Happy habits for the household
Eating well and being physically active is important for everyone, particularly growing bodies. When these things are part of the family’s routine, they become habits and are more likely to continue into adulthood.
- Eat together
As often as possible, eat together without distractions from the TV or other devices. Meal times are ideal for role modelling and is great quality family time
Introduce new foods along with firm favourites. This makes trying something new low pressure and a fun activity
- Encourage participation
Get kids involved in planning (everyone could choose a meal each week), preparation (here’s a list of age appropriate tasks) and clean up!
- Picky eating stress?
If picky eating is making meal times stressful, this Queensland Health website has great ideas on tactics to try
- Make vegies normal
Get in to the habit of serving vegetables on, in and around every meal. Most of us don’t eat enough, so it’s a great habit to start early! For example, serve hot meals with a salad or cooked vegies, include some vegetables on fruit platters, and find ways to add extra dishes to your favourite meals. Find more vegie packed tips over here
Active lifestyle tips
- Plan family outings that involve movement
A visit to the pool or beach, bushwalking, or going to a local playground. Even a trip to the aquarium or zoo will get the family going!
- Make physical activity part of daily routines
For example, taking active transport to school or work, walking to the shops or taking the dog out
- Active gifts
Consider toys, sports equipment and other things that promote physical activity as gifts and rewards. E.g. a ball, skipping rope, dance class or beach towel
- Find sports/ activities that are fun
If the usual team/ school sports aren’t enjoyable find something else! Rock climbing, dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, floorball, kayaking etc are all great after-school/ organised active activities that might suit your family better
- Talk about the benefits
Including reinforcing the social, entertainment and environmental benefits of physical activity as well as the physical benefits
- Active chores
Involve kids in active tasks around the house – gardening, mopping, car washing, walking the dog etc all count as active time!
Screen time tips
Keep screens and devices in communal areas of the house, and enjoy watching together
Avoid having mobile phones/ devices in bedrooms overnight. Basic alarm clocks are affordable and lower the risk of late-night scrolling
Remember that kids learn by watching – if they see parents and caregivers use screens less, so will they
As an alternative to screen time, have a list of fun, low-effort activities that you can refer to when someone is bored. We’ve got loads of indoor and outdoor activities listed here