Wholesome living for the whole family has become an increasingly popular concept in recent years, as more and more families seek to improve their overall health, wellness, and quality of life. While definitions may vary, wholesome living generally refers to a holistic approach to making choices and living in a way that nurtures health in all aspects of life – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
In this guide, we will explore what Wholesome Living for the Whole Family, why it is so important, and provide tips and strategies for how your family can embrace a healthier lifestyle. When implemented thoughtfully and consistently, wholesome living can profoundly benefit every family member’s health and happiness.
What is Wholesome Living for Families?
Wholesome living focuses on overall wellness in significant health and daily living areas. For families, key components of wholesome living include:
Eating fresh, whole, minimally processed foods as often as possible. Limiting sugar, unhealthy fats, and chemical additives. Teaching children about nutrition and involving them in meal planning/preparation.
Getting regular exercise, preferably daily. Engaging in family fitness activities. Limiting sedentary behaviors like TV watching. Encouraging active transportation and recreation.
Following age-appropriate sleep duration recommendations. Establishing healthy bedtime routines. Keeping bedrooms dark, calm, quiet, and comfortable for good sleep. Modeling good sleep habits.
Managing stress through healthy coping strategies like meditation, yoga, creative activities, and spending time in nature. Fostering strong family relationships. Making time for rest, relaxation, and fun. Seeking support if needed.
We reduce toxins in living spaces, choose natural, non-toxic products when possible, teaching children to care for the environment, and spend time together in nature.
Avoiding clutter and excess. Focusing more on experiences than material goods. Teaching gratitude. Spending money thoughtfully.
It is making time for practices like prayer, reflection, or meditation that provide a sense of inner peace, meaning, or connection to something larger than oneself.
Volunteering together as a family. Donating time, money, and goods to support causes. Teaching generosity and compassion.
Why is Wholesome Living Important for Families?
Embracing wholesome living can profoundly impact a family’s overall quality of life. Benefits include:
Improved Physical Health
Wholesome foods, regular activity, and adequate sleep provide essential foundations for growth, development, disease prevention, and energy levels in children and parents alike.
Better Mental Health
Wholesome living reduces stress and fosters a positive outlook and emotional resilience. This protects against depression, anxiety, and other common mental health conditions.
Stronger Family Relationships
Shared activities provide opportunities for bonding. Wholesome values like compassion and generosity strengthen connections. Less focus on material goods means more focus on relationships.
Healthier lifestyles and stronger connections naturally create more joy and life satisfaction for all family members.
Development of Life Skills
Through a wholesome family lifestyle, children gain valuable skills like cooking, environmental stewardship, stress management, and self-care.
Lower Healthcare Costs
Preventive care through nutrition, activity, and stress reduction lowers the risk of costly health conditions and medical procedures over a lifetime.
In a society filled with distractions and unhealthy temptations, wholesome living allows families to step back and intentionally create a lifestyle aligned with their deepest values and priorities.
Creating a Wholesome Home Environment
Our families’ physical space plays a key role in facilitating wholesome living. Here are tips for creating a wholesome home environment:
Make Nutrition a Priority in Your Kitchen
- Stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with wholesome ingredients
- Display fruits/veggies prominently
- Ensure healthy snacks are readily available
- Limit junk food items
- Post educational food posters/info for kids
Add Activity Spaces Throughout Your Home
- Clear space for family exercise or dance sessions
- Buy active gaming systems like Wii Fit or Just Dance
- Keep fitness equipment like balls and jump ropes easily accessible
- Create backyard play spaces like swing sets
- Set up activity stations indoors on rainy days
Foster Peaceful Sleep Spaces
- Purchase high-quality mattresses and bedding
- Use blackout curtains and eliminate light/noise
- Keep technology like TVs out of bedrooms
- Maintain comfortable temperature
- Consider essential oil diffusers with relaxing scents
Invite Nature In
- Display houseplants to purify the air and connect you to nature
- Open windows regularly to circulate fresh air
- Create cozy spaces to curl up with a book or meditate
- Display natural elements like shells, stones, feathers, flowers
Make Simplicity a Priority
- Institute regular purging of unused items
- Frequently tidy up clutter
- Designate a donation area for giveaways
- Prioritize needs over wants in purchases
- Display inspirational quotes/photos instead of material items
Creating a wholesome home environment reduces stress, reminds your family of your shared values, facilitates healthy choices, and promotes joy and connection in your shared spaces.
