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With obesity and diabetes continuing to plague our society, initiating a healthy lifestyle at a young age has become even more pertinent for families today. Health awareness and healthy living is essential to the posterity of our society and the happiness of our families. While all families are unique, having their own traditions, routines, and values, coming up with some form of standardization concerning health and wellness can be very worthwhile. Both adults and kids alike can benefit from a mutual effort towards health and wellness as a family unit. Try these three strategies to embrace healthy and happy family habits that encourage overall wellness at both familial and personal levels.

Eat as a Family at the Table
While eating at the table as a family was standard practice a few decades ago, today it is much less common. Many busy household have multiple dinner times for various members and several families like to enjoy their meals in front of the television or out at a restaurant. It’s no surprise that eating together as a family has been shown to be important bonding time for the family as a whole. The best practice is to make dinner and the cooking of dinner a family event. Kids should help with the process of cooking and preparing dinner, so that everyone is involved. Eating out is one of the biggest reasons people in today’s society are more overweight and unhealthy than generations in the past. Rather than eating out (which usually leads to eating unhealthy foods in large quantities), get your kids in the habit of making and eating food at home. The steady pattern of eating at the table every evening can be an important stabilizing activity for young children and busy adults. Make it a point to create a habit of having healthy family dinners.

Regulate Your Family Snacking
Snacking is tricky. By definition, snacking usually means eating things that aren’t very good for you and that you don’t really need. As a family, you should try to simplify your family snacking. Rather than snacking on fatty chips and cookies, find a few snack options that are healthy for your entire family. Keep these standard healthy snacks readily available around the house for snack times. Being consistent about what snack items are available in your home is a good way to cut down on unhealthy snacking and save some time/energy. Things like healthy fruits and veggies, nuts, and other healthier snack options are a good place to start. It may also be a good idea to designate a specific time for snacking throughout the day. A lot of the time snacking happens when kids and adults are bored. Designate a few times where snacking is specifically allowed to cut back on unneeded snacking in between. Right after school and right after work may be good places to start.

Make it a Family Bedtime
Sleep is one element of health that many people fail to take into account when discussing healthy habits. So much of our attention is focused on diet and exercise that more passive things like sleep often go less talked about. While it sounds a bit childish, setting a family bedtime can be a great way to maintain a healthy sleep routine. Your sleeping patterns play a huge role in how successful you are throughout your days. This is essential for children trying to do their best in school and parents working fulltime jobs and caring for households. Sleep is essential to our wellbeing and happiness. Make sure that your family gets enough of it as a whole by creating a routine. Make sure that the entire family turns off all screens (television, computer, etc.) at least 30 minutes before they try to rest their head to sleep. Have a set time to get in bed. Even if parents or older kids are not sleeping at this time, it helps even to just be in bed reading or doing some other bedtime activity. You should also try to wake up at the same time every day. A regular sleep schedule has been shown to promote a healthier lifestyle.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want a healthy family.

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