The summer holiday is here.
And while you are thinking about where to go for your vacation or the summer lesson to enroll your child in, you should also be thinking about your family well being.
Most of the parents I asked of their holiday plans told me they had everything covered.
The cable subscription is good for 2 months, (you know so there will be enough films to keep your kid from disturbing you). The holiday lesson is paid for.
When I ask: what of their health and well being?
They stare at me.
You buy films, games and renew your cable subscription to keep your family busy – Busy sitting down. Most schools and workplace do not have sports facility and at home the sedentary lifestyle continues.
Your child may be back on holiday with a few extra pounds or your jean may be getting harder to zip up, this is the time to do something about it.
The holiday can be much more than:
- Excessive food and beverage consumption
- Increase in food size
- Increase in consumption of soda, pizza and donuts
- Fewer calories being used
- More Television viewing and computer time
- Reduced physical activity
- Sedentary lifestyle
Following this path has negative consequence for your family
- Childhood and adult overweight and obesity
- Joint and muscle pain
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
As parents especially mothers we can start the change we need in our homes now. This holiday is a chance to start educating your family on the BMI, importance of maintaining a healthy BMI, healthy eating, food preparation and exercising.
There are simple and tried step to follow to achieve a healthy weight and I call it EPCR
E – Educate
P –Physical activity – Exercise
C – Healthy Food
R – Reward
- Educate your family
That’s the first step. Talk with them not at them. Help them understand why a healthy weight is important, and then teach them about the BMI. Help them to check theirs and understand what it means.
Remember to educate and persuade, do not scare them and threaten. They might decide to prove you wrong and you know what may happen if they chose that path.
It may spiral out of their original plan and control. So educate and persuade, do not threaten and blackmail.
2. Physical activity
Support and enable physical activity in your family. Exercise together. Research shows that families that exercise together find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.
Ditch your Saturday morning habit of lying in bed and daydreaming, while your children cruise the cartoon channel.
Take a walk with your family or go to the gym. When you come back, have a healthy breakfast. You will be more energized throughout the day
Try to get 30 -60 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week and for your kids 60 minutes every day. 30 – 60 Minutes may seem much but it is not.
You can divide it into separate, shorter sessions and still get the same result.
Start small with small periods of activity that fit into your day and gradually progress
Playing group games like volleyball, touch football and basketball will add more fun. There is nothing like a friendly family competition to spice up things.
- Healthy food
Exercising together and eating healthier food go hand in hand.
As much as you can, increase the accessibility of healthy foods like fruits and veggies in your home and limit the accessibility of sweetened beverages and low value foods
When you eat at least once together as a family there is a tendency to put more effort into it to make it more nutritious and tastier
Make mealtime family time. Meal time is not TV time or catching up on social media time. They can wait for 20 minutes
Try these 2 healthy tips:
- Swap ingredients for healthier option. Use fruits like banana to sweeten yogurts, oats and smoothies. Grate and sprinkle coconut on donuts instead of sugar
- Keep portion sizes healthy. The temptation to load up your plate and overeat during family dinner or holiday parties is there with you, so control your portion by using a smaller plate and eating more of the veggies
Try new and different recipe. Try it with less sugar, but more fruits and find out how that tastes for them.
Meal time should be time to relax, talk to one another and play catch up. Not something to be rushed so you can go back to social media or your favorite TV show.
- Reward your family
Reward the effort of your family to live a healthier and more active life with things not food related. You can give workout shoes, exercise clothes, rackets, weights, resistance bands and beautiful water bottles.
Do not use TV viewing or computer time as a reward or punishment or they will attach more significance to them.
These are small simple steps.
But when you practice them you are on your way to building a healthy family with a healthy weight.
What are you doing to help your family achieve a healthy weight?
Please leave your comment below