Leading a healthy life is hard enough when you’re young, single, and don’t yet have children. Once those precious little ones arrive, it’s harder than ever to find room for exercise in your life. Your eating habits deteriorate, too. It seems like your young children will turn down anything that looks like a vegetable, and it’s easier to simply prepare one meal for the entire family than it is to prepare a separate, healthier meal for yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle with kids, however, isn’t just good for you; it also sets them up for success later in life! Embracing some of these healthy tips will set you and your whole family on the path to a healthier life.
Prepare Healthy Meals
You may have to look for alternatives to your child’s favorite snacks, especially if you’ve fallen into the habit of putting unhealthy food on the table with every meal. On the other hand, if you start out eating healthy from the time your child is very young, they’ll accept that food as normal and keep eating it right along with you!
Try experimenting with healthy meal options, meal planning, cooking together, and other strategies that will help get your kids involved in the process of putting healthy food on the table.
Learn Not to Eat Their Leftovers
It’s incredibly tempting to reach for food that your kids have left on their plates. After all, they have the yummy snacks that you’d love to have, and it would be wasteful to just throw them away. Munching on the kids’ leftovers, however, can add a huge number of calories to your diet, while failing to convince you that you’ve actually eaten. Instead, clear their plates off the table at the same time you clear yours. If you need a snack, turn to a healthy alternative instead.
Plant Your own Vegetables
There’s nothing quite like going out to pick your own vegetables, especially for a child. It may even intrigue your kids enough to convince them to try a food that they might otherwise have ignored. Concerned that you don’t have enough space for a garden? There are plenty of options for plants that can be grown in containers, which means that if you have even a window to call your own, you have the space for a healthy plant or two.
Involve your children in the process of choosing seeds or small plants, planting them, and watering and nurturing the plants as they grow. The more involved they are in the process, the more ownership they will take over the final product—and the more eager they will be to try out a taste test.
Get Moving as a Family
You don’t have to go to the gym to get in a good workout. In fact, if you have young children, making it to the gym may seem impossible. Instead, look for chances to get moving together. Go to a park and chase one another around. Have a dance party in the middle of your living room. Get silly and play together. Even a simple walk around the block after dinner will go a long way toward getting everyone moving.
Encourage your kids to be as active as possible to build healthy habits that will last for the rest of their lives. Choose toys that encourage healthy levels of activity, encourage them to participate in sports, and look for opportunities to get outside and engage in active play.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is important for both you and your kids, and far too many parents are chronically sleep-deprived. You may have learned to live with a constant sleep deficit, but it can lead to fuzzy thinking, destroy your efforts to get in shape or lose weight, and make it difficult to make the positive, healthy choices you know you need to make for your family.
Turn off the television earlier at night and turn down activities that go past bedtime. Create a bedtime routine for your kids that will help them settle down and fall asleep more easily. Give yourself permission to leave the mess and the chores after the kids are in bed. They will still be there tomorrow, and you’re better off getting some sleep while you can. You’ll be surprised by just how much more energetic you feel when you get an adequate amount of sleep.
Drink More Water
As a busy mom, you might find yourself forgetting to drink water throughout the day. You’re drinking at meals, perhaps at bedtime, but during the day, your body is frequently dehydrated. If you want clearer skin, softer hair, and to help increase your odds of successfully losing weight, try to make sure that you’re drinking enough water.
Most experts recommend a minimum of 8 glasses of water (at least 8 oz each) every day, but for many women, that’s not enough. If you want a more accurate estimate, divide your weight in half, then drink that number of ounces every day. Challenge your kids to participate with you. How much water should they be getting? Are they drinking enough throughout the day? Making sure your kids get enough water may also help make them healthier and happier.
Being a parent shouldn’t destroy your healthy lifestyle or make it impossible for you to eat healthily and stay in shape. In fact, it makes it all the more critical that you put as much effort into it as possible. If you’re looking for more tips to keep yourself healthy and active, contact us. We’d love to help you develop more healthy lifestyle habits that will work for your whole family.