If you wish your children played outside more and not at video games or want a spouse to shed some weight for his or her health, you know how frustrating it can be to motivate your family. You don’t want to harp on being healthy, because that makes everyone want to do the opposite and it falls on deaf ears. Finding ways to make this a healthier new year is important and you can do it with a little effort. It all starts with the presentation, setting an example and perhaps, a little deception.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a big deal if you do it right.
Here’s where the deception starts. You don’t tell them they’re eating healthy. Don’t pile their plates with Brussels sprouts and expect the to automatically enjoy them, especially when they’re used to burgers, sloppy joes and hot dogs. Instead, plan ahead and create dishes that disguise the healthiness of the dish. Make lasagna with zucchini noodles instead of pasta. A cauliflower crust pizza tastes super yummy. To save time, make batches ahead and freeze it. Spaghetti squash tastes like spaghetti and is really fun. Let the kids help with this one. Even adults enjoy the fact that a plant could produce a product like the pasta they love. Use it for a spaghetti salad. Prepare ahead for snacks with cut up veggies and dip, nuts and fresh fruit. If it’s already to eat in the refrigerator, it will be eaten.
Be a role model plus.
It may not be enough to go to the gym, you have to do something more to get your family’s interest. Set up active outings for hiking and bicycling. Turn chores into a fun time that’s also active. Dance your way through house cleaning or make it a game of speed. The kids will love it. Choose gifts wisely. Keep it mechanical, not technological. A basket ball and hoop put up on the garage is the perfect way to have some family fun time. Roller blades or bicycles for the whole family provides fun weekends. You’ll build family unity as you build a love of active pastimes.
Change the routine and make it more active.
Do you drive the kids a few blocks to school each day? Walk it. Even if it’s cold, it’s worth it. It actually may be faster than waiting in the drop-off line with other parents and far less expensive and more environmentally friendly than idling in the car. Take the kids to the grocery. Park a distance from the door. If they’re old enough, assign each child items to get and when you’re ready to walk back to the car, no cart if possible, everyone carries a couple of bags. Look for ways to make everyday activities more active.
- By getting your children more active and away from computers, you may be doing their psyche a favor. Studies show that too much technology at an early age can cause changes in neuropaths that result in depression.
- Get the kids into shape for a vacation. If you’re going to Disneyworld or other large amusement park, tell them you need to do more walking to have the energy to cover the park. Dangle that vacation as motivation.
- Sometimes, Rover and Miss Pussycat need a little workout, too. Get interactive toys that the kids and spouse can use to get your pets moving more. Even something as simple as a ball on a string will entice a cat and a game of fetch or walk in the park will make Rover smile.
- Get help cooking healthy. If your children or spouse help you make the meal, they’ll enjoy it more.