Our family history of striving for better health started about ten years ago. And we’re still learning! But a decade later, we’re decidedly making better choices more often than not! Here’s 10 Baby Steps to better family health that you can work on too! I have listed these as 10 categories, but inside this post are easily 24+ small ways you can change your family health!
10+ Baby Steps to Better Family Health
1. Switch to whole foods
I’m not going to tell you that you must go all-organic right away. It’s definitely been a process for our family. And we don’t have 100% organic food in our home. There are a lot of processed and sugary organic foods out there – yes, better than their counterparts in one respect, but still filled with empty calories. What is actually better than striving for all-organic is to choose whole foods over processed.
You can do this by making your own meals at home. Here’s a few favorite recipes that have replaced store-bought in our house:
- Apple Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe
- Crispy Steel Cut Oats Granola Recipe
- Campfire Chili Recipe (you don’t have to cook this over a campfire!)
- Paleo Pumpkin Hummus Dip Recipe
- Raw Strawberry Jam Recipe (gelatin free)
You CAN afford to buy organic and whole foods. You just have to menu plan carefully. Here’s a popular post of mine where I show you how I fed our family of 4 on $125 a week at Whole Foods. (Prices are likely to be different now, 6 years later, and with coronavirus costs!).
2. Grow your own foods!
We love growing sprouts, or microgreens, in our kitchen. It takes VERY little effort or space. In just a week with some seeds, you can have a tasty pile of superfood on your plate!
We just enjoyed using the Back to the Roots microgreens growing kit with the kids. So easy, because their kit with planet set comes with a ceramic planter, two compostable trays, and two packs of seeds. The boys loved the process of planting and growing these tiny green shoots. We even used their text message system to remind us when to water and harvest. Truly, growing microgreens with Back to the Roots is both a fun and useful experiment for kids and families. Plus, kids love to eat what they grow!
Build a raised garden bed outside and expand your growing capability. Raised garden beds come in all sizes and styles these days. You can order a kit that snaps together easily, or build your own with some wood planks.
3. Support local farms.
I can’t stress enough that we need to be buying and eating locally. Not only does buying local help the farmers in your area, but local foods also are healthier for many reasons: fresher, flavorful, better nutrients, better for the environment.
Consider joining a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. This means you pay in advance to help a farmer buy what they need for the next season. Then when the produce is harvested, you get a weekly share of the crops! Every CSA program will work differently, but we’ve always enjoyed a huge grocery bag (or two!) of produce at the farm we went to! What to do with all that produce? Check out my tips for how to prep and store your CSA vegetables!
4. Use reusable laundry products.
Instead of buying dryer sheets filled with chemicals, try wool dryer balls. We have at least a dozen, and they have lasted us years. The wool balls gently toss clothes so they are soft, and leave no chemicals behind.
We also buy fragrance free detergent, and we also have enjoyed natural cloth diaper detergent, which works well on clothing too, but you just need a lot more!
Use drying racks (this is my favorite and it has held up well over the years!), and clotheslines when possible. Oh, and if your laundry is piling up like crazy, here is my favorite laundry troubleshooting plan!
5. Use natural cleaning products.
You can make your own household cleaners for nearly every purpose: counter, toilet, glass.
You can even make your own foaming handsoap!
6. Use natural body products.
After we had what we put IN our body well in hand, we started thinking about what we put ON our body! Most body products like soaps and lotions are filled with chemicals. So we have committed to using natural products like castille soap and natural oils for cleaning and moisturizing. Or you can make your own:
- Heavy Duty Hand Scrub: I’ve made my own DIY Coffee Scrub for the guys to use after gardening.
- Bath Scrubs: My DIY Lavender Eucalyptus Salt Glow scrub has been a hit both for bathtime here at home and as a great gift idea!
- Foot Scrub: My Frankincense Essential Oil Foot Scrub Recipe is pretty awesome too!
7. Use Essential Oils
I know, essential oil usage has ramped up incredibly since I first started using EO. Back then I was a minority! But now everyone throws a little oil on it these days. You can find essential oils everywhere, but please do your research and be sure the oils are harvested and distilled the proper way. Not all oils are the same!
- My Guide to Essential Oils will tell you why I’ve enjoyed Young Living oils for the past 6 years.
- And don’t forget to use essential oils safely with children.
- If you’re curious just what you can do with essential oils, here’s my tips for 3 ways to use essential oils every day.
- If you’re a savvy EO user, maybe you’d like my free printable essential oil daily planner!
8. Choose reusable products whenever possible!
A few examples of sticking with reusable over disposable include:
- Use cloth napkins. These are inexpensive to buy or make, and they last literally forever – if you don’t mind some staining.
- Use cloth sweeper /duster mop cloths. You can make your own sweeper cloths SO simply! Or order a stack from my Etsy shop!
- Switch to cloth menstrual pads. I promise you, it’s not as bad as it sounds!
- Use cloth diapers if you have babies. Yes, it’s a small learning curve, but the waste and cost savings are tremendous!
- Choose reusable kitchen towels (unpaper towels!), reusable snack bags, and bowl covers.
9. Buy sustainable clothing.
This is probably our most difficult step so far and one we’re still working REALLY hard on. I still don’t have it all figured out. But I know that if I want healthy things IN my body, and healthy things ON my body, then that includes clothing and other goods we purchase.
Where possible, we choose natural fibers, and recycled fabrics and materials. There are many companies dedicated to creating sustainable clothing as well. prAna clothing examines all their production processes and materials for sustainability, and Soft Star Shoes, creates handmade leather shoes that are durable and better for your feet.
We try to purchase from brands that value sustainability practices when we can. This area is certainly one that we are growing into, as it’s one of the most expensive choices, but we believe with a little effort and thrift, we can make healthy and natural choices in this area too!
10. Find your own ways to live naturally.
There are many ways to live a more natural and healthier life. Some of these might be easier for you than for me, and vice versa. So research, and make your own changes. Some more ideas are:
- Get preventative health care, especially for men!
- Make a budget for natural wellness. Yes, it is more expensive to visit a chiropractor, see a holistic doctor, and use supplements and oils. But preventative care is best. So plan for it in your budget.
Baby steps, my friends…
The important lesson is: we didn’t change everything all at once! We took many baby steps to better family health over the past decade. Some days we even fall back into old habits, and the “easy” way of doing things. We have often had to restate our values and regroup, making better choices step by step. You can too!
Save this list to your family or health Pinterest board for reference as you make your own small changes!
WIN IT: A Microgreens Growing Kit
To help you make healthy choices a little at a time, my sponsor Back to the Roots, is giving away one microgreens growing kit (no ceramic planter) to one of my readers! ARV $39. Enter in the form below!
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This post was sponsored by Back to the Roots, and I received a sample in exchange. All opinions are my own.
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