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Tips on Eating Healthy as a Family

The dinner table has long been the place for families to catch up and enjoy each other for at least a few moments of the day. It seems that modern lifestyles, filled with deadlines, duties, and appointments, have made eating healthy together as a family a distant memory of simpler days. However, healthy family eating provides many benefits to the family structure, as well as the health and happiness of each individual member. Keep reading to explore the benefits of and tips for eating healthy as a family.

Benefits

There are a vast number of benefits that come from eating healthy as a family, reaching from the family unit to an individual basis:

  • It provides children with healthy eating habits early on: From an early age, children are able to understand how to choose from a variety of healthy foods.
  • It keeps parents accountable for what they eat: Parents are more likely to chose healthier foods if they are aware of the role their decisions play in their family’s meal choices.
  • Children learn to choose healthy foods because they like the taste: A child’s palate will become accustomed to the taste and texture of healthy foods, rather than pre-packaged foods that are filled with additives and refined sugars.
  • It allows the family to do activities together: When a family goes out together to the grocery store or cooks meals together, they’re provided with cherished family time in an otherwise busy schedule.
  • It facilitates healthy lifestyle choices: Eating healthily focuses a family’s attention on other ways to feel happy and healthy together. This often results in the participation of physical activity and a heightened sense of being fit.
  • It nurtures healthy weight and self-images: Your entire family can maintain healthy bodyweights by making healthy food choices that are low in refined sugars and calories. In turn, this can help facilitate positive self-images.
  • It can prevent reoccurring illness: Eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients facilitates a healthy and strong immune system within the body; this aids in the fight against common illnesses.

 Wisdom is to the mind what health is to the body.

Francois De La Rochefoucauld
French writer from the 17th century

Steps to Success

Here are five simple steps to eating healthy as a family:

  1. Plan meals together: At the beginning of the week, plan the week's meals as a family. Make this a comfortable discussion where children are able to voice their opinions and be heard. This creates the opportunity to educate your children about healthy meal options.
  2. Grocery shop together: Even if everyone cannot shop at once, allow everyone at one time or another to be apart of the grocery shopping experience. Knowledge of where healthy foods are located in the grocery store is an important part of the process.
  3. Plan one meal per day to sit down and eat as a family: Sitting down as a family for at least for one meal per day allows parents to monitor the family's eating habits. It also allows parents to be role models for portion control.
  4. Pack lunches together: To ensure that children eat their bagged lunches, have them be a part of the lunch-making chore. This will help them eat a balanced lunchtime meal because it will include the healthy foods they chose.
  5. Stock the house with healthy snacks: Keep healthy snacks easily available in the fridge and pantry. Make reaching for a healthy snack an easy decision when the kids are searching for something to eat.
Hot Tip: Be Vocal!

Verbalizing your decisions when you’re shopping, cooking, or eating will help you be an even better role model for your children because they’ll learn to understand the reason behind healthy food decisions. Give them all the information they need to make healthy decisions on their own.

Role Models

Partners and children require positive role models to help create and solidify healthy lifestyle choices. It’s imperative that both parents and children model their decisions after healthy eating habits inside and outside of the home on a regular basis. This allows families to learn and mimic positive behaviors from each other. Healthy eating takes time and organization.

A Healthy Reminder

Eating healthy as a family provides and creates a healthy and happy lifestyle. Both children and parents become an integral part of food and meal choices, thus each has time and energy invested into being healthy. This will help families enjoy being healthy together for a lifetime.

Eating healthy as a family offers vast benefits, like having positive impacts on family atmosphere and self-image. This fitness guide discusses how to accomplish this.
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