How Can I Get My Family to Live Healthier?

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So you’ve tried to let things work themselves out, at least as far as your family’s health and lifestyle choices
are concerned. But you’ve come to realize that it’s not going to change on its own, and those small fears
are starting to become big time worries. Whether its cancer or heart disease, childhood obesity or early
onset diabetes, our modern medical understand has made a ton of progress. But many of the warning
signs of these troubling conditions point to lifestyle, and whether a person consistently makes a healthy
choice. And it’s never too early to start. How can you get your family to adopt a healthy lifestyle?

There’s nothing wrong with trickery. You’ve tried everything, and the kids just will not eat the asparagus
you cook. The idea of salmon or tofu revolts them, and if it’s not in nugget form, it just can’t be on the
plate. If health and wellness are your end goals, there’s no harm in trying to sneak some vegetables or
fruits into their favorite foods. There are ways to subtly sneak these underrepresented food groups in
breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll even find amazing dessert recipes that involve veggies. Or ‘disguise’
that fruit by cooking it in a way your kids haven’t seen before.

Use your influence. You know your family. You know what makes them tick, how to press their buttons
and what makes them happy. So play to their strengths. If your children won’t eat the healthiest range
of fruits, vegetables and grains, maybe they love sports. Encourage that, but not just from the sidelines.
Find opportunities to play along. Get involved in adult leagues. Most towns have club leagues for soccer,
softball, and basketball, or find friends to play tennis, golf, or attend martial arts classes together. Be able
to tell your kids about your games after they tell you about theirs, and there’s a good chance what you
serve for dinner and how healthy it is won’t be the center of attention.

Get away from the box. Maybe it’s not sports, maybe it’s cooking. If you and your partner have spent one
too many nights eating prepackaged foods, it’s time to get outside the box. Not only are prepackaged
foods generally packed with chemicals and additives in order to stay fresh, they’re also stuffed with extra
calories. Make homemade versions of the exact same meals, and you’ll automatically be on the road to less
calories, a slimmer waist, and less long term health concerns. And keep dessert on the table if you like.
But instead of the packaged treat every night, try making one or two amazing desserts a week. Put time
and energy into them, and make them together. Once you see what’s possible when you get away from the
box and put your creativity to work, you’ll never regret the changes.

There’s no easy way to make lifestyle changes. You get into a routine, and the longer you follow it, the
harder it is to change. But give yourself three weeks. Just three weeks to break that routine and try on a
healthier lifestyle. Get your kids involved with the timeline of the goal, with daily and weekly prizes. In
the end, your family will adopt the healthy lifestyle not because it was a big, difficult change, but because
it was a simple one. And you don’t need to spend nights studying for a masters in health administrationonline. Just start simple, and come together around a three week game.

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  1. I am giving up eating out for Lent. Hopefully this will inspire my family to be a bit healthier ;D

  2. this is part of my 2012 goals. To get myself back to healthy and working out..and getting my hubby and lil guy on board! ok, lil guy is our doing 100%

  3. I loved this post. Sometimes it is difficult to find the healthier alternatives when the economy is the way it is and the selection of processed food is so available.
    I named veggies different names like broccoli were called trees, white milk was bunny milk, ect. Anything to add appeal to get them to fall in love with it.

  4. Great post. As parents we need to set good examples.

  5. My mom would always sneak cooked, mashed carrots into our mashed potatoes…Look kids, we have pretty yellow mashed potatoes. I never knew this until I was married! Excellent article Sam!!!

  6. I know what you mean. For me, it’s adding chopped up onions and green peppers and mushrooms to dishes. That’s how I get the veggies in. For fruits, they can have all they want of whatever it is they like.

  7. Great post! I know I sometimes struggle with coming up with new and inventive ways to have my family eat healthier. They usually are pretty open to trying out new things BUT I still run into a rut sometimes and have to get back on track. It is easy to slide into the convenience of prepackaged and boxed foods but you are right they are filled with extra calories and chemicals…..As a whole our family is very active so that is a plus on our side……Time to think outside the box! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I agree with almost all of what you say. Nice post..thanks for sharing. A new follower from Karma Bloggers..

  9. Very good points… I know I struggle with a lot of those things. Esp packaged and processed foods. When I get home I never feel like cooking.. I really liked your other ideas too!

  10. Wonderful points and so easy to make these adjustments to a family’s routine!

  11. Great post! I will be thinking “outside the box” this week and making healthier choices for me and my family!


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