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veg_familyBy Andrew Watt

The best way to keep our children healthy is to make healthy living part of our whole family’s lifestyle. Growing bodies need special attention and may have different nutritional needs than other family members. That’s why it’s our job as a family unit to work out a health plan we can all stick to.

Diet

The food we eat is a vital part of how we stay healthy. Getting at least five portions of fruit and vegetables into our bodies is crucial, but how is it done when family members have different tastes and needs? In our family, we try to be inventive with meals and get the kids involved in the preparation. If they have helped to make a dish they are far more likely to eat it, so it’s great to teach them how to toss a salad, chop vegetables for a stew and make a simple stir-fry. Not only will they eat more vegetables but they will also learn valuable life skills of which they can be proud.

Exercise

Most children are quite happy to run around given the slightest opportunity, especially in the open air, so we try to get our little ones (and ourselves!) outside as much as possible. A walk to the local park, a cycle ride or a game of Frisbee all count as exercise and they are all free and great fun too!

For more structured exercise, you could try getting the kids to join a sports team or dance class, or even go horseback riding once a week as a family. Andrew Watt, who works for lifeinsurance.org.uk says: “We all know how important it is to look after our bodies, not just ourselves, but for our families when it comes to health.”

Mental and Emotional Health

Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, so make an effort to look after each other! The more nice things you can do for others the better you will feel, so set an example to the children.

We try to encourage our kids to do a good deed for someone else every day by keeping a record and awarding small prizes such as extra hugs or staying up ten minutes later at bedtime for every child who manages to do a good deed every day for a week.

What do you do to help your family stay healthy?

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