With families spending plenty of quality time together this winter, it is important to keep healthy habits circulating in your household. Sometimes it’s difficult to get your kids outside and eating nutritious snacks when the winter cold makes you want to snuggle up on the couch and watch movies with cookies and hot chocolate. While this is a wonderful way to spend time with your family, there are also plenty of fun ways to keep your family healthy this winter. Check out these tips.
Play in the Snow
Wherever you live, there are limitless options when it comes to playing outside in the wintertime. While snow may make you groan, kids will love spending time in it if you give them a fun idea or game to do. Before going outside, be sure your kids are bundled up so the snow doesn’t give them more than they bargained for. Fun mittens, hats, scarves, and snowsuit can make your kids’ outdoor experiences all the more enjoyable.
Some fun outside activities in the snow include building a snowman or snow fort, making snow angels, having a snowball fight, and going sledding or snowshoeing. For many of these activities, you simply need snow. A family hike in the winter wonderland is also a fun way to get in some family bonding while also getting exercise.
With these many fun activities comes the exercise your kids will need this winter, especially if they are not able to be involved in indoor sports or other activities this winter. If your kids prefer staying inside on some days, there are many energy-relieving activities you can organize as well. You can have a dance party, use a Wii Fit, play hide-and-seek, move around with toys, and play other games that involve movement. It’s important your kids don’t lay around all winter. Those between 18 and 64 years old are recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. Now, you can certainly maintain this by engaging with your children and getting them moving just as much as you!
Along with energy-releasing activities comes downtime. After a fun activity or game with your children, be sure to also allow your kids some time to themselves or as a family to relax. After all, shouldn’t we enjoy the warmth our homes provide us during the winter?
Downtime can include some screentime, whether it be a movie, an episode of a TV show, a videogame, or a computer game. Downtime can also mean exercising our brain while simultaneously relaxing, such as doing a puzzle, drawing or coloring, reading a book or magazine, or playing with Legos. Every kid has something they enjoy doing, so making time for relaxation will make other engaging activities all the more fun.
Try a New Recipe
Between activities comes time to eat. With fun holiday treats and snacks taking over grocery stores, surely your kids will get their fair share of candy corn, candy canes, cookies, marshmallows, pies, and chocolate. Outside of enjoying these sweet, sugar-filled desserts and treats, you should also make sure your kids are maintaining healthy, balanced diets all winter long. When it comes to snack time, perhaps reach for pretzels, clementines, or broccoli rather than a cookie or chips. When preparing school lunches, provide a healthy meal along with one yummy treat to keep a balance and to be sure your kids understand that sugar is something to enjoy in limited quantities and at certain times rather than all of the time.
Cooking and baking are two activities some kids absolutely love partaking in. Whether your kids enjoy watching or being involved with the process of making food, it is a fun activity for the entire family to enjoy and bond over. Perhaps you can even try out some new, healthy recipes for your family to enjoy this winter. Perhaps try making a vegetable-based lasagna rather than your typical recipe. Perhaps try veggie-filled tacos, cauliflower rice stir fry, and low-carb but hearty soups. With the abundance of treats at your disposal this winter, maybe it is time to think outside of the box and prepare healthier meals that will still be yummy and enjoyable for your entire family.
If you don’t feel like cooking one night, that is perfectly acceptable. Use an opportunity like this to celebrate something in your family – whether it be a finished book, puzzle, or snowman. With nearly 28 million small businesses throughout the United States, support a local small business and order out. You are working hard to care for your family this winter, so be sure you are treating yourself along with your kids.
Maintain Overall Health
What is often forgotten about in the winter is maintaining overall cleanliness and health by performing simple tasks like washing your hands. Remind your children to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Singing a song can help make sure an entire 20 seconds are spent scrubbing. Be sure your kids know to especially wash their hands after coughing, sneezing, and blowing their nose as well as after going to the bathroom or helping out in the kitchen.
Your overall health also includes sleep. Be sure both parents and children are getting a proper amount of sleep each night. Otherwise, someone might be cranky, and you certainly want everyone to be able to have productive, fun days this winter season.
Stay healthy this winter by exercising, eating healthy, washing your hands, and getting a proper amount of sleep each night. You and your family can certainly enjoy fun activities and treats all the while maintaining a healthy lifestyle this winter.
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