It can be difficult to keep your family healthy and well all year round. Between the demands of work, school, and other obligations, it can feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But with a little bit of planning and some simple strategies, you can create an environment that supports good health for everyone in your family. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Schedule Your Well-Child Visits
One of the best things you can do for your family’s health is to ensure that everyone keeps up with their well-child visits. Well-child visits are an opportunity for your child’s doctor to monitor their growth and development and address any concerns or questions you may have. They’re also a great time to get vaccinations, which help protect your child from serious diseases. Most insurance plans cover well-child visits, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit.
For infants and toddlers, it is especially important as it helps you check if they are hitting their milestones. For example, developmental stuttering will usually start affecting children between 2 and 5. Luckily, with the help of a speech therapist, most children will outgrow it.
If you have school-aged children, well-child visits are still important. In addition to monitoring growth and development, your doctor can also help identify any learning or behavior problems affecting your child’s performance in school.
2. Schedule Time for Physical Activity
Everyone in your family needs to get regular physical activity. Exercise improves overall fitness, but it can also help reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost mood. And there are plenty of ways to make physical activity fun for the whole family.
You can start by simply committing to be active together as a family. Set aside time each day, or each week, for a family walk, bike ride, or game of tag. You can also look for community events that everyone can participate in, such as a charity walk/run or a family dance class.
If your children are involved in sports teams or other activities outside of the home, make sure to encourage them to stay active during their free time as well. And when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor activity, there are still plenty of indoor options like dance and yoga.
3. Don’t Forget Dental Health
It’s important to remember that dental health is important to your overall health. Be sure to teach your children the importance of good oral hygiene habits, for example, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and avoiding sugary drinks, which can lead to cavities.
To further help prevent cavities and other dental problems, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that kids see a pediatric dentist every six months for a checkup, cleaning, fluoride treatment, and occasional x-rays. Remember to also take advantage of dental sealants, which can help protect your child’s teeth from decay.
4. Eat Healthy Meals Together
Eating healthy meals together as a family is a great way to encourage everyone to eat their vegetables and make other healthier choices. It can also be a fun and bonding experience.
You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to cook healthy meals that the whole family will enjoy. Start by making small changes to your favorite recipes, such as using whole-wheat pasta or adding extra vegetables. You can also look for quick and healthy recipe ideas online or in cookbooks.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Necessary Lifestyle Adjustments
Making necessary lifestyle adjustments can be difficult, but it’s important to do what’s best for your family’s health. If someone in your family has a chronic illness or disability, some changes may need to be made to accommodate their needs.
For example, every year, there are about 2 million new wheelchair users in the U.S. If someone in your family starts using a wheelchair, you can do a few things to make your home more accessible. You may need to widen doorways, install ramps, or make other modifications. Making these changes will not only make life easier for the person with the disability, but it will also make your home safer and more comfortable for everyone.
Taking steps to keep your family healthy and well is important for everyone’s well-being. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your family enjoys good health for years to come.