Everyone wants a happy, healthy family – but this definitely falls into the category of easier-said-than-done. There are just so many variables to consider. And within each variable, there are even more hidden variables. Healthy living is nothing if not confusing.
Let’s explore a few healthy living factors and the challenges they come with.
1. Healthy eating
When it comes to nutrition, there are more opinions than there are food choices. We’ve started down what we think is a healthy path only to be let down when another study drops. Is it healthy to be vegan? What about the keto diet? Ask five people and you’ll likely get five different answers.
Fortunately, parents have a unique advantage here. We’re used to being criticized for our choices. It just comes with the territory.
All you really have to do is follow the basic tenants of nutrition that we’ve known for decades. Eat whole foods as often as possible. Buy organic if you can. Try to avoid anything that comes out of a box, and you’ll do just fine.
If you’re on tight budget, there’s another layer of difficulty added to the pie. We’ve seen from the food stamp challenge that it’s difficult to eat healthy on a small budget. Still, you can probably make healthier choices with simple swaps. Consider buying a bag of potatoes instead of a bag of French fries. Or a bag of baby carrots instead of chips.
2. Outside influences interfere
You can do everything right inside your home, but then your kids go off to school and face things like peer pressure and bullying. If your child starts showing signs that there are substance abuse issues, address it right away. If you aren’t ready to talk to his teachers, you can find help online and go from there. And if your child is being bullied, talk to her teachers and the school principal. Bullying can lead to depression, anxiety and eventually substance abuse, so it’s important to address it right away.
3. Germs are everywhere
Some people get sick more than others, but everyone gets sick at some point or another. When you have kids, this becomes even more obvious. Kids are more likely to share toys with their friends, so they are in turn more likely to share germs. And depending on their age, they may not understand the importance of things like hand washing and staying away from a friend who is sick. This is one of the reasons why kids get sick so often. And when the kids get sick, the rest of the family is vulnerable.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do about this one. Keep stressing the importance of hand washing and covering sneezes. Disinfect your home surfaces and doorknobs often and hope for the best.
Even though it may be difficult to keep your family healthy, the effort is worthwhile. This isn’t one of those things where you want to throw up your hands and give up. Every effort you make towards keeping your family healthy does make a difference, so keep fighting the good fight!