5 Ways to Improve your Whole Family’s Health

Raising a family is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. You get to watch your children grow, learn and begin to navigate the world on their own, and as a parent, it is important to encourage positive habits in your children. Although this comes with its own set of challenges, with most Americans not leading an active lifestyle, and even fewer following a dietitian-approved diet.

Tips for Improving Family Time

Here are five easy tips for how to improve your families physical, emotional and mental health:
  1. Go for a family hike or walk
    Getting outside with your family is an easy way to explore your neighborhood and the surrounding areas and get a little fresh air and exercise. Whether you live in the city, suburbs or a rural area, there are plenty of options for walking, even if it’s just taking a stroll around the block or in a local park. Or, for a more challenging hike, find some wooded or mountainous trails.

  2. Some benefits of walking include weight loss, mood boost (due to endorphin release), weight loss and a lowered risk of stroke and diabetes. Children and right-brained folks will also reap the added benefit of increased creativity post-walk.

  3. Spend an afternoon at the playground
    Similarly, to walking, playing outdoors has been known to have both physical and emotional benefits for children. Many local playgrounds are in safe, well-lit areas, and a walk or drive to another neighborhood’s playground will help keep things exciting and feel like an entirely new world for your children. Playing on a jungle gym or playground can improve a child’s physical health, creativity, and social skills, while having added benefits of exposing them to necessary Vitamin D, and encouraging them to run, climb, and express their imaginations.

  4. Taking your children to a playground gives them a safe environment to play freely, whole giving parents a chance to socialize with each other.

  5. Eat meals together
    The average American family eats dinner as a family fewer than three times a week. However, Spending family time around the table has been proven to improve communication skills between children and their parents, and is known to be the best way for families to spend quality time together. For more encouragement to spend meal time with your family, check out this guide:

  6. Have screen-free time
    From game nights to family outings and everything in between, it is pivotal to a child’s development to have regular time away from a screen. While children under the age of six are not supposed to have any exposure to passive screen time (movies, tv shows and the like), this rule can be beneficial for children of all ages and parents as well. So, try to schedule a night each week, spent away from electronics, to spend some uninterrupted time as a family

    Limiting your family’s screen time has been proven to improve sleep quality and regulate sleep schedules in both children and adults. It also helps to limit negative effects on their vision and improves social skills in children and self-esteem for people of all ages.

  7. DIY desserts
    Children and adults alike love sweet treats. From cookies and brownies to milkshakes and sundaes, ending the night with a dessert can please even the pickiest eater. Especially in the summer months, when the ice cream truck sends your kids dashing for the driveway, it can be difficult to say no to their request for a delicious post-meal snack.

    To give into your children’s cravings without having to sacrifice their nutrition, make desserts with fresh, organic ingredients that don’t include the unhealthy ingredients of commercial products. Popsicles are a simple frozen treat that you can make at home with fresh fruit, yogurt, or juice. Simply pour ingredients into molds like these, freeze for a few hours, and you’ll have a healthy dessert alternative that still tastes great to your kids.