The new year is a perfect opportunity for you and your family to work together to be safer and healthier. Whether you make a commitment to eating better, getting more exercise, or simply spending more time together, it’s easy to become a healthier and happier family. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Wholesome Eating on the Go

Your family’s busy schedule can often make it difficult to eat dinner at the same time or even have the enjoyment of eating at home. Take out and fast food is convenient, but it can also be expensive and unhealthy. If you know that dinner will be eaten on the road, between extracurricular activities, make an effort to pack a small cooler full of healthy foods that are protein-rich and lower in sugar.

Getting Everyone Involved at Mealtime

If your family only eats dinner together, at home, a few days a week, make sure it’s meaningful and healthy. A good way to get a healthy meal and quality family time is by preparing a meal together. Consider having your kids take turns looking up and choosing a healthy recipe that you can make as a family. Not only are you enjoying a quality meal at home, but teaching your kids about reading recipes, preparing foods, and other important life skills.

Smart Shopping

Shopping can be a hassle, particularly when life gets busy, but taking a little time to shop more mindfully can be better for your family’s health. Rather than stocking up the cart with premade frozen meals, fill your cart with fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.

While many people assume that buying organic produce is too expensive, often times it costs the same and it’s a safer food, as it’s free from GMO, antibiotics, and preservatives that can weaken your immune system and cause other long term health issues.

Use Natural Remedies for Common Ailments

When you eat better you’re less likely to get sick on a frequent basis and your overall health is often better. In efforts to get healthier and keep your family more safe, you may want to take a look at your medicine cabinet. Although ibuprofen, aspirin, and cold medicines come in handy, many OTC drugs can be dangerous and do more harm than good. In some cases, OTC drugs are misused, abused, and have can cause permanent damage to organs when used long-term.

Rather than relying on your medicine cabinet, try simple and natural remedies for managing headaches (such as exercise, massage, or water) or body pain (stretching or avoiding certain foods).

Increasing Daily Movement

Many of us assume that the only way to getting a good workout is to head to the gym. Who has time to go to the gym all week long? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a good goal is to exercise at least a half hour a day. There are many ways to get exercising with your family, just think outside the box.

Have a dance party at home, go on a walk around the neighborhood, and even try an activity that the whole family could enjoy like snowshoeing or visiting wall. Even though you may not be lifting weights or using gym equipment, your family is getting healthier just by moving together.