The health of your family is likely your number one concern. That’s why you take them to the doctor, get them medicine when they’re ill, and encourage them to get outside and exercise every day. But if you aren’t making major contributions to the direction of your family’s food consumption and lifestyle, you’re missing out on the opportunity to do more for their health. Following are four simple, quick ways to make it easy for your family to be healthy.

Make Fresh Fruit Available

Many people, especially kids, find themselves wanting to graze on foods throughout the day. For these people, a snack ends up being whatever they can grab up and put in their mouths quickly. Fresh fruit is a great healthy snack option for grazers, but you need to have it available at home if you’re family’s going to choose it. Try having it prepared many different ways, including having whole fruits in a basket, cut up fruits in the fridge and dry fruits (with no sugar added) in the pantry.

Cut the Sugar

The Department of Agriculture reported in 2000 that the average American consumed 152 pounds of sweeteners each year. In addition to having no nutritional value, sweeteners such as sugar also carry a high amount of calories and can lead to diabetes, insulin resistance and heart disease. Ensuring your family cuts down on sugar is one of the best ways of ensuring their future health. To do this, avoid sugary snacks as well as drinks and meals with added sugar. And remember, it’s not just candy and sweets that can contain sugar. Some prepared meats and side dishes also contain sweeteners.

Consider Your Retirement

When your retirement years roll around, or those you love head into their older years, it’s good to consider going south for retirement. Doing so can give a senior the ability to exercise outside year round without dealing with snow, icy roads, and extreme weather conditions.

Prepare Your Own Meals

When you and your family eat out or consume a lot of prepared foods, you have little control over the ingredients you’re consuming. The best way to control the foods your family eats and help make them all healthy is to prepare meals yourself. Focus on simple, whole foods that have significant nutritional value and make sure you use minimal salt and healthy oils.

To keep your family healthy, do more than just encourage exercise and routine physicals. Give them access to healthy, nutritionally sound food choices throughout the day and encourage the move to warmer climates as those you love begin to age.

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