Stuff We Love: Family Favorites to Help You Stay Healthy and Connected
Busy lifestyles can make family time and connection difficult. It can also be hard to stay focused on living a healthy lifestyle too. One way we found to stay connected while also encouraging and maintaining a healthy, nutritious, and fit lifestyle is to multi-task.
Here are some ideas that might help your family enjoy health minded quality time in your busy lives.
Total Gym (Now 50% Off with FREE Shipping)
I have thought about purchasing a Total Gym for years. The price always kept me from doing it. Over the last year or so, our teens were taking tips from mom and dad and trying to find exercises they enjoyed. While they would exercise with a stability ball from time to time or try my kettlebell, they weren't really overly committed. I saw a Total Gym 50% off with free shipping offer before Christmas and my husband and I decided to purchase one as a family gift. It arrived in a few days, was easy to set up, and has been in constant use by all four of us ever since. While it is an expensive piece of equipment and may not be right for you, if you have been thinking about it I'd say take another look because the sale is still going on.
Xbox Kinect ($150)
Video games are a staple for many teens these days. When you can connect the attraction of the blinking screen with activity, you can typically get children and teens to try it. Our daughter really enjoys the Just Dance game for the Wii. It provides a great way to get moving while hanging out with friends and enjoying many laughs. I have enjoyed the game as well and it provides an opportunity for me to connect with her while also being active at the same time. The Kinect game provides many of the same options without having the number of participants being limited by the number of remotes you have.
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker ($30 plus)
The slow cooker is one of our key tools helping our busy family enjoy healthy meals together. Whether we are making Salsa Chicken or meat loaf, we can have a healthy meal ready for the table when we are ready to eat it.
Rice Cooker and Steamer ($40 plus)
Over the holidays, my sister-in-law brought her well-loved rice cooker that she has had for over ten years. While my children are not big lovers of rice, they are big fans of pasta. The new cookers with a steamer basket do provide another fix it and forget it meal tool. There are even models that combine the slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer all in one for increased meal flexibility while reducing your appliance graveyard.
Waffle Iron ($20 plus)
Weekends can provide wonderful opportunities to relax and catch up over a leisurely breakfast or brunch. Waffles are a hit for children of many ages. There are a variety of healthier waffle recipes that allows me spoil my children with a weekend favorite while also providing them with a nutritious start to their day.
Home Humidification System ($199)
Proper home humidity during the winter months can help prevent dry, cracked skin especially on the lips and hands, reduce static electricity, and helps maintain healthy mucus membranes in the nose and throat. Proper home humidity (35-40 percent) can also help reduce susceptibility to illness from mold, pet dander, and bacteria. For years, we have thought about increasing the humidity level in our home with a console humidifier. This past summer we had to replace our home heating and air conditioning system and included a whole-house humidifier to circulate moisture through the house with the heat. So far we have not been sick this winter (knock on wood) and my husband's hands have not been cracking and bleeding like in past winters. This EPA Humidifier Fact Sheet can help you determine if a console unit is right for your home.
Progressive Chopping Mats ($9.80)
When my children were little and I was the only one managing the kitchen, it was easy to use different cutting boards for different foods to reduce risks of cross contamination. Now that our children are making more and more meals and snacks for themselves, it isn't as easy. These cutting mats can help ensure our son doesn't cut an apple for his snack on the same surface his sister sliced her block of cheese.
Settlers of Catan Board Game
Finding a board game that young adults want to play can be difficult but we found a winner with this one. Players take their role as new immigrants to the island of Catan. They establish a colony by building roads, settlements, and villages by harvesting and trading commodities. Players use their best persuasive approach to trade what they have for what they need. The game also has the ability to ad expansion packs. Not only can you increase in the number of players, you can also add islands with pirates, gold, and ships or battle with barbarians to defend your established colony. Since the board changes with each new game, your strategic approach has to as well. Try this game at your next small group or family gathering to see if you can successfully become the new ruler of Catan.
How does your family stay connected and healthy at the same time? What are your family favorites?
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