One of the key pillars of Wholesome Living for the Whole Family is optimal family nutrition. The following advice can help encourage a diet rich in health:
|Involve Kids in Meal Planning and Preparation||Give children age-appropriate food prep tasks like mixing, measuring, washing produce, and setting the table. Ask for input on the weekly menu.|
|Eat Together as a Family||Make dining together a priority as much as possible. Turn off the TV and phones to engage in conversation.|
|Role Model Healthy Eating||Let your kids see you choosing nutritious foods, avoiding overeating, reading labels, and drinking water. Your habits will rub off!|
|Focus on Balance and Moderation||It’s okay to enjoy treats sometimes. Just emphasize mostly wholesome foods, avoiding rigid restrictions of any food group.|
|Make Nutrient-Dense Foods Accessible||Keep your home continuously stocked with staples like whole grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, yogurt, fruit, and veggies.|
|Start Them Young||Introduce infants to a variety of flavors and textures. Offer the same wholesome foods as the rest of the family.|
|Keep Meals Positive||Avoid power struggles over food. Don’t force kids to clean their plates. Mealtimes should feel relaxed.|
|Supplement Mindfully||Targeted supplements like vitamin D or omega-3s can fill nutritional gaps but shouldn’t replace a healthy diet. Discuss with your pediatrician.|
Equipping your kids with a foundation of wholesome nutrition from a young age will pay dividends throughout their lifetime. Food is so much more than physical sustenance – it’s an opportunity for health, bonding, joy, and building wholesome habits.
Encouraging Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is a vital component of a wholesome lifestyle for both kids and adults. Here are tips for getting your family moving:
|Cook meals together||Teaches children about healthy eating and quality time together|
|Go for walks or bike rides||Fun and easy way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors|
|Play games or sports together||Fun and effective way to get exercise and bond as a family|
|Set aside time each day to talk and connect||Promotes emotional well-being|
|Limit screen time||Reduces harmful effects of screen time on physical and mental health|
|Make time for fun and relaxation||Creates a healthier and happier home environment|
Regular activity reduces stress, strengthens family bonds, and teaches lifelong healthy habits. Find ways to integrate physical movement into your family’s daily lifestyle.
Sleep Recommendations by Age
Sleep is often sacrificed in our busy modern lives, yet it is vital to health. Ensure your family gets adequate rest with these age-based recommendations:
Newborns (0-3 months)
- 14-17 hours of sleep per day
- Let sleep and feeding demands guide the schedule
- Provide safe sleeping space free of hazards
- Swaddle to reduce startle reflex if needed
Infants (4-12 months)
- 12-16 hours per day
- 3-4 naps per day, max 30 minutes
- Bedtime between 6-8 pm
- Establish a soothing bedtime routine
Toddlers (1-2 years)
- 11-14 hours per day
- Most people nap once per day
- Bedtime between 7-8 pm
- Comfort objects can aid in self-soothing
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
- 10-13 hours per day
- Many stop napping at this age
- Bedtime between 7-8 pm
- Okay, to use a nightlight or leave the door ajar
School Age (6-12 years)
- 9-12 hours per day
- No napping
- Bedtime between 7-9 pm
- You may need a blanket or white noise
Teens (13-18 years)
- 8-10 hours per day
- No napping
- Bedtime 10 pm or earlier
- Remove phones/screens from the bedroom
Prioritizing sleep ensures adequate brain development, growth, emotional regulation, and disease prevention. Set your family up for success by following sleep recommendations carefully.
Fostering Strong Family Relationships
Close family relationships provide the foundation needed to implement a wholesome lifestyle. Consider these tips:
|Involve children in meal planning and preparation||Teaches children about healthy eating and life skills|
|Make exercise fun||Play games, go for family walks or bike rides, or join a sports team together|
|Create family traditions that promote healthy living||For example, a weekly family hike, a monthly family cooking night, or a yearly family volunteer event|
|Make healthy choices convenient||Keep healthy snacks and drinks on hand, and stock your pantry with healthy ingredients|
|Don’t be afraid to splurge occasionally||It’s okay to have your favourite treats from time to time, just make sure they are the exception, not the rule|
The happiness and harmony of a wholesome family flow from the quality of the relationships within it. Nurture your most precious connections through daily affection, communication, and togetherness.
