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5 Ideas for Creating Healthy Family Habits

Last updated: September 2, 2021, at 11:27 a.m. PT

Originally published: November 16, 2016, at 2:14 p.m. PT

A healthy, active lifestyle can help you maintain weight and prevent health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure. Here are some strategies to incorporate at home to help kids and families live healthier together!  

  1. Eat & Drink Healthy: Encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family, choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Make water the drink of choice by placing a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Try adding oranges, limes, or mint for extra flavor without the sugar.  
  2. Play Every Day and Get Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of active, unstructured play, preferably outside! Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving together.  Try taking an after-dinner walk, play basketball, or bike together around your neighborhood.
  3. Get Together: Eat together as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation, and clean up. In addition, kids and adults can aim to take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day, enjoying one another’s company.
  4. Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Set a family challenge to reduce screen time at home by turning off TVs and phones during meals. Plan a fun family reward for achieving your goal.
  5. Sleep Well: Kids and adults both need to keep a regular sleep schedule. Unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Turn off TVs and electronic devices an hour before bedtime to help kids establish a regular pattern and fall asleep easier. When possible, aim for kids to get about 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night.