Are you trying to instill healthy habits into your children?
Wondering what changes you can make as a family to show them the importance of taking care of their health?
These tips and tricks will help you learn different ways to teach your kids healthy habits! I’ve even included a free healthy habits printable checklist for kids to stay on top of their health.
Top Tips for Teaching Your Kids Healthy Habits
Understanding healthy habits isn’t something that kids learn on their own. It’s something that is taught to them by the people they love most, their parents! Setting a good example for your children is the best way to teach them how to take their of their bodies and their health.
Implementing the following healthy habits in your home is a great way to teach your children and make healthy living a part of daily life.
Make Healthy Eating and Exercise a Family Affair
Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to stick to a diet or exercise plan if you have someone in the trenches with you?
Have you ever been the person eating carrot sticks and celery while watching someone else eat fat-drenched carbs with sugar on top?
Why not make healthy eating and exercise a family affair?
Here are a few different strategies to help teach your kids healthy habits.
Ditch the Junk Food
Start with food, which is often the most difficult part of the willpower bandwagon! If the whole family is working on eating healthy foods, you can just keep those sinful temptations out of the house. Consider avoiding the junk food aisle altogether and purchasing healthy alternatives for snacks.
Here are some great snack options that are healthy alternatives and often cost less in the long run.
- Whole-grain crackers
- String cheese
- Fruit: apples, berries, bananas, and other fruits
- Carrots and hummus
- Celery and peanut butter
Choose snacks that are chock-full of vitamins and fiber and low in calories and fat. Think of non-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, etc.
Experts recommend placing the healthy alternatives at eye level in the cupboards or refrigerator so that the healthy items are the first thing a person sees when they look for a snack.
This healthy habits printable checklist includes a healthy eating tracker to ensure they get all the recommended servings of fruits, veggies, dairy, grains, and protein!
Related Post: Healthy Road Trip Snacks for the Family
Look for Healthy Alternatives to Family Favorites
If your whole family is working on healthy eating, you can look for healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes. Enjoy baking? Often substituting pumpkin or applesauce for butter or oil can work well in a muffin, cake, or brownie recipe. It replaces the fat, adds flavor and vitamins, and is an easy swap!
What about using cooking spray instead of full-force oil in your cooking? Oils used in cooking can cause calories and fat to sneak up on you! I’m not suggesting that you get rid of oils entirely, but being aware of how much you use can make a big difference.
Adding more green leafy items, vegetables, and fruits to your meals can make a big difference as well. Does your family enjoy spaghetti dinners? Consider swapping the heavy pasta for lighter alternatives – spaghetti squash is a vitamin-rich alternative! Just 8 minutes in the microwave or 30 minutes in the oven at 350, top with your favorite marinara sauce and you’d hardly know the difference. Yet the difference between them is huge — 31 calories in spaghetti squash versus 158 in spaghetti per serving. Check out these quick and easy spaghetti squash recipes the whole family will love!
Related Post: Quick, Healthy Dinners for a Family on the Go
Why head out to the gym on your own if you can bring the whole family? Often a gym will offer a substantial discount for a whole family membership, and many gyms even provide childcare and playrooms for smaller children. Older children will enjoy shooting baskets or running around the track, and your pre-teens and teens will enjoy learning to use the weight machines and free weights.
Healthy Habits Happen Outside
Use the outdoors to your advantage. Healthy fitness habits often start here because there are so many ways to be physically active outdoors!
Are you gearing up for a 5K run? Why not register your spouse and kids as well? They’re likely to be there to cheer you on anyway, but if you’re all in it together you can prep for it together and eat healthy in preparation together. Find a race near you!
Maybe you’re not a runner. Family walks after dinner are a nice way to wind down and hear about each other’s day. Weekend hikes, skiing, biking, or paddling trips are excellent ways to commune with nature and create memories your kids will have with them forever.
The best thing about involving the whole family in healthy eating and exercise?
Making healthy choices now will make all of you healthier in the long run and will help to establish wonderful fitness and eating habits in your children that they will continue throughout their lives. Studies show that children who are active do better in school, have more confidence, and even do better on some tests. With the multitude of benefits for everyone, why not get everyone involved?
Did you get your Healthy Habits Printable Checklist?
Don’t forget to grab your free healthy habits printable checklist! It’s a great way to include your kids in your family’s healthy lifestyle and it teaches them healthy habits along the way!