8 Habits of Super-Healthy Families

Clichés like “Old habits die hard” exist for a reason—they’re accurate. And smart families put that fact to good use, by building healthy habits into their daily lives. They understand that when it’s part of your life, you never feel forced to choose between indulgence and deprivation. Good-for-you choices become automatic. We’ve pinpointed nine different habits super-healthy families use to stay that way:

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  1. They maintain a routine. Your kids probably can’t articulate this, but knowing what’s going to happen, when, helps keep them steady—and reduces the likelihood that they’ll push back on things they might not want to do. Whether you choose to maintain a full family calendar or simply take a stroll together after dinner every night, healthy actions become habits when you do them regularly.
  2. They find ways to move that aren’t necessarily “exercise.” You might join your kids for hula hooping in the backyard, water gun (or snowball) battles, driveway basketball shoot-offs, leaping into a pile of leaves, living room dance parties, even walking the dog. Every moment you’re in motion counts.
  3. They get enough sleep. Think back to your days as a new mom, and how sleep deprivation affected you. That was extreme, but research has shown that ongoing sleep deficiencies can make your kids’ schoolwork suffer, increase your family’s risk of obesity, and even increase your own risk of several life-threatening diseases. Adults should aim for 7-8 hours a night, while kids need 10 or more.
  4. They cook—and eat—meals together at home, and they do it screen-free. Yeah, we’re cheating a bit here, combining several healthy habits into one. Preparing food with your kids encourages them to become more adventurous eaters (read: they’ll eat more vegetables). Kids who dine with their families do better in school, and those who watch less television are less likely to be overweight.
  5. They save junk food for special occasions. You can’t eat what’s not there, right? Stock your kitchen with easy-to-grab but still healthy snacks like whole-grain crackers, nuts, fresh fruit, baby carrots, cheese sticks, and yogurt, and save the easy-to-overdo stuff for an occasional treat.
  6. They take their vitamins. Sometimes, even your best healthy habits won’t provide all the nutrition bodies need—for moderately active kids, that’s 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. L’il Critters™ Fruit n’ Honey Bee Active Complete Multivitamin provides 12 essential nutrients in a great tasting gummy your kids will love.
  7. They play video games together. Yes, experts agree we should limit screen time (try to keep it under 2 hours a day, most say). But if you’ve got a gaming system with motion control, challenge your kid to some virtual boxing or a dance-off. It’ll get you both moving and give you some no-pressure togetherness.
  8. They do nothing. Everyone gets stressed when they’re overscheduled, and cortisol—aka the stress hormone—can wreak havoc on both body and brain. Rather than commit to classes and sports and community service and every social event that comes along, block out some down-time on your calendar. Make a lazy family afternoon part of the routine.

 

What healthy habits does your family enjoy?

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