These 5 ideas provide a great starting point to create healthier, happier kids while reinforcing familial bonds. Schedule these activities and ensure nothing interferes with them.
Make a meal together
Try making the kitchen, rather than the living room, your go-to meetup for the family. Even one meal a week can create a dramatic effect on your family’s health while reinforcing bonds and having fun. Put on some upbeat music, keep the conversation lively, and get everyone involved. Even your littlest ones can set the table or snap vegetables while older kids can chop, carve, and even cook. Rotate the menu so a different person gets to pick every week. Think of the increased family time while also establishing lifelong habits as a bonus.
Have a healthy splurge party.
Let’s face it: Sometimes your kids want more than apple slices with almond butter as a sweet treat. Maybe your son’s birthday party or daughter’s graduation demands something sweet. That doesn’t mean you need to provide grocery store cookies and cakes full of sugar, food allergens, and other junk ingredients. Instead, incorporate healthy desserts like avocado chocolate pudding and coconut almond cookies.
Go on a hike or a similar vigorous activity
If you hear groans when you tell your kids to step away from the video games and do something active, reinvent play to incorporate fun, challenging exercise. Hiking makes a great day or weekend activity that practically forces you to step away from technology. If you don’t have a favorite hiking spot in the area, traverse a nearby destination and make an adventure out of it. For those in warmer climates, paddle boats, canoeing, and snorkeling are great water-based alternatives while those in colder ones might consider skiing or ice skating. Make physical activity fun and you’ll build enthusiasm within your kids while enjoying technology-free family time.
Schedule a technology-free hour or two.
Technology isn’t entirely bad, but using it wisely becomes crucial for healthy kids and strong familial bonds. Tablets, iPhones, video games, and laptops can usurp everyone’s time; even most adults can attest how they mindlessly scrolled through Facebook for an hour at some point. Don’t waste that time; put all electronics away for an hour or two and do something together instead. You’ve got endless options that are fun, entertaining, and get everyone involved. Read a play aloud, have a poetry reading, play charades, or have a “recital” where your kids perform the newest song they learned in piano lessons. Whatever you do will feel more fulfilling than being sedentary and you’ll reinforce familial bonds as well.
Find a new activity the whole family can engage in.
Family time needn’t be boring or forced when you find something everyone enjoys. Engaging in touch football, soccer, or frisbee makes a great Sunday afternoon energy booster that will work up everyone’s appetite for dinner. If intellectual stimulation is more your thing, have a family trivia-game, board game, or card night. With games like Uno, you can engage even the littlest ones. Gratitude is a nutrient that invigorates and inspires everyone, and volunteering provides a great way to install the giving-back virtue in your kids. You might find a nearby charity that your entire family can commit to once a week
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