Tips for keeping your family healthy

Busy days mean it’s not always easy to prioritise healthy habits. But eating well and moving more can help your family feel good and sleep better.

Here are some ideas for keeping your family healthy every day.

A family - mum, dad, and two kids mountain bike riding together on sunny day

Plan meals in advance

Planning the family’s meals will help you stick to your budget while shopping, and avoids food waste.

  • Plan the week’s meals based on the ingredients you know you’ll have to hand.
  • Cook and freeze or store meals in advance to save time and effort later in the week.
  • Stick to set meal times to keep a sense of routine.
  • Use the Eatwell guide to help you get a balance for your meals.

Have a snack strategy

While it’s best to get most nutrition from balanced meals, it’s OK to include some snacks as well.

  • Prepare snacks ahead of time so you have healthy options ready to go.
  • Chop celery, carrots and other crunchy veg into sticks to keep in the fridge.
  • Try grapes, strawberries, pineapples and other fruits instead of shop-bought sweets.
  • Bread sticks or home-made flapjacks are great for variety.
  • Aim for five portions of fruit or vegetables a day. You can learn more at Change4Life.

Bake together

Baking can be a nice way to spend time together, plus you get to eat the treats afterwards.

  • Are you missing ingredients? Look online for recipe ideas: there are lots of options now for baking without eggs, sugar or even flour.
  • Smaller portions help ingredients last longer. For example, you could halve the amounts listed to make six biscuits instead of twelve.

Make time to move

  • Encourage your child or teenager to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. It’s fine to split this up if it helps. Even two or three minutes of dancing, running or seated exercises every hour adds up.
  • Build movement into the family routine. You could schedule time to go for a walk every day, or to tune into online exercise videos.

What if my family finds healthy habits challenging?

  • It’s a good idea to remove temptation where you can. Restrict access to less healthy food choices by hiding them away, or don’t buy them.
  • It’s always easier to make a change if other people are doing it, too. Try to role model healthy choices and daily activity for your children.
  • Choose some activities you can all do and talk about together.
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