Parents must prioritize self-care to have the energy and reserves to maintain a Wholesome Living for the Whole Family. Consider making time for:
|Adequate Sleep||Make sleep a priority, not a luxury. Your own health and patience levels depend on it.|
|Stress Management||Make use of techniques like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, journaling, or other strategies that help you decompress.|
|Exercise||Stay active to reduce anxiety, elevate your mood, and maintain your health.|
|Healthy Eating||Fuel your body with wholesome foods that keep your energy stable and your mind sharp.|
|Meaningful Work||Feeling engaged in work provides a sense of purpose beyond your parental responsibilities.|
|Friendships||Pay attention to your social circle. Adult interaction is mentally stimulating and builds support.|
|Marriage Care||For couples, nurture intimacy and fun in your marriage. Keep your partnership firm.|
|Personal Therapy||Seeking counseling when needed is a sign of strength. Everyone deserves emotional support.|
|Faith Community||For many, involvement in a religious group provides community support, spiritual comfort, and childcare assistance.|
The responsibilities of parenthood can deplete mental and physical reserves over time. Prioritizing consistent self-care helps parents be their best selves for their families.
Managing Family Stress
Wholesome Living for the Whole Family is not free of stress and challenges. However, intentionally managing stress together can strengthen your family.
|Model Healthy Coping||Kids observe how parents face difficulties. Demonstrate positive strategies like exercising, meditating, journaling, or praying. Avoid unhealthy escapes like excess food, alcohol, or drug use.|
|Listen Without Judgement||Provide a safe space for children to share feelings and frustrations. Please resist the urge to solve or dismiss their concerns immediately.|
|Teach Emotional Intelligence||Help kids identify and label their emotions. Guide them in constructively expressing their feelings.|
|Embrace Imperfection||Reject the myth of being a perfect family. Learn and grow together through mistakes. Offer grace to yourself and others.|
|Address Problems Directly||Don’t let tensions simmer. Have family meetings to air and solve issues before they escalate.|
|Share the Load||Ensure responsibilities are divided evenly between parents. Splitting duties reduces resentment and burnout.|
|Recognize When to Seek Help||Severe or chronic stress may require counseling. Seeking help early improves outcomes.|
|Take Fun Breaks||Insert humor, games, and leisure into stressful times to get a break from worries. Laughter relieves tension.|
Stress is inevitable, but families can choose to face difficulties in constructive ways. Developing shared strategies makes challenging times more manageable.
Establishing Screen Time Rules
Our digital devices can enhance our lives and negatively impact health if not managed carefully. Consider these tips for setting technology rules in your household:
|Screen Time Management Strategy|
|No Screens at Meals||Protect family mealtimes for face-to-face conversation.|
|No Devices in Bedrooms||Keep bedrooms screen-free spaces for optimal sleep. Charge devices outside bedrooms.|
|Screen-Free Zones||Specific spaces, like the kitchen table or playroom, can be designated tech-free.|
|Screens Off Before Bed||Turn off all devices 1-2 hours before bedtime for better sleep quality.|
|Set Time Limits||Use apps that allow you to control daily or weekly limits for games, social media, etc.|
|Model Responsible Use||Let kids see you using devices in moderation without distraction from people.|
|Schedule tech-free days||Take occasional breaks from recreational screen use to focus on other hobbies and interests.|
|Avoid Using Screens as Pacifiers||Find healthier ways to calm upset kids, like reading, listening to music, and discussing things.|
|Prioritize Shared Activities Over Screen Time||Spend more time moving, playing, cooking, and reading together rather than staring at devices.|
Thoughtful device use can protect mental health and strengthen family connections. Establish and enforce consistent boundaries.
Instilling Wholesome Values in Children
Parents provide the initial framework of values that shape a child’s worldview. Instilling wholesome values in kids while they are young plants seeds for growth into ethically sound adults. Consider emphasizing values like:
Model caring words and deeds. Teach them to consider others’ feelings.
Encourage sharing and service to help counter the self-centeredness typical in youth. Giving feels good!
Cultivate a thankful attitude. Notice good things in life rather than focusing on what’s lacking.
Help them relate to how others feel and see situations from diverse perspectives—Foster compassion.
Assign chores and model accountability in your habits. Follow through on promises.
Insist on respectful communication without insults, exclusion, or meanness. Require obedience.
Help kids learn to manage impulses, control emotions, and work hard. These skills build confidence.
Feed their sense of wonder. Explore nature, read books, and try hobbies to spark the joy of learning.
The values our children adopt will guide them for life. Make instilling Wholesome Living for the Whole Family virtues a priority in your parenting.
