FAM­ILY HEALTH GUIDE

9 STAY-HEALTHY TIPS FOR BUSY FAM­I­LIES

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Lisa Turner

When you’re jug­gling the de­mands of a busy fam­ily, it’s easy to let healthy habits fall by the way­side. These stay-healthy tips can help you stay on track.

Keep­ing' a' whole '- a mi ly' healthy' takes' some' se­ri­ous' work—and when you’re strapped for time, it’s tempt­ing to let things slide. But stay­ing in tip-top shape is eas­ier than you might think. Try these nine sim­ple tips to keep your whole clan t and happy.

1 BAN­ISH SUGAR.

Se­ri­ously: it’s the fastest, eas­i­est way for a busy fam­ily to im­prove over­all health. If you can’t com­pletely elim­i­nate it, cut way back.

Drink less juice: one small glass has about 25 grams of sugar, as much as a soda; serve chilled hibiscus, ap­ple, or blue­berry tea with break­fast in­stead.

Be­ware of hid­den sug­ars in prod­ucts like peanut but­ter, nondairy milk, ketchup, and oth­ers; look for unsweet­ened ver­sions. If you do buy pack­aged snacks, look at the sugar con­tent, and stick to those with 10 grams or less per serv­ing.

And serve a small por­tion of a low-sugar dessert (berries with whipped cream, pears and dark chocolate, re­duced sugar ice cream) with meals; it neu­tral­izes the idea that dessert is a reward, and makes the sweet stu less of a Holy Grail.

2 COOK SLOWLY.

Slow cook­ers are the fastest way to make a home­cooked meal. While your cof­fee’s brew­ing in the morn­ing,

ll your crock­pot with meat, beans, or both; add broth, sauce, or wa­ter and a hand­ful of spices, and turn it on low. When you come home, stir in frozen veg­eta­bles; you’ll have a ready-to-eat meal by the time you set the ta­ble. Fam­ily-friendly sug­ges­tions: pulled chicken, bar­be­cue brisket, turkey chili, pot roast, short ribs, tacos, black bean soup, and white beans with kale. Make way more than you need, and freeze ex­tras for easy future meals.

3 MI­CROWAVE.

When slow cook­ing won’t work, em­brace your mi­crowave. Skip the high-fat, high-sodium prepack­aged meals, and look for in­stant or frozen foods with less than 450 mg of sodium, 300 to 500

calo­ries, 10 to 20 grams of pro­tein, and less than 4 grams of sat­u­rated fat. Or make your own ul­tra-fast, zap-able meals: Mi­crowave chopped veg­eta­bles with scram­bled eggs and cheese, for an in­stant omelet. Com­bine blue­ber­ries, mashed banana, oats, ground ax, and an egg, and mi­crowave to make a fast, hot mu n. Mi­crowave pre­sea­soned chicken fa­ji­tas and pep­pers un­til done, and serve with tor­tillas for in­stant din­ner. Com­bine frozen veg­etable mix with canned chick­peas, co­conut milk and curry paste, and mi­crowave un­til hot for veg­e­tar­ian curry.

4 TURN TV TIME INTO FIT­NESS HOUR.

Get your lit­tle pota­toes o the couch, and let them watch the tube if they’re mov­ing too. Do crunches, squats, or jump­ing jacks dur­ing com­mer­cials. Stretch or jog in place while chan­nel sur ng. Keep a set of hand weights in a bas­ket by the sofa, and bust out some curls or over­head presses dur­ing your fa­vorite show. Do tri­cep dips or in­cline pushups, us­ing the couch as a prop. Make it a con­test: who­ever does the most burpees gets con­trol of the re­mote.

