13 Steps to a Healthy Home
Cover these bases and you’re well on your way to having a healthy home. So how do you get that healthy vibe under your roof?
- Use REAL role models. If the real “in the flesh” role model isn’t you already, it soon will be if you follow this blog. Regardless of what stage you are at, expose your kids to real people who live healthfully. Not just celebrities or professional athletes. But REAL people. If you have a friend who is really healthy and lives his life with passion and vitality, introduce your kids to him and voice your admiration and appreciation of his lifestyle.
- Connect healthy choices with the good life. When you meet FIT people who are happy and funny, make the connection to how they take care of themselves. LINK good health with happiness as often as possible.
- Watch your words about food and fitness. Children pick up on your comments to your spouse or roommates over morning coffee. “I hate working out.” “I worked late so I needed to sleep in.” “I feel really fat.” “A lot of good that diet did me.” These are seeds you are throwing out into the air and kids are learning to grab hold and sew their own in the same field.
- Create attitude envy. Show excitement over healthy food. Get excited about whole foods you’re putting on the table, a healthy recipe you tried and liked, a new vegetable you bought, a workout class that was hard but you got through it.
- Get your kids involved! Take them shopping, not as a bystander, but an active participant. Give them an assignment like looking for the most colorful vegetable. What vegetable looks so weird we have to try it? Let them help you cook with fun kitchen gadgets. Make placemats. Mix with their hands.
- Engage in family physical activity. We know this but do we DO it? Bikes, walks, roller blades, and my favorite- Twister! Fort building-that’s a good one! Tell them to build you an obstacle course!
- Refer to food as FUEL for our bodies. Do this repeatedly! Glorify- don’t demonize food.
- Take the power away from your child’s refusals to engage. No battlefield ever. Be super excited about your own choices in front of them. Share your discoveries of good food and exercise as if it’s the BEST. Let them SEE and FEEL your joy. Have patience. Kids begin to sense they are missing out on something good which is exactly what you want.
- Don’t force kids to eat what they don’t want. Creating “envy” is much more effective. Much better than forcing a kid to stare at their peas until they eat them. THIS TAKES TIME!
- Don’t make separate meals. If they are hungry, they will eat. Get excited about your food and feel sad for them they aren’t eating it. Offer some variety on the table and leave it at that. Kitchen open. Kitchen closed. Eat or don’t eat this GREAT food. Your choice.
- Clean plate clubs are a thing of the past. Eat. Stop. Whenever.
- Snacks and Juices- your worst enemies. If your kid just downed a juice box, good luck with broccoli at dinner! A healthy home should have hungry diners. Hunger expands palates quicker than anything. This is a key to handling picky eaters. Sugar or a semi-full tummy will decrease your chances of success with a picky eater ten-fold!
- Be patient and consistent. Give kids (and adults) plenty of time. This is a lifestyle, not one meal.
Children learn the PROCESS of being healthy rather than only goal achievement– such as reaching a goal weight.
Don’t fret over kids who are initially obstinate about healthy food or exercise. Changing an entire family’s attitude toward health is a mission. Seeing your children eventually jump on the train is a beautiful thing!
And you will feel FABULOUS!!