Surprising benefits of family time

Smarter kids? Higher self-esteem? Less risky behavior? Yes, please!

We all know the benefits of being active and eating healthy foods: Good nutrition and regular physical activity strengthens and nurtures our bodies and minds. But wait, it gets even better! Involving the whole family in physical activity and meal prep has added benefits, including improved academic scores, higher self-esteem and reduced risky behaviors among kids!

Let’s look at meal time: If you involve kids in the kitchen, they not only learn basic cooking skills that build confidence, but it teaches them useful life skills. Eating together provides critical conversation that promotes family bonding and broadens kids’ vocabulary. Kids who eat meals with their family regularly have better grades, and are less likely to get in trouble or try risky behaviors. Families who cook at home also are more likely to eat healthier meals, contributing to better overall health.

Being active with the whole family not only is more fun, but also promotes much of the same bonding and benefits as sharing meals. Best of all, everyone has a little fun together! Set a goal of doing something active together each week, then a few times a week, working toward a daily goal. Go on a family hike, ride bikes around the neighborhood, play ball, set up an obstacle course, create a family circuit exercise around the house, or simply turn on the radio and show off those dance moves.