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Making changes as a family

Making changes as a family2019-08-30T12:07:36+10:00

For a child, their first and most important teachers are their parents and carers. Leading by example can help your child to build healthy habits for life.

Health habits learned as children often stay with us adults. Making healthy changes as a family will give your child the best possible start to life.

Eat together

Children learn what’s ‘normal’ from their parents, including food and meal time habits. To model healthy eating habits, families can:

  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Describe food by talking about flavour, texture, smell and colour – not good or bad, yuck or yum
  • Eat together and connect at mealtimes – that means no TV
  • Try new foods.

Be active together

When your child sees you take part in regular physical activity, they are more likely to view it as a normal part of their own lives. To get more active, families can:

  • Build physical activity into your family’s current routine
  • Move and play in ways that you enjoy
  • Get moving as a family, for example go for a walk together or kick the footy around.

Reduce sitting and screen time

Our bodies aren’t designed to sit for long periods – we need to move to stay healthy. Find screen-free ways to be together as a family, like physical activity and active play. Families can also benefit from monitoring how much time is spent on screens, and agree on whole-of-family rules and limits.

Follow a sleep routine

It’s not just about children’s sleep – parents need a good sleep routine too. When the whole family has a good sleep pattern, everyone will have the energy to follow through on other healthy habits, like being active and eating well.

Change starts with a single step

It’s ok to start small – as a family, choose what you’d like to change and plan how you will do it. Set a goal as a family – you can use this goal setting template – and work together to achieve it. When this change becomes a habit, the whole family will feel more confident to take on the next change. Remember that it’s not about being perfect, because nobody is! Small changes add up to a healthier you – and a healthier future for your children.