You may hate seeing your children on the computer or phone all day playing games when you think they should be out playing and running. You also may hate the fact that they simply hate the healthy foods you make. Motivating your family to be healthy isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s one of the most often problems I hear from many clients that workout. They love how they feel and want to share that great feeling with the family, who reluctantly pokes at their Brussels sprouts or broccoli and barely move when the subject of going for a walk comes up. I’ve put together some ideas for both the young children, older ones and that big child you married (According to many of the women I talk to here and some men!) to get them out of the chair and eating healthier.
Planning make ahead healthy foods at meals.
Planning ahead is so important when you’re first starting on the road to healthy eating. It’s far too often that after a long day at work, it’s just easier to grab take out, rather than cook. The good news is that you can make ahead healthy meals and freeze them. Most of these meals actually don’t look like healthy foods and none of them taste the way people expect healthy foods to taste. Cooking spaghetti squash ahead and turning it into a pasta style vegetable salad is great for light meals or as a side. Lasagna made with zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta is another great option. Making large batches and freezing food for use in the near future is a great way to make eating healthier easier. So is having fresh fruits and veggies cut up and ready in the refrigerator, which also encourages healthy snacks.
Find ways to boost the family exercise and boost yours in the process.
If you drive your kids to school in the morning, but the distance is close enough to walk, you just found one way to get the kids more active. You’ll benefit from the walk, too. You may not even have to leave earlier if there’s a long drop-off line of cars you face when you get to the school. Do activities that are physical. Even a day at the amusement park involves a lot of walking. Going on family hikes and camping out can also be fun.
Sometimes just being a role model isn’t enough.
You may have tried to get the kids or your spouse active by being a great role model and trying active outings and it works while you’re doing it, but the rest of the week everyone barely budges from the chair. It’s time to turn chores into dance time or give a gift that makes them active. Roller blades, a bicycle or even a basketball and a hoop for the garage can be good. If you use a basketball and hoop or other sporting equipment, join them in the activity.
- Make a trip walking to the park a reward for having the kids help you with active chores like window washing or lawn mowing.
- Plan active vacations and have the kids get ready by getting in shape. Even a trip to Disney takes a lot of energy, so encouraging them to get in shape so they can enjoy the vacation can be motivating.
- Pets, especially dogs, require their owners to be active. Find toys that allow your children to be active and interact with pets. Cat’s love chasing string and dogs love a walk in the park.
- Have the kids help you in the kitchen and involved in creating healthy meals. If they help cook it, they’ll appreciate it more.