Ensuring your household is as healthy as possible is challenging at the best of times. Given the current situation in the UK, it’s becoming even harder for parents to ensure that their children are developing positive habits when it comes to diet, exercise and general well being.
Not only can improving your family’s lifestyle benefit the longer term, but also assist in providing much-needed structure in a time where we are all at home more than ever. By creating something as simple as a daily task list for you and the family it can help add value to every day.
In this article, we will cover some of the best ways to help keep your family healthy during lockdown and beyond. Once life goes back to some level of normal you and your household can hit the ground running!
Give Everyone A Role
Boredom can settle in quickly when stuck inside for most of the day. As well as helping keep your family busy by assigning small chores and jobs to children the concept of responsibility becomes embedded much earlier.
Even smaller children can benefit from having a task and contributing, the best times to do this are times when the family naturally congregate together such as around mealtimes. For younger children setting simple, safe jobs like laying the table with cutlery is a good start. Older children and teens can take on washing up or even helping to prepare meals with a parent.
Setting rewards for such activities can be beneficial to encourage consistency. Avoid rewarding them for doing the chore once, aside from acknowledging and thanking them. Instead, think about small rewards for carrying out their role every day for a week or even a month.
This helps encourage responsibility over a longer time period, as opposed to making it seem like a chore. Adding positivity and encouraging consistency also adds to better well being, giving them a chance to play a role in the home.
Create A Meal Plan
It goes without saying that we shouldn’t be going out wherever possible at the moment. As such the top-up shops that many families fall privy too should be cut back, which is made much more possible with a structured meal plan.
The night before the big shop it’s worth sitting down as a family and working out a meal plan together. Children can be rewarded for their chores by getting to pick whatever meal they like, within reason!
Creating a meal plan gives structure to the week, giving parents less to worry about on an evening and also allows you to be more efficient when shopping. Reducing food waste and not buying junk food is something we should all aspire to do more of, and meal planning is a great first step and an ideal way to get children engaged with food.
Get Creative With Keeping Active
Ensuring everyone gets outside for exercise can be tricky when there are fewer opportunities, and the colder weather makes us all the more reluctant. For children keeping active ensures not only good future habits but also that the pent up energy from a day indoors is used up.
Adults also benefit hugely from regular exercise, this could be a simple as a 20-minute jog outside to make the difference when it comes to having improved physical and mental health.
Consider going for family walks, which is a great way to spend time together and still get outdoors. This could be to the shops or even just to the local park, you don’t have to be an athlete to at least get started with more exercise!
Think About The Longer Term
Keeping healthy is about doing all you can to avoid longer-term illnesses and conditions. Unfortunately, not all illnesses are preventable by lifestyle changes.
That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the wealth of health insurance plans for families available to prepare in the event of the unexpected happening. The correct policy can help by paying out a cash sum towards incurred routine health costs from experts like a dentist, optician or physiotherapist for your family.
Balance Family Time With Alone Time
Keeping your family happy is about doing what is best for them. While it certainly is good for you all to spend time together, be it a meal, walk or movie night, it’s also important to know to give each other space when needed.
Mental well being is now a lot more readily considered in society and having personal space is a crucial piece in the puzzle to keeping happy. This can be especially challenging for teens, who want their own space as they get older. The temptation can be to pester them or force them to have time with the family but striking the balance is important.
While this is obviously less applicable for younger children, it certainly is for the parents of young children. Consider instead giving each other a break for just a few hours to allow space for each other, this is especially useful for newborns who require constant attention that can be exhausting for both.