Homemade happiness

Put the whole family on course for a lifetime of wellness.

There are plenty of ways to make healthy eating fun. The key is to involve the family in meal planning and give everyone a chance to participate in deciding what to eat. This makes it easier for them to welcome a healthier daily diet.

Have good variety

Having an assortment of meals not only makes family mealtimes interesting, it’s recommended by nutrition experts. You and your family will benefit from the different nutrients in different foods.

Be a savvy shopper

Once you’ve planned the meals for the week, write up a shopping list. Prioritise healthy, fresh ingredients rather than processed ones. Bring the kids along and let them help choose the groceries. That way, you save time wandering the aisles and wondering if you’ve forgotten anything.

Involve the family

Cooking can be another fun-filled experience for the whole family. Explore healthier cooking methods, like baking or grilling instead of frying every dish. The meals will taste just as great if not better, and you cut down your family’s intake of fats and oils.

Remember that food flavouring doesn’t have to depend on just oil or salt. Lessen seasoning with salt and try using herbs and spices instead! Involve the kids in the kitchen but remember to keep them away from sharp utensils and hot liquids. Be creative as a family!

Get creative

Let your creativity shine! There are plenty of different cuisines from different cultures out there, and many recipes are readily accessible from the Internet, TV cooking shows or cookbooks.

Try to tweak recipes to make them healthier. Before you know it, you’ll have everyone coming home early, looking forward to healthy, tasty new dishes.

You’ll be hearing “what’s for dinner?” more often and get to spend time chatting with them over a meal that is well worth the effort.

Fitter bodies for life

Good nutrition alone doesn’t do the job; it needs to be complemented with daily physical activity. Regular physical activity can yield a ton of health benefits that will make the whole family physically and mentally fitter in the long run.

The best part is, it can be really enjoyable and bring everyone closer together! If you do it right, you can even turn the drudgery of household chores into enjoyable family activities.

Here are a few ways to get you started.

Begin with the kids

Compared with the adults, kids need more physical activity as they are growing. Bring them to the park nearby and let them run free (under a watchful eye, of course). It would be even better if you joined them; they would love to have your company. Plus, it keeps you young at heart! Play catch or throw the ball around.

Go as a group

Family group exercises are healthy times together that create strong bonds as well. Get out of your usual routine and try new and adventurous activities like hiking or jungle trekking. Soon, your kids will be looking forward to fun-filled weekends instead of sleeping their day away. When you think about it, the possibilities of fun physical activities are virtually endless; you’re only limited by your creativity!

Welcome family feedback

Encourage family members to contribute ideas of what to eat and what to do for the weekend. If the maid does the cooking, provide clear instructions on the dishes. The important thing to remember is to keep the adventure alive and keep the goal in sight. Get the entire family involved for a healthier, more meaningful life. What better time to get started than now?

o Article courtesy of Nutrition Society of Malaysia, supported by Nestlé Products Sdn Bhd. For further information, please visit www.nutriweb.org.my or contact Nestlé Products Sdn Bhd at Free-Phone 1 800 88 3433 or www.nestle.com.my

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/health/story.asp?file=/2010/12/25/health/7387775&sec=health

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