from a young age. Communication is key in making sure everyone is being proactive with their health! Whether your kids play sports or not, good nutrition and an active lifestyle are important ideals to instill in them from an early age.
Here’s a few ideas for how you can make Family Health Month set a new precedent for the way your family enjoys their healthy and fun life together!
1. Cooking with kids and letting them partake in preparing dinner has innumerable upsides. They learn about healthy food, measurements, and ingredients, and they’ll feel a sense of pride as the family eats their meal. Cook new dishes on a regular basis, and perhaps have the kids rate the meals on a scale of 1 to 10. Be sure to compliment them on a job well done once you are consuming their contribution.
2. Discuss healthy options! Depending on the age range of your children, you can talk about anything from healthy eating habits, physical fitness, stress, good sleeping habits and mental health. All factors of their health are important to be assessed from an early age to make them aware of what goes into life-long good habits.
3. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Experiment with new preparation methods and flavors. Serve vegetables raw, cooked and pureed for a variety of textures. For small children, try cutting vegetables and fruits into sticks, florets or circles or threading them onto skewers, and serve with healthy dips, like salsa, hummus, yogurt or low-fat Ranch dressing for dipping. Many kids love creating their own personalized meals, so try a build-you-own meal bar, like a potato bar, nacho bar or salad bar. Provide a variety of healthy toppings, and let the kids have at it. Try introducing a weekly theme night, like Taco Tuesday, Italian Wednesday, or Asian Friday. This can be a fun way to introduce your child to new foods and flavors and create an enjoyable dinnertime environment.
4. Enjoy family meals together! Studies have found that children who eat frequent family meals at home are less likely to be obese, perform better in school, are less likely to drink, smoke or take drugs, and have a greater sense of belonging and connection to their family. Prioritize spending time around the table together for benefits that go far beyond nutrition.
Need help planning family meals? Check out the eMeals Kid-Friendly meal plan and let us do the planning for you.