6 Modern Ways to Get Your Family Healthy and Happy

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Just as our apps and programs get updates to make sure they’re up to speed on the latest tech developments, so too should our health habits and lifestyle choices. Every day, there seems to be yet another research study debunking what we’ve believed to be true for many years on the health front. Here are just some of the health habits and lifestyle choices which need some rethinking to ensure that our families stay healthy and happy! Asian girl with a bowl of salad standing in front of family dinner table

Old Habit #1: Eat out whenever you can. The New Way: Eat at home whenever you can. Eating out is a nice treat. You don’t have to cook, your hubby doesn’t have to wash the dishes, and the kids enjoy the experience of dining at a new place. Eating out is okay when done once in a while. However, when every other family meal is eaten at a restaurant or fast food store, you might need to do some serious rethinking. For starters, you have no control over what’s put in your food. You don’t have any idea what type of oil they used, how much salt they put, or if they placed any additives. These could have repercussions on your family’s health.

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Old Habit #2: Buy products according to what your favorite celebrities like. The New Way: Read the label. A trip to the supermarket is always a challenging exercise for mothers. With supermarket shelves stocked up with hundreds of products, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your family, especially if one product has more than a dozen varieties. Cheshire Que RND. RN. RDN, a registered dietitian-nutritionist in the Philippines and United States, says that moms should always make it a point to read the label of every product that catches their eye.

In the case of fruit juices, for example, there is a world of difference between a 100 percent fruit juice and a juice drink. When it states 100 percent fruit juice, like Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice, it means that everything came from the fruit so it’s healthy goodness in juice form. When it states juice drink or juice cocktail, then it is very likely that the product has all sorts of additives. These are also likely to be calorie-dense and low in fiber, making for a not-so-healthy kind of beverage.

It would be wise too, says Que, to steer clear of juice products high in sugar, particularly those which contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sucrose (table sugar), cane sugar, and corn syrup as too much of these may lead to weight gain.

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Old Habit #3: Fried everything is the best. The New Way: Use healthier cooking methods. Who doesn’t love fried chicken or lechon kawali? Nobody! Unfortunately, frying causes starches to form advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These are toxic and not at all good for your body. Plus, foods that are fried absorb a lot of fat in the process. As for veggies, they lose a lot of their nutritional value when fried. Try baking, braising, poaching, broiling, and grilling.

Old Habit #4: Use the television and digital devices as babysitters. The New Way: Play with the kids. It’s so easy to just park your kids in front of the television or the computer or any other type of screen to give you a couple of hours to finish your chores to catch up on work. But doing so sets them up for a sedentary lifestyle, which may, down the line, increase their risk factor for anxiety, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression, among other health conditions. Finish your chores another time, and instead go out and play with your kids. Grab a little sunshine and play a round of hopscotch or run around and play tag. It would not only give the both of you a bit of a workout, it would also create some wonderful memories you’ll treasure forever.

Old Habit #5: You’re too busy to go to the gym. The New Way: You make time for physical activity. Not having time to go to the gym is a lame excuse for not getting any fitness activity done, especially when there are so many options for those genuinely interested in having a more active lifestyle. Workouts which can be done in 20 minutes or less are aplenty; all you have to do is Google them up or go to YouTube for further instructions. You may also do some jump rope workouts, go on a sprint around the block, or do yoga. The possibilities are endless. After your workout, Que recommends drinking Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice as it helps replenish lost minerals and hydrates the body naturally.

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Old Habit #6: Chips are the best snacks. The New Way: Prepare healthy snacks and beverages for kids. Most chips contain empty calories which don’t offer much in terms of fiber and nutrients. The best snacks for you and your children are fruits and nuts, yogurt, cereal, and crackers. Fruit juice makes for a healthy treat as well, says Que. The American Academy of Pediatrics says giving children one to six years old about 4 to 6 ounces and those 7 to 18 years old about 8 to 12 ounces a day is perfectly alright. But as always, Que says, be mindful of your family’s total carbohydrate and sugar intake. Observe proper meal timing and serve well-balanced meals, she adds, to avoid kids being extra active especially before bedtime.