By Katrina Pilkinton
We can teeter on using the term “fit” to refer to a family’s health and wellbeing, but that can all-too-often encompass a notion that a family’s goals are performative. Being WELL is the goal.
What does that look like or even mean? Let’s find out below!
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WHAT DOES W.E.L.L. MEAN FOR FAMILIES?
W – is for Well-being. A family who feels well inside and out can live well.
E – is for Eating. The food we take in as individuals makes us better contributors to our family units.
L – is for Love. Love of one’s body, mind, and of others through healthy habits.
[The other] L – is for Longevity. Feeling well and BEING well keep us living our best lives even longer.
FAMILY FITNESS: KEEP IT SIMPLE
Ensuring wellbeing for a family, eating wholesome food, loving one another, and expanding on longevity can come in the form of simple daily tasks.
Many of us struggle to squeeze in time for a solid hour-long workout, four-course meal, extended vacation, or even pristine blood results when we visit the doctor—thinking that big can overwhelm us, most times.
Keeping simple healthy habits at the forefront gives us room to “do what we can when we can” in a manner that best fits our needs and that or our families. We all know that a family can be a mix of individually unique personalities that ban together, albeit argumentative sometimes.
(1) ALWAYS BE MOVING INSIDE AND OUT
Workouts are unique, but movement is the key to life! Getting a family to move inside of the house and outside of the house ensures that energy burns for a happier mind and an efficient and healthy body.
Kids can help do chores and play games by shuttling around the house in an obstacle course. Going out on a family walk doesn’t ever seem like a decision that is regrettable in the grand scheme of a busy day.
(2) GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN MEAL-MAKING
Kids are always more apt to eat something they had a hand in making … literally! Depending on the age of the kids in a household, children as well-equipped to help with meal making and preparation. Tasks that children can assist with that are safe can include getting not-so-sharp utensils, sorting ingredients, reading recipes, and even monitoring cooking time.
(3) ENCOURAGE KIDS TO TRY NEW FOODS
If you’re looking to include more whole food sources in your family’s eating that are new or out-of-the-ordinary from what you’re currently eating, you’re not alone.
An essential thought to keep in mind is that when kids try new foods, it’s okay for their first attempts to be “nibbles.” It can take up to 6, 10, even 15 times for a child to try new food and become a fan (if they do.) “Trying” is the key to making nutrition progress for a family.
Studies show that frequent attempts and exposure to fruits and vegetables increases acceptance and consumption from children. Appreciating a nibble can also build confidence in kids to show them they are making an effort, and that effort is mega-appreciated!
(4) CONSUME A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: “EAT A RAINBOW”
Fruits and vegetables hold many different phytonutrients within their unique makeup. Depending on their color, they can possess powerful antioxidants, heart-healthy components, cancer-blocking chemicals, and even block the formation of blood clots in the body.
Eating a rainbow of foods can also be FUN. The whole family can look for a wide range of colors in nutritious fruits and vegetables and challenge one another to try new foods.
(5) HAVE FRUITS AND VEGGIES ACCESSIBLE AS “STARS” OF A MEAL
Of course, having accessibility to fruits and vegetables can ensure that they are the stars of mealtime. Frozen and canned options are reliable, as long as their sugar and salt intake aren’t excessive.
Find what’s in season and what’s within budget. Remember, we can be WELL in simple ways, friends.
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
While we know it takes a village to raise a family; it also takes the family unit being as much of a cohesive team as possible to live WELL. Like I mentioned earlier, I am not a stranger to arguments in my household.
We’ve made peace with our hectic life while making sure to set aside time to ensure we are a solid unit supporting one another – imperfections and all.
Cultivating a household filled with love, even in the chaotic moments, can look different for everyone. Health habits of movement, exercise, and proper nutrition have a significant impact on the mood of those in the household.
Beginning the day with a focus on whole foods as the stars of the day, moving to work happy chemicals into everyone’s system while energizing the body, and staying as positive as possible can move mountains for a family.
DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHO & WHAT YOU’VE GOT
This Family Health and Fitness Day, remember to do the best you can with what you’ve got. We have 24 hours in a day to do so much in [what seems] such a short amount of time. In the jumble of life, the day can include school work (for kids and parents), work hours, meal preparation, playtime, socializing (even virtually), and squeezing in time for quiet – wow.
We are each allowed to have good days and bad days, high energy days and low energy days, and days where we want to sing while others we want to scream.
Understanding that the right fuel can help us feel good, enough movement can encourage our bodies to do their best, and positive vibes can defeat the negative ones most days is vital. We can celebrate the dynamic of our unique families in many different ways while keeping our collective wellbeing at the top of our lists as much as we can each day.