6 Easy Lifestyle Swaps That The Whole Family Can Do Together
STORY: Diane Lam
17 November 2021
Most of us have had to spend a lot of time together as a family thanks to WFH and HBL this year. One of the positives that come with this situation is the fact that together, it’s easier to make sustainable lifestyle changes that are better for the whole family.
Check out these ideas to get you started:
1. Swap devices for eating together as a family
If you’re looking to set your family on a healthy course, then bringing everyone together around the dinner table for a healthy meal is the way to go. Family dinners are not only an opportunity to get caught up on everyone’s lives, it’s also a chance for parents to reinforce healthy eating habits. Make the dinner table a device-free zone, so that it isn’t a mindless meal. Stick to a routine as much as you can – research shows that keeping regular hours for meals helps the family develop consistent eating patterns, and ultimately helps cement healthier habits.
2. Exercise together
Regular exercise is a given, but going on walks or hikes together as a family is an easy way to get in a bit of exercise while spending some quality time together. Likewise, swapping elevators for stairs is another easy lifestyle swap you can do together as a family. Beyond getting your heart rate up, blood flowing, and kicking metabolism kicked into gear, you'll also help combat too much sitting still and WFH sedentary behavior together.
3. Delegate chores to get things done as a team
As your kids get older, there’s no reason why the whole family can’t help with tasks around the house. Delegating chores to every member of the household will save you a ton of time when you’re already juggling home, work and family duties. It will also teach young kids responsibility and valuable life skills that will serve them for life. Children as young as three can start helping around the home with easy chores such as setting or clearing the table, watering plants, sorting out dirty clothes for laundry, help sorting out recycling, and so on.
4. Replace fruit juice and sodas with fruit-infused water
It’s always sodas that get a bad rep. Not fair when you consider that fruit juices can be just as bad as sodas given that most of them are sweetened with sugar. Even 100% fruit juice is still loaded with natural sugars and acids. For natural, fruit-infused water, add a few lemon slices and mint sprigs into water bottles. And for fruit juice, eat the whole fruit instead. Did you know that one glass of orange juice contains very little pulp and practically none of the fibre?
5. Go vegetarian at least once a week
Eating more vegetable and meat-free dishes not only helps meet your family’s recommended nutritional needs, but it also gives everyone a chance to experiment with different vegetables, whole grains, salads and a huge variety of meat-free proteins. And it’s not just full meals. You can even go veggie-heavy for snacks. For instance, swap unhealthy potato chips with simple crudites or homemade veggie chips such as kale chips, zucchini chips, beet chips and sweet potato chips.
6. Swap single-use plastics for reusable stainless steel and glass
Having a healthier kitchen is about more than just what you eat. The materials you use for food storage make a difference too. Most people are already quite conscious about reducing plastic consumption but don’t realise that plastic food storage might not be great for your health either.
Research from Harvard Health shows that certain chemicals in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food we eat. These chemicals have been linked to health problems such as metabolic disorders, obesity, and reduced fertility. Avoid unintentional chemical leaching by using other materials such as reusable stainless steel, glass, or silicone containers.