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Six Healthy Living Tips for Busy Families

How do you make sure your family is totally taken care of when everyone is going in what seems like a hundred different directions? Deadlines at work, kids off to piano practice or sports, running errands, summer home-improvement projects, and the list goes on. How do you manage it all and make sure everyone has what they need to be healthy and active?

What I do is come up with a plan of action. I am not big on writing things down (unless I’m writing a blog post), so my plan is more like a general idea of what I want to do and ways I can get it done — all in my head of course. If you are more into lists then I’ve got a great one for you. Here are six ways to make sure everyone is totally taken care of when you are crazy busy.

Six tips to be totally taken care of when you are crazy busy

1. Plan meals ahead of time

I can appreciate how hard it can seem to get a well-balanced meal on the table during busy nights juggling work, school, summer activities, etc. Heck, my husband is the king of last minute dinners that tend to be lacking in the actual ‘meal’ category and often only hit one or two food groups (we have had many a discussion about this).

The thing about planning meals is that it can take a few minutes up-front, but save you tons of time in the end. Just remember these quick tips:

  • Keep it simple – meals don’t have to be elaborate to be healthy (hubster often throws a bag of baby carrots on the table for everyone to chew on if he forgets a veggie in our meal).
  • Share the work – enlist the help from the family from toddlers to teens!
  • Make shopping lists – it may seem like a simple thing, but if you have a list of items needed for each meal then you are less likely to make unhealthy choices at the store and you will be prepared when it comes time to make your meals.
  • Plan for as little as one week, or as far as a month in advance. It is really up to you and repeat meals are okay!


2. Make errand running also a fitness activity

Want to get a workout in but don’t think you have the time? Think about walking from errand to errand the next time you are out and about if possible. Another option is to participate in play the next time you take the kids to the park. My kids want to go to the park almost daily and my husband and I always bring along a frisbee or some other activity to keep us moving while the kids are playing. There is nothing wrong in joining the kids on the jungle gym or joining the kids in a game of hoops either!

A mother play basketball with her daughter

3. Eat Breakfast and stay hydrated!

Every knows that a good breakfast gives you a great start to the day, right? I know that once I started eating breakfast every day (I used to skip it – gasp!) I definitely felt more of an energy boost to keep me going. I also quit drinking soda and just sip water all day – talk about a difference! Want some tips on getting a great breakfast? Check out this free printable from aahealth on how busy families can be healthy families!


4. Keep on top of oral care

This may not always be on the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to being totally taken care of, but it should be! Good oral health has been linked to good overall health. Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases such as cardiovascular disease, premature birth, and more (Mayo Clinic).

One way we stay on top of oral care is by using Listerine Total Care products since they work for the whole family! The kids love using the mouthwash and floss, and I have found the toothpaste to work really well. If you are looking for a great place to get all your wellness needs, Walgreens is a one-stop-shop for wellness products!

Listerine Total Care

5. Schedule, schedule, schedule

Keeping track of what everyone is doing and when can seem pretty daunting as more and more activities, appointments, games, etc. get added year after year. To make sure you can keep track of everything, and stick to all of the tips listed above, turn into a scheduling pro with these simple tips:

  • Choose the right calendar. Not every calendar is going to work for every person. I love my Google calendar for work stuff, but at home we have a whiteboard that we can write all our important events on. Everyone knows that if something is going on, it will be on the whiteboard.
  • Use your calendar wisely. Think about the to-dos that come with each appointment as you add them to your calendar. Ex: If you need to RSVP for a party you put on the calendar, make sure to leave yourself a note to do so.
  • Take the time to plan. This might be the most important thing to remember. A calendar is great, but doesn’t work if you don’t utilize it. Take a bit of time each week, or bi-weekly to plan out what is coming up soon and what tasks need to be done (ex. meal planning). By spending a few minutes planning, you will save yourself tons of time in the long run.
  • Limit Activities. Your kids probably don’t need to participate in every extracurricular activity offered, especially if it is going to make everyone’s lives that much busier. Limiting to one or two per year may be the best bet for everyone, and may help kids start thinking about the importance of activities that really matter to them to give it their best.

6. Don’t be afraid to say no.

It is a good idea to decide ahead of time how much volunteering you are willing to do throughout the year. Just because you were asked to be on the dance committee at school doesn’t mean you have to say yes. If you just don’t have the time to fit it in, don’t be afraid to turn people down when they ask you to volunteer. You don’t even have to answer immediately if you don’t want to, you can say “let me think about it” and then say no at a later date.


So tell us…

How do you make sure everyone in your family is totally taken care of?





