Beyond Diet: 4 Things You Can Do to Get Your Family Healthier
When it comes to family health, the first thing that comes to mind is diet. The second thing that comes to mind is, “Oh, no! Not another diet!” There is such a thing as diet overload. It might be time to have a diet from our diets. Consider all the diets some people are being asked to navigate:
- Diabetic diet
- IBS diet
- Vegan diet
- Nut allergy diet
- Lactose intolerant diet
- Weight loss diet
By the time we navigate all those diets, the only thing left to eat is one, small leaf of lettuce. I’m pretty sure everyone can have lettuce. It is zero calories and has all the nutritional value and taste appeal of crunchy water.
Maybe we can just accept some form of reasonable diet as a given. For many, food is the main thing around which their whole life is organized. We went from being too focused on eating food to being too focused on not eating the wrong food and eating the right food but only in the right amount.
In some ways, diets give us an even less healthy fixation on food than we had before. Learning how to eat is a good start. But there is more to wellness and wholeness than food. Here are a few other things you can do for your family to make them healthier and happier:
1. A Healthy Smile
Unhealthy eating has unpleasant and long-term consequences. Unhealthy teeth can lead to even more severe consequences. Bad teeth often lead to malnutrition because it limits what a person can comfortably eat. There is also the threat of infection which can end in fatality.
Instead of taking your family out to eat, make it a family day with the family dentist. Breakthrough devices like clear aligners are not just for prettier smiles. They are also for healthier smiles. You cannot be considered healthy if you have unhealthy teeth. If you cannot remember the last time every member of your family was seen by the dentist, it is time for you to start making some appointments.
2. Healthy Activities
Kids need a lot more than healthy food. They need healthy activities to go along with it. Many experts believe that excessive screen time is not particularly healthy. Therefore, it is important to find creative ways to limit the family’s tech use even in a pandemic. That is especially challenging since everything we do requires technology.
Families are working from home. That is another way of saying that they are working from a computer. The same is true for school. Kids are now going to school via the computer. Apple had a record quarter of over $111 billion in revenue on the fact that during a pandemic, we have little else to do that doesn’t involve consumer technology.
That said, when all we do is sit around staring at a screen, we are not taking a walk. We are not paying attention to the pets. We are probably not reading a good book. And we are certainly not shaking our jones for that next social media hit. It is important that we find creative ways to make family time something other than screen time.
There is a lot of great TV to be watched these days. Streaming has been amazing for content creators. There has never been a time when so much inventive and compelling content was available. And that makes it that much more difficult for us to tear ourselves away from the idiot box, as they used to call it, and do something truly productive with our minds.
We can benefit from working a Rubik’s Cube or some other puzzles. We can read a book, even if it is on a screen. We can engage in friendly debate about challenging topics that help keep our minds sharp. We can even take over the counter vitamins that promote a healthy brain. A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste. So don’t.
Whatever you do, don’t take this to mean that a healthy, well-balanced and socially responsible diet is not important. It is one of the most important things we can develop and maintain. We just need to make sure we don’t do it at the expense of a healthy smile, healthy activities, and a healthy mind.