We all know a family that manages to stay physically fit. You know the family that always looks healthy and happy. Have you ever wondered how they stay that way?

The answer is quite simple — healthy lifestyle habits.

With two working parents now commonplace, it’s not easy to manage a balanced diet and regular exercise for a family. It seems easier and more convenient to pick up a bite to eat at a fast food joint rather than cook. However, as time consuming as it may appear, maintaining healthy habits as a family can help you save money and stay fit. Here are tips to put you on the path to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

  • Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's essential to starting your day right. Make it a routine to sit with your kids at the breakfast table and teach them the importance of healthy eating. Healthy breakfast foods include whole grains, low-fat proteins, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Make breakfast a fun time and keep the kids coming back daily.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Chances are that if you have to drive 30 minutes to get to the gym, you won’t do it. Find a time where the entire family can take walk or do some other quick activity. Try to keep the workouts short and convenient. Children tend to get bored quickly, so try different routines daily to keep them entertained. Add exercise to your routine and it will quickly become a habit.
  • Be the one to decide which foods to buy. It can be hard to say no to your child, but when it comes to deciding which foods to bring home from the store, you have the final word. An occasional snack or low-sugar sweet is recommended, though, because if you try to restrict them completely, your children will crave unhealthy foods even more. Also, carry healthy snacks with you when you go to the store. If your child starts asking for an unhealthy snack, offer the treat you have instead.
  • Eat dinner together every night. Family meals are a good time to show and talk to your children about the value of healthy eating. If they see healthy foods at the dinner table, the will become accustomed to eating them. Family meals are also a good opportunity to spend time with your children. Avoid having the television on or answering the phone during dinner.
  • Make sure everyone has a set bedtime, even mom and dad. A good night’s sleep is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleeping six to eight hours at night provides time for the body to recuperate from the day’s activities and prepare for the next day. Set a regular bedtime for your children and yourself.