7 Tips to Encourage Healthy Living in Your Kids ...

Healthy living for the family is important - it can't be stressed enough. Does your lifestyle encourage healthy living? Are you lost as to where to start being healthy? Well, if that's the case, this article may be just the place to start!

1. Start by Example

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Photo Credit: photomato

Kids learn and live by example - we all do to some degree. You can't expect your children to live healthy when you're not. Never fail to seize an opportunity to put in some small workouts throughout the day, and let your children see you eating fruits and veggies and loving it!

2. Plan Family Activities

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Make time, at least three times a week, for family activities together. And by activities, I mean, things requiring action from the family. If it's warm, go to the park, or even outside in your yard. Make sure to at least spend an hour out there, running around, climbing trees or jungle gyms, jumping rope - the activities are endless. During the winter months, if you haven't already, invest in a Wii Fitness program, and get your entire family involved. Exercise and physical activity alone will boost the overall health of your family.

3. Make Eating Healthy Easier

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Photo Credit: bitbit.rickard

It's easier to feed your kids healthy snacks if they are easy for you to fix. This photo is actually my refrigerator. I just went in and took it. I keep these bowls filled with fresh, washed fruits and veggies. Immediately after returning from the grocery, I wash and cut up the fruits and veggies, de-vine the grapes, and they're ready for instant snack fixing! The ease of this prevents me from falling back on an easier snack like chips or whatever else is easy to grab and eat!

4. Offer Healthy Replacements

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Just because you "go healthy" in your home and life doesn't mean that you have to deprive your kids of all the "good stuff" out there. To totally deprive a kid of things they're used to and love would only drive them to want the "bad stuff" even more. Instead, offer healthy replacements to their regular food. For instance, they make whole grain pop tarts and low fat ones too! Why not buy those instead of the regular ones. And instead of some sugar filled desert, offer strawberries and whipped cream. There are many, delicious ways to eat and still be healthy!

5. Don't Buy Extra

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When grocery shopping, go in for what you need and only what you need. We often make it easier on ourselves to over-eat, because we over-buy. If you buy just enough chips to cover lunches for the week, and no extra, it will be harder for you and the kids to sit and eat the entire bag in one night. If you get just enough snack cakes for lunches, you can't pig out and eat them throughout the day. If you're going to over-buy anything, get more fruits and veggies, and make those the pig out snacks of choice!

6. Organic or Not?

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I know that organic groceries are more expensive, but they're better for you. Especially when it comes to meats. Did you know that most of the chicken we buy from the store is way overloaded with steroids? They take an egg, let it hatch, and from the day it hatches, it only takes six weeks for them to pump it full of steroids and turn it into a plump, full grown chicken so fat, that it can barely walk. My husband has seen it with his own eyes. And it's that kind of poultry that we're feeding our children! Beef is just as bad! I strongly suggest paying the extra for the sake of your children's (and your) health!

7. Create a System

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Photo Credit: PK1966

Start an incentive system within your home - kind of the way Weight Watchers does. (So much of a workout earns you extra points, you know?) As my kids get older, I plan to start using this system myself. It's a great idea! Don't allow sweets to be eaten for just anything. Turn it into a reward system. Say, (on top of the given 1 hour, 3xs a week activities - not counting these) but any extra 30-minute workout or physical activity will earn them a candy bar or maybe a soft drink. Chores can earn them things like this too. If they don't do these things, they simply don't get sweets or pop. This will not only help you with work around the house, it will give your kids a reason to get active and do things. And don't just stop with them - use the system on you and hubby too!

Do you have any healthy ideas to share? Please do!

Top Photo Credit: sherimiya

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