9 Habits of Healthy Families

Real moms share the fun and exciting ways they keep their little ones in healthy all while sneaking in the chance to bond as a family.
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They go for swims

"With the oppressive southern summer heat, swimming in the pool is something that is necessary for cooling down in the afternoon. It's a fun activity to be in there together diving for 'treasures' (quarters) and we always have a healthy snack tray for when we've worked up an appetite. The way to my daughter's heart is through her stomach, so she loves having a nice spread poolside." —Jessie Baylin, mom of two from Nashville, Tennessee

They take strolls as a family

"Each of my three children participates in their own form of physical activity—my oldest son plays baseball all year, my middle son does lots of different activities and my daughter takes dance and gymnastics. However, as a family, we go for long walks in Central Park. We each take turns daily walking our dog, Jedi. Now that the weather is nicer all three of the kids are taking the scooters everywhere (with helmets of course)!" —Lyss Stern, mom of three from New York City

They serve up healthy, fresh food (and occasional chicken nuggets)

"Growing up, I never really had much understanding about food and how different foods fuel your body in different ways. Since learning more about how important healthy foods and key nutrients are for your immune system and overall health, my husband and I have tried to instill this knowledge and healthy habits in our son. We certainly don't go without the standard toddler chicken nuggets and pizza, but we try to have a balance between healthy and treats." —Maggie Borukhovich, mom of one from Livingston, New Jersey

They join Mom at the gym

"I never wanted my daughter to resent the gym, so I made it a point in the beginning to make her my 'little coach.' Not only is she a part of my daily responsibilities, but when she feels it was her idea or privilege to keep me going, it is more fun for her! The more the kids are involved in your workouts and fitness regimen, the more fun it can be! I never force my daughter to exercise, but I always ask if she would like to join me. I feel like forcing our kids to do certain things will set them up for failure in those areas in their adult life. I say let them discover and try all things, but let them decide what they want to commit to, then push them to be their best based on their preference." —Nikki Walter, mom of one from Aberdeen, South Dakota

They play on local sports teams

"I love signing my kids up for local sports teams to keep them active. It's a great way to get them to try new and exciting sports that they haven't tried before, but also a wonderful way to keep them active at the same time with their friends. With sports teams, you have a set schedule and a team depending on you, so it's a commitment—but a fun one! The best thing for me is seeing my kids having fun, while being active."—Audrey McClelland, mom of five from Providence, Rhode Island

They visit nearby theme parks

"We live super close to Walt Disney World (we can see the fireworks from our backyard!), which is such a fun place to live while raising a family. One of the ways we keep our family active is we often visit the local Disney theme parks! Walking through Magic Kingdom can burn some serious calories, while we are also bonding as a family and creating priceless memories with our boys at the same time." — Melissa Parris, mom of three from Winter Garden, Florida

They go for hikes

"Our weekend adventures are always based on active exploration. For instance, this weekend we're headed to Bear Mountain to hike and enjoy the outdoors together as a family. It's important for me to pass the message along to my son that fitness is not about burning calories, but an overall active lifestyle and a love for the outdoors. Part of what we'll do on our hike is sit and meditate—for a 2.5 year old that might only be possible for 1-2 minutes, but teaching our son to sit still and be in awe of nature's beauty around him is very important to us. It all dovetails with overall wellness and appreciation of our bodies and the world around us." —Jamie Hess, mom of one from New York City

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They perform martial arts

"One way I have been keeping my family active is by introducing them and myself to the martial art of Taekwondo. Not only does this practice strengthen our bodies through various workouts, but it also strengthens our minds by showing us the values of perseverance, determination, self-discipline, and self-efficacy. Furthermore, this activity exposes my children to a group setting where they can build friendships and mentors. I am extremely proud to have both of my children continue in this practice and now become mentors and instructors themselves." —Lissette Rivera, mom of two from Wellington, Florida

They make the most of the season

"We have a big garden that we plan out each spring, so it's a fun seasonal project for us to plant and then maintain the crops for summer. We also have a lemonade stand and sell some vegetables and fruits from the garden. Each year, my kids donate the money to a different charity. It's a great way to teach them how to give back—and why it is so important. We are also avid skiers in the winter! Nothing is better than family ski trips." —Carly Snyder, mom of three from New York City

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