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Make Your Healthy Lifestyle a Game or Contest for the Whole Family

webmd chart foods to eat less 300x203 Make Your Healthy Lifestyle a Game or Contest for the Whole Family

Not only are there fast food restaurants plastered on practically every major street corner, but even at home you find commercial after commercial on your television creatively displaying new combo meals, hamburgers, or the latest toys offered with kid’s meals. All this making your job as a parent more difficult to get your children to realize that most of the food offered at these places is not healthy and will not do a body good.

Making Your Healthy Lifestyle a Game Can Really Get Your Entire Family Really Motivated to Succeed That’s one of the main reasons why it may be difficult getting your children to stay away from fast food especially if it’s been a regular occurrence. Regardless of that fact, you can use this as the perfect educational opportunity. A chance for you to teach your children about the importance of their health and taking care of their bodies. Depending on how old they are, and how graphic you want to make it, you can find some great pictures and sources on the Internet of all things related to health along with visual examples of obese individuals, clogged arteries, heart attacks, etc. Here are a couple of sources you might want to start with:

Educate them about the fact that if they do not take care of their bodies and eat in a healthy manner, these scenarios could become real-life situations for them as they age if they’re not careful.

You can then explain how your family is now going to make a commitment to start eating in a more healthy manner in order to prevent scenarios like those mentioned above from happening. To make this even more enticing, especially for children, plan all of your healthy eating efforts around a game or contest with a cool prize at the end. The reward can be entirely up to you and what your kids enjoy doing, but here are a couple ideas to get you thinking about some possibilities.

How about after a month of eating healthy they get a trip to their favorite restaurant? Or to keep it more in tune with the health change, a trip to a water park or local carnival/circus. How about bowling or miniature golf? It’s important to keep the prize value relative to the length of time and duration of the contest. A trip to Disneyland after eating healthy for one week is really not relative. Maybe a trip to Disneyland after 6 months or a year of eating healthy would be a bit more realistic. However, starting out with this grand of a commitment will probably be too lengthy when just getting used to this new healthy lifestyle. Children need a more frequent reminder why they should stick with their efforts.

Keep the initial goals and rewards to within a month or two so your children will get rewarded in a relatively short amount of time for their efforts. As your family gets a couple rewards under their belts, you can then go ahead and expand the length of time and decide upon larger prizes if you want. You can even make it a dual rewarding type of scenario. Keep the monthly small reward present like a trip to the local ice cream parlor, or movie of their choice, but then the lengthy “year long” commitment will culminate with something a bit more grand. In truth, whatever you think would be the best to get your entire family excited and motivated to make this healthy change is what’s key here.

As you are starting out, you may have to wean them off the fast food slowly especially if they have been eating like that on a regular basis. Therefore you can possibly start off by allowing them to order from their favorite spot once a week. Then the following month, only every other week. Maybe when you are there, your children remember what you taught and showed them so instead of a cheeseburger and french fries they choose a hamburger and a fruit cup. Instead of soda, a healthy bottle of water.

Also, think of how you will keep track of their progress. A large chart creatively label and colorfully illustrated will help immensely with motivation. A catchy title like “Our Healthy Happenings” or “One Month of Magic” along with blank spots where each day when healthy meals are eaten you put a star or a sticker so everyone can visually see the progress and where they are in relation to their culminating reward.

Remember, you know your family best and what will work, or not work with them. Think creatively when it comes to implementing this new healthy way of life because you know how important it is for their lives and the type of future you want them to have. Teach them when they are young about the importance of taking care of their bodies so they understand the benefits of what a well balanced way of life can provide. When they become adults, they will be able to make better choices when it comes to their nutrition/health and hopefully never have to worry about having any medical issues arise due to being overweight or obese.

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