5 MAKE BREAK­FAST EASY.

It’s the most skipped meal, and that has health con­se­quences, es­pe­cially for young ones: kids who skip break­fast have di­min­ished aca­demic per­for­mance, a greater risk of be­ing over­weight, and a lower tness level. Stock up on quick morn­ing meals-to-go: make smooth­ies the night be­fore and freeze in zi­plock bags, or keep a bowl of boiled eggs, small con­tain­ers of fruit, and in­di­vid­ual pack­ets of al­mond but­ter ready for gra­band-go. Give kids and teens a well-de­signed multivitamin and min­eral to ll in any nu­tri­tional gaps. Omega-3 fats are also im­por­tant, es­pe­cially if your kids don’t eat sh; look for kid-friendly, avored ver­sions. Take a good vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ment, es­pe­cially if kids (or par­ents) aren’t out­doorsy. And if you’re ex­pect­ing, choose a bal­anced pre­na­tal for­mula de­signed for daily use.

6 KEEP YOUR CREW WELL.

Busy fam­i­lies don’t have time to be sick! Keep kids healthy with safe, e ec­tive im­mune-boost­ing sup­ple­ments. For daily main­te­nance, use pro­bi­otics; dozens of stud­ies have con rmed their abil­ity to re­duce al­lergy symp­toms, im­prove im­mu­nity, lower in am­ma­tion, and more. If your fam­ily does get in­fected, try elder­berry, echi­nacea, and an­dro­graphis; look for com­bi­na­tion for­mu­las in cap­sules or al­co­hol-free tinc­tures for the whole fam­ily. Or try a kid-friendly nasal wash with xyl­i­tol. And wash your hands re­lent­lessly. at 30-sec­ond rit­ual can save you days of sick­ness from colds or u.

7 PRI­OR­I­TIZE SLEEP.

It’s easy to skimp on the Zzz’s when life is full. But lack of sleep can im­pact brain de­vel­op­ment, im­mune func­tion, mood, even weight: kids who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of be­ing obese as adults. To en­cour­age a rest­ful night, shut down elec­tron­ics at least 30 min­utes be­fore bed­time, and start dim­ming lights and noise level through­out the house. For younger kids, cre­ate a night­time rit­ual: brush teeth, read a story, sing a song. If kids strug­gle with sleep, try gen­tle herbs like pas­sion ower, chamomile, or cat­nip. Look for them as sin­gle or com­bi­na­tion for­mu­las in cap­sules or al­co­hol­free tinc­tures. Or choose a home­o­pathic sleep rem­edy de­signed for kids; they’re safe enough even for lit­tle ones.

8 DE­CREASE STRESS.

You may think your kids are too young to be bur­dened, but stud­ies show even school-age chil­dren may have high lev­els of chronic ten­sion and anx­i­ety. If your kids strug­gle with stress, help them cope; rst, be sure they’re get­ting enough sleep and good nu­tri­tion. Don’t over­sched­ule them; un­struc­tured down time is the fastest re­ju­ve­na­tor for kids (and grown-ups). Keep your home en­vi­ron­ment calm and peace­ful, es­pe­cially dur­ing high-rush, stress-prone times like morn­ings. And be sure to set a good ex­am­ple; it’s hard to teach kids bal­ance when you’re a bas­ket case. You can also sup­port your tech-loving kids with apps. One to try: Hel­loMind, a kid-fo­cused app that o ers guided hyp­no­sis ses­sions.

9 WA­TER YOUR FLOW­ERS.

Be sure your fam­ily is drink­ing enough wa­ter; de­hy­dra­tion can lead to headaches, mus­cle cramps, even changes in mood. En­cour­age hy­dra­tion by keep­ing wa­ter around; buy ev­ery­one his or her own re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle and post a re­minder note on the front door to take wa­ter bot­tles be­fore leav­ing the house. Other easy tips: Stock up on cans of sug­ar­free, fruit- avored zzy wa­ter to en­cour­age sip­ping. Fill a big jar or pitcher with wa­ter and slices of orange or sprigs of mint for avor­ing. In­vest in a coun­ter­top wa­ter dis­penser; kids love the nov­elty of re lling their own glasses. Fill ice cube trays with di­luted fruit juice and berries and freeze, to add nov­elty to iced wa­ter.

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