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5 tips for a healthier family in 2014

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2014 is here and for many families it is the perfect time to resolve to live a healthier lifestyle. It is very important as parents to be a good role model. If you are exercising and eating a healthy diet then your children will be more likely to follow in your footsteps. Here are 5 tips to help your family have a happy and healthy 2014:

1) Focus on overall health and not weight. You should emphasize that your family is working out and eating fresh whole foods to be healthy, not to be skinny. You don't want to teach children to be so focused on just weight but rather the overall health of their bodies.

2) Involve your children in the planning. Start getting everyone involved in the planning and preparing of your healthy meals. Children will be more likely to eat fruits and vegetables that they pick out. Focus on including a rainbow of colors for good health.

3) Eat breakfast and family dinners together. Breakfast should become a mandatory part of everyone's day. For the family members that do not like to eat a lot first thing in the morning, a healthy smoothie or fresh juice can be a good start. Juicernet.com has some family breakfast smoothie and juice recipes to give you a good start. Busy schedules might make it a challenge but aim for as many family dinners as you can. Sharing healthy food together as a family lays a strong foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits.

4) Serve balanced meals. Your meals should focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Add in some lean protein and whole grains to balance out the meal. An easy way to plan your meal is to imagine your plate split in half, one half should be vegetables, the other half can be split between lean protein and whole grains. Make it your challenge to add in as many new fruits and vegetables as you can. Soups, salads, green juices and smoothies are all great ways to increase your daily vegetable intake.

5) Get physical. Now that you are a healthy eating expert it is time to get moving! Make exercise a fun and daily part of your family's lives and you will all feel better and have so much more energy. Exercise releases feel good hormones and gives you a strong body ready to tackle whatever life throws at you. It can be a fun and bonding experience to work out together as a family. Incorporate everyone's likes and rotate, walks in the park, bike rides, basketball, swimming, mix it up.

Incorporating healthy changes does not have to cost a lot, be very difficult or unenjoyable. Don't do it alone, involve the whole family and make positive changes together. A great way to start is to grow some of your own food. If you have never grown vegetables before, head to the library and read up on your favorite vegetable. Start with only 1 or 2 vegetables or add in an herb or two and enjoy watching the plant grow. Children love to be involved in these projects and will be more likely to eat what they grow.

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