Tips, Tools and Activities
What are the signs of a health family home? Here are a few:
- Water is the beverage of choice, supplemented by 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk.
- Fruits or vegetables are served at every meal including some fresh fruit or veggie options daily.
- Snack time includes foods that contain whole grains and protein instead of saturated and trans fats.
- Kids and adults are moving and playful for at least an hour per day, outside and together whenever possible.
- Kids and adults are breaking a sweat at least three times per week for 20 minutes or more.
Play Every Day
Get Some Wheels: Most activities that incorporate the use of wheels have a mixture of vigorous activity offset by periods of rest and coasting along. Get your helmets on and take a bike ride with the kids in a local park. Plot your course so that you have to tackle a couple of small hills or ride into the wind part of the way. Keep your kids active by introducing other activities on wheels like rollerblading, riding scooters, or learning to skateboard - all fun ways to get the activity they need. Just be sure to pick a safe location and use the recommended safety equipment.
Drink Diligence: Controlling liquid portions is one of the easiest ways to get a grip on how many calories both adults and children consume in a day. Just because a particular beverage comes in a single container (like the common 20-ounce bottle) doesn’t mean that it contains just one serving. Try pouring beverages over ice in a 10-ounce glass instead of drinking from the bottle. By having just one glass, you and your children are on your way to better beverage portion control.
What can I do to make family time a priority for all of us?
Even families with young children can use volunteer opportunities as a way to make family time a priority. Volunteering together unites the family around a cause and encourages interaction. Have the family discuss places in the community where you can make a difference in ways that are important to you. Is there a local soup kitchen or food pantry, a special event, or an animal shelter that could use your help? What are the important lessons about life your children could learn by volunteering somewhere with you? After volunteering, make sure you take the time to reflect on your experience.
Go to YMCA.net for more Healthy Family Home tools and resources.