Raising all boys, there always something going on in our home. Aside from some time spent in front of the tv playing video games, we don’t spend a lot of time sitting around. Between school activities, hanging out with friend and participating on various sports teams ranging from lacrosse, soccer, track, basketball, skateboarding, snow skiing and water skiing, we consider ourselves to be an active family. However, as I look at what’s stored in our refrigerator and the types of food and beverages my kids consume, I realize I haven’t done my best to instill an appreciation for healthy eating. So, this year, I have decided to set a better example and take some proactive steps to create a culture of health in our home, including:
- Limiting tv and video game time.
- Setting an expectation to participate in year round (seasonal) team or individual sports.
- Store only healthy foods and beverages in the fridge.
- Create and follow thru on my own consistent fitness routine.
- Prepare and eat healthy, delicious meals – less fast food.
- Participate in active family recreation including hiking, biking, rock climbing, canoeing/kayaking, skiing, waterskiing.
- Set a good eating and lifestyle example – cut out bad eating habits like sugar, soda pop and unhealthy snacking.
- Initiate discussions about what it takes to stay in shape and healthy and explain the benefits of eating healthy, helping create understanding of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
- Exercise and train as a family. Help family members hit individual fitness goals by having everyone rally and train together.
- Give family members ownership in meal preparation. Less forcing to eat only what I think is healthy, listen more to what healthy foods they like to eat.
- Support good health and treat illness using natural remedies.
- Keep it real – eliminate all artificial ingredients from our diet.
While we still have a ways to go, these are just a few things that I’ve noticed have been effective in helping my kids recognize and appreciate a healthy lifestyle. I notice when we’re more active we experience less emotional dysfunction and we generally all get along better. This is not an easy process and it doesn’t happen overnight but I am committed to consistency and I’m not going to give up.
My objective is for my sons to leave home as adults with good, healthy habits, that include clean eating and regular exercise.