Jan. 1 has come and gone. The membership to that expensive gym has never been used because you had the flu, the no-carbs diet was impossible and your kids are still eating in front of the TV even though you promised yourself that would stop. How can you really make changes, not just for you but for your family?
Here are three easy ways to bond with your kids and implement a healthy lifestyle:
1. Make over your fridge, freezer and pantry as a family by replacing unhealthy foods with healthier choices.
Have your kids remove the following items from your kitchen:
- Soda, juice drinks, chocolate milk, sports drinks
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Pre-packaged frozen dinners
- Frozen chicken nuggets and fish sticks with many chemical additives
- Packaged pre-sliced cheese with artificial flavours and colours
- Potato chips, pretzels, nachos, cheese-flavored puffs
- Yogurts with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colours, and flavours
- Pre-packaged cold cuts bought in the refrigerated section of the supermarket
- Highly sugared peanut butter with palm oil, or premixed peanut butter and jelly
- Frosted sugary cereals, pancakes from a mix
- Seltzer, water, fresh juices, whole milk, rice milk, almond milk
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (If your budget allows it, organics are even better)
- Fresh hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats and fish. Fresh fish or chicken you bread and fry yourself can be made ahead and frozen. If you do not have time, try to find organic, preservative-free frozen foods.
- Fresh cheeses like unsalted mozzarella or cheese sliced for you at the deli counter
- Unsalted almonds, cashews, pistachios, vegetable chips
- Organic plain whole milk yogurt or yogurt with fruit mixed in. For those with dairy allergies, try coconut milk yogurt.
- Freshly sliced cold cuts bought in the deli section of your supermarket
- Unsweetened, all-natural peanut and almond butters
- Sugar-free cereals, oatmeal, porridge, gluten-free cereals
2. Exercise with your kids
If you have a game console in your home, buy dance games with music they love. Each night before bed, dance to five songs they choose and compete against each other. This is a great way for you to work out with them and show off your moves. If you prefer to get outdoors, go for long walks and do not check your emails. It can be a special time to focus on your kids and talk about whatever is on their minds.
3. If you can read, you can cook!
Everyone should know how to make a few simple meals. Get a kid's cookbook with great pictures, read the directions and make a healthy meal with your kids' help. Cooking is a useful life skill and a great way to spend time with your kids doing something fun. I also find when they have worked hard on making a nice dinner, they will want to eat as a family instead of in front of the TV.
I am so much more motivated to do things for my kids than for myself. So, I am making them the reason to get healthy this year.
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