By: Kathy Klassen
In my previous article I talked about the crazy obesity crisis and how we NEED to teach our kids early about the importance of choosing to live healthy. I realize that not everyone knows what that means exactly, or where to start so here are some simple suggestions.
1. Don’t Put Your Family on a Diet
First, understand that you’re not putting your family on a diet; you’re changing your lifestyle because you don’t want to be a statistic anymore. You want to be healthy, and you want your kids to learn how to be healthy as well.
2. Take it One Day at a Time
When you start on a healthy journey, you will NEED to commit time to it, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! You’ll need to start with meal planning, then groceries shopping, then cooking and of course, the dreaded dishes need to be done (by those who didn’t do the cooking, of course!). Oh, and don’t forget to add in some physical activity every day!
3. Talk About It
Ok, so you’re ok with it so far. What’s next? How do you get your kids (or spouse) on board? I think the most important thing is to discuss why you think this needs to happen and how to go about it. What sacrifices will need to be made and how can everyone get involved?
4. Make a List of Do’s and Don’ts
Make a list together of the things that will be changing. Stick it on the fridge for everyone to see. Here are a few examples:
- No more pop unless it’s a special treat.
- Take out is only allowed once per week.
- Everyone will take turns to choose a new fruit or vegetable to try every week.
- If it’s only white bread in the house, it will now be 60% whole wheat (then move to 100% whole wheat and then multi grain after a while).
- Everyone helps with cooking. Even the smaller kids can mix and pour and ‘cut’ with their plastic play knives. Everyone takes turns with dishes.
- Everyone must try all new foods, at least once.
5. Get Active
Pick some new physical activities to try as a family and some as individuals. In the summer, I think biking or hiking is a must. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Explore our beautiful world. Pack a picnic for the day. Try some new sports. Try a workout class like Zumba or Bootcamp or a mom’s stroller workout class. You may be surprised what you actually enjoy doing. For me personally, I love sports but I hate jogging.
6. Tell Others
Get extended family and friends involved. Tell them what you’re doing and that you want this to be a part of your life from now on. They may be very supportive, or they may not. This is not about them. This is about you and your family. This is about your health. This is about your future. It’s worth it. SO worth it!
Kathy is a wife and mommy to a 2.5 year old daughter and a 6 month old son and moved to Alberta from Ontario 5 years ago and love it! Kathy works from home as a health & fitness coach and when she’s not focused on family she is pursuing another her other passions of teaching women how to lose weight, get healthy and build confidence. You can find her on Facebook.