I received LISTERINE® Brand products and a Walgreens gift card from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Brand Totally Taken Care Of program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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22 Responses to Six Healthy Living Tips for Busy Families

  1. Cathi July 9, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Great tips for busy families! And the oral care is so very important. Good habits taught young will save gobs of money years later! After all… our smile is the first thing people notice!
    Cathi recently posted…Stay Hydrated This SummerMy Profile

  2. Jeannette July 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    These are such great tips! I think the planning ahead is the biggest thing for me. I need to plan in advance so that I’m prepared and don’t make bad choices.
    Jeannette recently posted…On-The-Go Blueberry Yogurt Parfait RecipeMy Profile

  3. Jennifer July 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    I definitely need to plan meals ahead of time. When I don’t we end up eating boxed macaroni & cheese.
    Jennifer recently posted…The Finest Hours – An Incredible True StoryMy Profile

  4. Dawn July 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    These are great tips. I’ve found that if I don’t eat breakfast, my entire day is off.
    Dawn recently posted…Movie Date Night at Home Ideas with GelatoMy Profile

  5. Mama to 5 BLessings July 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    We use many of these great products ourselves. With 5 kids they are a must!

  6. Kristin July 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I need to drink more water!! And, I also need to learn how to say no without torturing myself and feeling so gulty!
    Kristin recently posted…Fridays with Frank: I love Lamb Chop.My Profile

    • Jesica H July 10, 2015 at 7:56 am #

      Once you say no that first time, it becomes easier and easier. 🙂

  7. Kara July 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Great ideas Jesica!

  8. Nicole B July 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    It is so hard to say NO sometimes, then I end up regretting it when I am way too busy. I love Listerine products, especially the Total Care Zero alcohol mouthwash.
    Nicole B recently posted…DIY Curly Ribbon Hair Ties + Faultless Starch $1,000 GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Dee Mauser July 9, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    I keep a ledger of everyone’s doctor and dentist appointments and mark upcoming appointments on the calendar.

  10. Marcie W. July 9, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    These are all great tips, especially since we incorporate most of them in our family. Staying organized and communicating with one another is how we make sure everyone is taken care of around here.
    Marcie W. recently posted…Candace’s Corner – Put Me In The Story Personalized Books Review + Win A Dream Family Vacation! #FrozenDreamVacationMy Profile

  11. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert July 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    Healthy living can get so complicated when you have children in different age groups with different requirements! It never hurts to plan ahead!
    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert recently posted…Brown Sugar Garlic Pork with Carrots & PotatoesMy Profile

  12. Shauna July 9, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Pretty much everything you just said. The only extra thing I do is that my Little Man and I go for a walk together every single day. We like to walk around the neighborhood, talk and laugh. Its not only good for us, it is great for our relationship

  13. Liz Mays July 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    I like the idea of combining fitness with errands. If I lived quite a distance closer to town I’d like to start biking in. I’m making sure to hydrate better from now on!
    Liz Mays recently posted…Mixed Berry Cream Cheese Waffle CakesMy Profile

  14. Vera Sweeney July 9, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

    I love these ideas!!! I need to get better at saying no to things and at planning our meals out better.
    Vera Sweeney recently posted…Free Carnival Vista Cruise For Best NYC Sunset Photo During ‘Manhattanhenge’ #ShowMeYourVistaMy Profile

  15. Emily July 9, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Meal planning helps SO much for me and my family. Also I do things before I go to bed that usually need to get done first thing in the am. Like packing lunches and setting out clothing. This allows me to get my workouts in first thing!!
    Emily recently posted…Comment on Tokidoki LILLEbaby Baby Carrier! Meet “Iconic”! #tokidokixlillebaby by Vera SweeneyMy Profile

  16. Amber Edwards July 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

    Planing the meals ahead of time is a huge one for me! If I have a weekly menu plan; at least for dinners, the week goes so much smoother! This week, I didn’t get anything planned until Wednesday morning, and it was a very rocky start to the week.
    Amber Edwards recently posted…Fluffy No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Tarts with Goldfish Pretzel CrustMy Profile

  17. dawn July 10, 2015 at 12:54 am #

    awesome tips. thanks for the cool share.

  18. Ann Bacciaglia July 10, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    These are amazing tips. I find meal planning is a huge help for me. Now that my kids are both in College i have more time to plan things out.

  19. gingermommyrants July 10, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    With little kids i have to make sure i plan as much as i can ahead of time. I have a big calendar on my fridge to help me keep track of all our activities.
    gingermommyrants recently posted…Bringing new life to my blog with the FUJI X-A2 with Giveaway #FujimomsMy Profile

  20. Tammy Roy July 10, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    We always use breakfast time to talk about what we have to do that day. I try to meal plan to make my week easier. It is hard to limit the kids activities but i can not take them to everything.
    Tammy Roy recently posted…TLC Needed in my Mom CaveMy Profile

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