21 billion pounds are spent on advertising each year in Britain. With so much effort put into marketing campaigns geared toward making your family eat junk food, engage in risky behaviour, and veg out in front of the telly, how can you possibly keep your family healthy? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Schedule Times for Activity
For one week, track the daily activities of each family member. This will give you an idea of when you could have family physical activity time. You may need to cut back on other less healthy activities. Choose two hour-long and two half-hour-long time slots for activities. The American Heart Association has some great tips on how to use this time.
Prepare Meals at Home
There are so many ads trying to get you to eat out or to buy unhealthy processed foods. You have to be hyper vigilant to protect your family. One way to combat the advertising is to plan and prepare wholesome home-cooked meals. Preparation is the key. A great recommendation to follow is to use one night (Sunday is a good idea as it gets you set up for the week) to do a lot of food prep, such as browning meat and sautéing vegetables, so you have a lot of ingredients stored and ready to throw into a quick recipe during the busy work week.
Provide a Strong Example
Research shows that kids see their mother as their main role model, and fathers are second. You may not realise how much they observe and mimic your behaviour. More than two out of three kids in the same report said they would be more likely to eat healthily if they saw their parents doing the same.
Create Family Goals with Buy-in from Everyone
Brainstorm changes you would like to make as a family. If you listen to the suggestions and opinions of each family member, they are more likely to get on board with the healthy changes you are trying to make. Make sure the goals you set are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-framed (SMART).
Buy Health Insurance for Your Family
Sure, the National Health Service is designed to supply medical support and treatment for everyone no matter how much money they have. And, yes, this is a valuable service. However, you may also want to take out family health insurance. There are three main advantages to family health insurance: quicker diagnosis, treatment in better facilities, and shorter waiting times. It can also give your family access to specialist treatments and drugs that are unavailable through the NHS.
The key to keeping your family healthy is to plan ahead and involve your children in an active lifestyle. By setting a great example to your kids, you’ll instill positive habits in them that will hopefully last a lifetime.