Bath Area Family Y and the Healthy Family Home
At the Y, we are for Healthy Living. We believe it begins at home. The relationship between adult and child can be the primary source of health in a young person’s life and a powerful motivator for adults to build more health into their own lives.
Five pillars of a healthy family home:
- Eat healthy
- play every day
- get together
- go outside
- sleep well
Healthy Family Home is a resource full of helpful information, tips and tools to support adults and families in their efforts to practice the art and science of healthy living. We invite you to join the growing communities of families working and playing their way toward a healthier tomorrow.
Raising a family is a tough job. You are the primary role model for your children as they grow. They learn how to eat, to play and to connect with others and the world around them by watching how you behave and by learning what you teach them. As they grow and venture out into the world, other children and adults will also guide them, but you will still be the primary guiding force in their lives for a long time.
As the adult, you have a powerful influence on eating habits. It is your job and yours alone to determine what foods are purchased and served as well as when and where they are eaten. Through your choices and actions, you are teaching your kids every day what, when, where and how to eat and drink.
You also have an important role to fulfill in determining how your kids spend their time while growing up. You are the boss when it comes to whether they are indoors watching television or outside playing in parks. You determine how much time they spend in structured, scheduled activities and how much time they spend creating their own play experiences. If your children are to have positive experiences in the natural world, it is likely that you will be the person guiding them. You are also in charge when it comes to bedtime and can have a tremendous impact on whether your kids are getting the sleep that they need to learn, grow and thrive.
You are a role model in all of these things and more. If children see you being active and playful, they will learn to be as well. By watching you move and be active in ways that bring you joy and a sense of play, they can learn that being active is a natural, necessary and even fun part of life.
As you explore each of the pillars of a healthy family home, you may be introduced to new ways of thinking and behaving that will require changes if you are to realize the benefits. Chances are, you may be doing some of these things already. That’s terrific! You have something to build upon as you try to build new behaviors into your family routine. We encourage you to take small steps and find early opportunities for easy wins. Don’t try to change everything all at once. Celebrate the victories. Above all, we encourage you to find and explore ways to make the journey toward a healthy family home an enjoyable one.
Ten Signs of a Healthy Family Home
1. Water is the beverage of choice, supplemented by 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk.
2. Fruits or vegetables are served at every meal including some fresh fruit or veggie options daily.
3. Snack time includes foods that contain whole grains and protein instead of saturated and trans fats.
4. Kids and adults are moving and playful for at least an hour per day, outside and together whenever possible.
5. Kids and adults are breaking a sweat at least three times per week for 20 minutes or more.
6. Kids are provided with frequent opportunities to play outdoors in ways that are unstructured and exploratory. Play experiences in nature take place often.
7. The family dines together at least once every day, with kids involved in meal preparation and clean-up.
8. Kids all receive daily one-on-one time with an adult.
9. Television and video game time is limited to two hours per day.
10. Kids and adults keep to a regular schedule that helps everyone get enough sleep. For the kids that means 10 – 12 hours per night, and seven – eight for the adults.