Creating Wholesome Family Traditions
Meaningful rituals and traditions strengthen family identity and togetherness. Make time to establish routines like:
- Weekly Family Meal
On Sundays, for example, prepare a wholesome meal together. Add rituals like lighting candles, stating gratitudes, or singing songs.
- Regular Family Outings
Designate adventures like hiking, bowling, skating, or picnicking as sacred family time each month. Rotate choosing the activity.
- Annual Vacations
Spend time together somewhere new, making memories. Drive or fly to unique destinations near and far!
- Birthday Traditions
Personalize celebrations for each family member, like favorite dinners or activities. Share stories about the day they were born.
- Holiday Routines
Establish holiday staples like baking cookies, decorating, giving homemade gifts, or visiting elderly relatives.
- Bedtime Stories
Read or tell stories consistently at bedtime. Weave in life lessons and convey family values through tales.
- Chores Chart
Display a rotating list of age-appropriate tasks that teach responsibility, like taking out trash, folding laundry, and caring for pets. Offer rewards!
- Creative Collaboration
Make arts, crafts, or music together, displaying your creations—bond through the creative process.
- Game Night
Designate a weekly game night with fun-for-all-ages board games, charades, trivia, or video games everyone enjoys.
- Volunteer Service
Give back to your community together periodically through activities like serving at a soup kitchen, picking up neighborhood litter, or visiting residents of a retirement home.
Teaching Kids Life Skills
Equipping children with practical life skills promotes their independence and sense of capability. Dedicate time to teaching:
- Meal Planning and Preparation
Have kids help create grocery lists, shop for ingredients, follow recipes, and learn basic cooking techniques. Make cooking a weekly activity.
- Household Chores
Show children how to execute laundry, washing, cleaning, and yardwork properly. Assign chores based on age.
- Time Management
Help kids organize homework and activities. Teach them to budget time, make schedules, use calendars, and set goals.
- Money Management
Open bank accounts when age-appropriate. Explain budgeting and saving. Give opportunities to earn and manage allowance.
- Outdoor Skills
Learn skills like starting a campfire, pitching a tent, using navigation tools, water safety, and wild animal precautions.
- Vehicle Safety
Once kids reach driving age, ensure they complete driver’s training. Thoroughly cover defensive driving techniques.
- Interpersonal Skills
Discuss respectful communication, resolving conflict, cooperation, making new friends, proper online conduct, and being a good friend.
- Emotional Intelligence
Teach them to identify and express feelings appropriately, control impulses, reduce stress, and overcome anger or anxiety.
Preparing kids with hands-on life skills gives them the confidence to care for themselves and effectively contribute to their communities.
Making Service a Family Priority
Volunteering together benefits communities while teaching children compassion. Seek service opportunities matching your family’s passions and skills like:
- Animal Welfare
Walk shelter dogs. Donate food or blankets to an animal shelter. Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary. Foster rescue pets.
Clean up trash in nature. Plant trees. Join park restoration efforts. Participate in community gardening. Promote recycling.
- Food Insecurity
Volunteer to pack or distribute food at a food bank. Cook meals for homeless shelters. Collect donations for food pantries. Grow produce to donate.
Collect and donate toys for drives. Visit children’s hospitals. Volunteer as a youth sports coach. Tutor struggling students. Mentor teens aging out of foster care.
Visit retirement homes. Help with yard work or errands. Learn life stories and share joy through regular visits.
Use your creative skills to bring music or theater to hospitals, homes, and community centers. Teach classes to underserved kids. Apply make-up for low-budget school plays.
- Special Needs
Provide respite care for exhausted parents. Organize adapted activities for children with disabilities. Visit group homes.
Acts of service support valuable causes Wholesome Living for the Whole Family. Let your family’s conscience guide you toward meaningful volunteer work.
Wholesome Living for the Whole Family encompasses a holistic approach to creating optimal well-being and quality of life for the entire family. While it requires dedication, the considerable benefits to your family’s health, happiness, and relationships make embracing this lifestyle well worth the effort.
Start with small steps – eating one more veggie-based family meal each week, limiting tech devices in the bedroom, and going for a walk after dinner a few days a week. Build momentum with these baby steps, celebrating each new wholesome habit you adopt.
Family relationships provide one of life’s most profound sources of meaning and joy. Protect this precious gift by making Wholesome Living for the Whole Family an intentional priority in your home. The positive impacts will be felt for generations to come.