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Keeping my kids healthy has always been a top priority especially that both my kids (and husband) have asthma. I go to great lengths to ensure that they eat right and indulge in physical activities regularly. Aside from the fact that it breaks my heart whenever any of my kids get sick, a trip to the doctor or the hospital can be very costly. So, I would rather go the extra mile in taking care of my family’s health at home.
I have always believed that prevention is better than cure so here are some of the habits that we have adopted to keep our family healthy. Feel free to incorporate any of these to yours.
Eat meals together – Even if it is just for one meal a day especially if both parents are working. Studies show that eating meals together as a family tend to make the members eat more healthy food. Since my husband works in a different city, we still try to be together during mealtimes via video calls whenever possible. We use this time to catch up, talk about our day, and generally just have a healthy conversation as a family. And because we talk a lot during mealtimes, we eat slower, which is better for digestion.
No artificial juices – It has been over 3 years since I have stopped buying commercial juices. Many of them contain artificial sweeteners and flavoring and generally not good for kids. My children bring water to school and if they ask for juice, I make calamansi juice (or other natural fruit juices) for them instead.
Cut back on sugar – I have stopped buying white sugar (unless I need it for baking) and switched to brown sugar instead. However, the kids have learned to use brown sugar minimally and only when needed. They also do not add any when they have milk or malt drinks.
Make exercise a family activity – My son exercises on his own but my 9-year-old daughter joins me when I work out at home. She loves following me when I do yoga. My husband on the other hand regularly plays table-tennis.
Embrace body positivity – It is important that we embrace a body positivity at home. With social media, TV and magazines bombarding us with the so-called “ideal body”, it can be so easy for children and teens to develop eating disorders. Focus on health instead of watching the weighing scale.
Eat less processed food– Although we do enjoy a box of pizza and bag of chips from time to time, moderation is key. We usually go for months without eating fast food and the kids do not mind at all. Canned goods are also considered last resort. We only have them if I am pressed for tie and unable to cook from scratch.
Choose healthier snacks – My kids love snacking that they look forward to it each day. Aside from bread, we try to make our snacks at home instead of buying bagged goodies from the grocery. We make our own popcorn at home, we cook root crops like sweet potatoes, we make green salads, and try our hand at cooking native delicacies from time to time. The kids enjoy helping in the kitchen and I’m happy to know that they are eating healthy snacks. On busy days, they eat fruits.
There are many ways to incorporate healthy habits into your family’s day to day life, it is just a matter of consistency and gentle reminders. Living a healthy lifestyle did not happen overnight for our family, and as matter of fact, we are still a work in progress. What is important is that we try to be better at it every single day.
A family lifestyle blogger who left her corporate job in Cebu for a slower life in Iligan City, Philippines. Healthline – Best Mom Blogs 2017, ESCooped – Cebu’s Top Family Blogger 2016, Top 10 Blogs Voice Boks Comedy Edition, Bloggys 2015 – Finalist, Family and Relationships Category, featured on BlogHer.com and HumorWriters.org. Jhanis also works as a Freelance Writer/Content Creator and manages a small farm house decor business when she’s not taking naps.