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Whether you belong to a nuclear family, or are a single parent with children, or it's just you and your spouse, building a happy and healthy family is essential. One of the most significant influences on your family's health and happiness is what and how they eat. However, preparing healthy and appetizing meals can be a challenge, especially if you have children (or spouses!) who are picky eaters. To help you out, we've put together some steps you can take to ensure that your family is good health and great shape.

While there are still debates on what exactly constitutes a healthy diet, many people will agree on the following:

  • eat whole foods whenever possible
  • eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • eat some protein and carbohydrates

Your next concern may be about serving sizes and quantities – exactly how much vegetables are “lots of vegetables”? What is the ideal ratio of carbohydrates to protein? This can be even more confusing if you've got several people to feed. Instead of trying to keep track of everybody's servings requirements, a general rule of thumb to follow is that you'll want to fill up half a plate with fruits and vegetables, with approximately two-thirds of this space taken up by vegetables. A quarter of the plate should be taken up by protein, and the other quarter by carbohydrates.

Generally, you’ll want to limit processed foods, as they are nutritionally vapid and come packaged with preservatives, additives and sugar. However, most children (and many adults) may find it hard to resist the temptation of junk and processed foods. Luckily, there are many healthy alternatives that are just as tasty and far more nutritionally dense.

Making meals every day can be a time-consuming affair, especially if you only have pockets of time in between your busy schedule to chow down anything you can grab.

To minimize food-preparation time, try cooking in batches during the weekend and preparing meals in advance for the week. Freezer-friendly foods like stews, soups and curries can be stored for months in the freezer. If reheating food doesn't appeal to you, you can prep vegetables during the weekend, and toss them together with leftover shredded roast chicken or other forms of protein for a quick and easy meal on busy weekdays.

Another benefit of batch booking is that you'll have ready-made meals that you can pack into lunchboxes or mason jars for the entire week ahead. This means no more having to resort to unhealthy options from the school canteen, or making trips to the office vending machine.

Family meals are an opportunity to create happier, healthier families. Here are a few ways you can make everyone look forward to them:
Ensuring that your family eats healthy is just as important as making sure they get enough exercise. Exercising as a family can be a fun way to bond, as well as keeping everyone healthy and fit. Here are a few ways to do so:

Following these steps will help ensure a happier, healthier family. However, you'll also want to make sure that your family is well protected with the right life and medical insurance so you can take on life's curveballs. If you happen to be a parent or a prospective parent, you can even protect your little one from child-specific illnesses with Allianz Child Guard.

As you support your family, don't forget about yourself - your family depends on you. Getting life insurance coverage such as Allianz PowerShield for yourself can help ensure that your loved ones are supported even if you encounter life's uncertainties.

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