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How to be a healthy family without the struggle

healthy food

When the phrase “Healthy eating” crops up on our Facebook newsfeed, on our twitter feed or is hash-tagged on Instagram we usually scroll past and think “Maybe tomorrow”.

A lot to do with being unhealthy is habitual. We all slip into bad habits because of busy lifestyles, social lives, work, being a parent. There is always a reason not to be healthy.

The problem is, our country is in a crisis of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay (in children too!) and we are the only ones who can stop it.

Here at Bhandal Dentists we think that the only way to combat these health crisis’ are to change gradually and slowly into good habits that eventually replace the bad ones. We want to help all of our patients to think about what they put in their mouths and the mouths of their children and how it will have an effect on their bodies and teeth.

Education is key here and if we can educate our children then they can help to educate us in return.

Here are a few tips you can get started on with your family:

1) Try not to change too much at once: Why not change over a fizzy sugary drink to a sugar free alternative, or get them involved in making non-alcoholic cocktails with fruit juice, fizzy water and fruits and embellishments like mint leaves and lime wedges. Make it fun and let them get creative.

2) Prepare some snack foods: Cut up some carrot batons, celery sticks, pepper sticks and make a load of healthy dips in the blender. That way when anyone feels peckish they can reach in the fridge for a healthier and much more filling alternative. Make a list of healthy snacks that they can have between meals, for example: apple slices with peanut butter if they are going out to play – they might be peckish after school and need a little energy boost. If you are stuck for time, buy them pre-made and cut in the veg section and buy ready made dips instead of crisps and sweets and biscuits.

3) Celebrate the little things: Be positive about the changes and explain why you are doing it. Children are so understanding and much more intelligent than many give them credit for. Tell them it will help you to get healthy too because you want to be able to play with them without getting out of breath.

4) Keep a journal or diary: Plan out the changes you want to make week by week and have small achievable goals, this is much easier to follow. Or if you have a family, make a wall planner with stickers to show the goals and have incentives or prizes at the end of every week/month. Week one might be to each drink a glass of water with dinner instead of pop for a whole week, if everyone does it they get a prize or treat.

5) Work as a team: Naturally humans are very competitive so this may be a great way for adults to lose weight and compare, but for children working as a team has as much benefit as the healthy eating itself. Get the children involved in the shopping list, getting the ingredients for the healthy shop, picking out recipes that they want to help with or would like to try.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we add more tips and ideas to becoming a super healthy family.

If you would like to come and get your children’s teeth checked and your own why not make a family appointment for a check up – we re still taking on NHS patients too. Call us today on 024 7668 6690.

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