You want to make your healthy lifestyle a family affair, but aren’t sure how your kids will take it. Here are 7 tips for how to get your kids involved in a healthy lifestyle.
Before we got married, my husband and I knew we wanted our health and fitness lifestyle to be a family affair. We knew we wanted our kids to be active and enjoy the same activities that we do! So many times I see parents that aren’t sure how to get their kids involved in their healthy lifestyle. But really, it’s not as hard as you may think!
It’s not secret that fitness is a huge part of our lives. We love to go to the gym, are very active outdoors, and we include our kids in this lifestyle. You see, living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a parents-only club. Getting the kids involved in making healthy lifestyle choices will help equip them to make better choices as adults.
Here are 7 tips for how to get kids involved in a healthy lifestyle
1. Lead by example
Young kids want to be like their parents. I’ve noticed this especially with our fitness routine. My daughter LOVES to workout with us! She always asks to lift with me at the gym instead of going into the kid’s club (unfortunately she can’t because of their age limit). But when we’re at home it’s game on!
It wasn’t always like this. She has watched us over many years (especially when I was working out at home everyday), and she now realizes the importance of exercise. It has been our consistency that got her interested. Remember, we are setting an example for our children, and if they see us doing it, they will want to as well.
2. Get active as a family
One of our favorite family activities is hiking. We find kid-friendly hikes that aren’t too long or strenuous; then we take a few hours a few times a month to hit the trails. It’s great family bonding time and a great physical activity for everyone. We’re showing our kids that being active can be fun, which will have them wanting to do more.
Maybe you enjoy riding bikes, or skiing or basketball. Whatever it is, doing it as a family strengthens the bond and shows your kids that there is more to being healthy than eating salad and running a lot.
3. Let them help in the kitchen
For Christmas, my husband got our daughter a kids cookbook (this exact one) with some simple recipes for her to follow. She has really enjoyed trying new things out each month. It has also encouraged her to help in other ways when we’re cooking; including meal prep! The more involved in cooking the meal they are, they more likely they will want to eat it.
4. Speak love to yourself
As women, we tend to be overly critical of ourselves. Especially when it relates to our physical appearance. I am still critical of myself at times, even to this day. But I would never do so in front of my daughter. I feel like we all have an idea in our minds of what the “perfect” body looks like. It can take a lot of work to love ourselves. But I am really hoping to change that with our younger generation.
I only speak love to myself, and share the facts about my body. My daughter has already asked on multiple occasions (she is now 7) if I think she has fat legs. Heavens no! It broke my heart the first time she asked and I was very clear with her that she is absolutely perfect the way she is. If we speak love to ourselves and let our children know that we are all beautiful and unique, we can help break this cycle of self-hate.
5. Let them choose the activity
There are so many times I don’t want to go to the trampoline park. So. Many. Times. But my kids love it. And in the end, we really do too. It is a great family workout and my kids leave their sweating! Letting them choose the activity shows them that health and fitness really can be fun, and doesn’t have to feel like work. My kids have chosen everything from scootering and riding bikes, to fishing and sledding. It doesn’t have to be big and elaborate, but letting them decide every so often keeps them interested.
6. Turn off the electronics
This is one that can be hard for so many these days. I know I get sucked into letting them play on their tablets for far too long sometimes especially when I’m trying to get some work done. But that is not teaching them much of anything! My kids now have to earn their electronic time, which includes things like activities around the house, workbook time and more! If they are able to shut down the electronics, focus on the world around them and realize how much fun it is, they will (hopefully) be less likely to want to be sucked into a screen all day, and instead excited to be out doing fun activities with you!
7. Set goals
I love setting goals. And I love setting family goals. One of our goals is to hike as a family at least once a month. Even if it’s raining we try our hardest to make this happen. I also love to take family walks after dinner in the evenings. We try for this at least twice a week. Your goals don’t have to be these monumental ideas, but small goals that you work toward can lead to big things in the end.
Getting kids involved in a healthy lifestyle when they are young can fundamentally affect their growth and their future. Teaching kids to make smart food choices, be active and spend time as a family will lead them to make smart choices as they grow because you taught them so well at a young age.