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Family Health
Filling Nutritional Gaps

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Article Highlights

  • Using a sample family wellness plan is a good place to start if you get stuck when creating a wellness program for your family.
  • To make a suitable family wellness program, Its important to consider your family's health history.
  • A key part of having a successful family wellness plan is involving every family member when planning your family's wellness program.
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Family Health and Wellness Programs

Family health and wellness programs are an important part of keeping your family healthy. More than that, though, focusing on individual and family wellness is a great way to keep everyone happy. We’ve all experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed (mentally, emotionally, physically, even financially) and how much more difficult it is to have self-control and respond to each other in a kind way. Family help and wellness is about giving yourself and your children tools to “fill buckets” - starting with your own and ultimately for those around you. 

Having a good grasp on family health history is a great starting point on the journey toward family health and wellness. If you’ve not already done so, collect all the information you can on diseases or illnesses that have plagued your family, on both yours and your spouse’s sides. Be watchful about any illnesses - especially breast cancer, diabetes, or colon cancer, since you may need earlier or more frequent screenings (1).

Collecting this information may be disheartening at first (especially if you feel like your families combined tick all of the boxes), but the good news is that, by living a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your levels normal and lower your risk (2). Being aware of genetic risk factors gives you the advantage of early prevention - one that we definitely recommend you take!

Family health and wellness programs can include a number of things, including a stress reduction plan, weight loss plan, smoking cessation for parents, regular dental and doctor visits/checkups, regular bedtime routines, exercise, taking vitamins and healthy eating. There are even family help and wellness programs for families that are in need of behavioral health therapy.  There are also a number of family wellness products that can aid you in the endeavor to contribute to better family health and wellness. 

Family Wellness Products 

The family wellness products you choose will vary depending on what your family health and wellness plan consists of. For instance, if you have a child who has difficulty sleeping, you may consider investing in blackout curtains for their bedroom, a white noise machine (or box fan, which provides white noise and air circulation) and possibly a nightlight with dimming capability if your child is afraid of the dark.

Note: since exposure to light can keep people up, use this only as a last resort. Blue light (the light emitted by electronic devices) is the most notorious for this, so banning technology beyond a certain time is another great idea (3). If nighttime technology is a must-have for your family, consider investing in blue light glasses, although professionals disagree as to their benefit (4). Non-light options include trusty glow in the dark stars, or if you’re the creative type, paint a scene for your kids with glow in the dark paint!

For those who suffer from stress, there are far more products out there than just stress balls! CalmiGo is a great option for those who have panic attacks/stress, because it utilizes natural means to encourage stabilized breathing and a relaxed state. This product isn’t just for stress, however. It can also help with focus and help kids fall asleep.

Other things to consider purchasing for stress relief include indoor plants, fidget toys/stress balls, weighted blankets, coloring books, journals for to-do lists, and essential oils. If you go the plant route, be sure to check which plants are poisonous to your pets (5). If you’ve got young ones that still pop everything in their mouths, you’ll want to ensure you don’t purchase plants that are toxic to them, either (6). Exercise is also very beneficial and effective at stress reduction as well (7).

There are a wide variety of products out there, most of which we won’t be able to go into, that you can purchase for your family wellness needs. That said, don’t feel like you need to get all (or even any) of these products in order to implement a family wellness plan. There are plenty of things you can do without handing over your hard-earned money to buy more things.

Family Wellness Activities 

Family wellness activities like going to the park, on a nature walk, cooking dinner together, stretching together or having some quiet family time are all highly beneficial and completely free of charge. Park days allow the parents to sit and rest (or exercise, too, either by playing with kids or doing laps around the playground) while kids let out their energy. The benefit to this is that often, after a good time at the park, kids are happier and sleep better during the night (8).

Not only that, but park time is often a sneaky way for parents to get exercise without even realizing it, because playing with kids doesn’t feel like a chore in the same way that working out at the gym does. Other fun exercise options include dance parties, frisbee games, rock climbing, jumprope, hula hooping, bike riding, jumping on a trampoline, kayaking, and water balloon battles.

Other family wellness ideas that have a minimal cost include planting a garden, going for a swim (free, if you’ve got a backyard pool), and road trips. Small road trips can be a fantastic bonding activity for kids and parents. Listening to relaxing music as you drive along winding roads can be quite therapeutic, and may even become a family tradition!

These activities help you set a good family wellness example for your kids, because you’re showing them you’re not afraid to go out and get exercise yourself. Not only that, but shared activities are one of many ways you can help strengthen family bonds (9). The simple act of going out and trying new things can help them realize that they don’t need to fear failure, and the inevitable laughter you share over flubs will be a huge mood booster and teach kids not to take themselves too seriously. 

Family Wellness Plan 

Writing down your family wellness plan can be one of the best things you do for your family. Written goals are the most effective way to succeed - in fact, those who write down their goals (and follow up on them with updates) have a notably higher success rate than those who don’t (10).

To develop a family wellness plan, start by asking each family member to write down their health concerns, and discuss them as a family. From there, brainstorm to create an inclusive plan that will help each family member’s goals. You can also assign responsibilities for family wellness goals (for example, one person in charge of healthier eating and another in charge of family activities), and the wellness plan should reflect that.

Meals should be planned ahead of time for optimal health (be sure to incorporate plenty of veggies and fruits) and unhealthy food should be removed from the home so that you can all avoid temptation. The exercise program can be as rigorous or as light as you’d like, and can absolutely include the fun activities we’ve already listed above. Be sure to follow up with each other regularly to discuss how the family wellness program is going. 

If you aren’t even sure where to start, you can use a sample format of a wellness plan. This website has a nice graphic of things you may want to include in your wellness plan, along with questions you can ask yourself to guide the process. This family wellness plan sample provides a breakdown of goals and activities along with an actionable timeline for each goal.

This personal health and wellness plan sample is a bit more specific, urging you to rate each aspect of your wellness and then create a plan to boost your “scores” in each area. If none of these are helpful, there are plenty more examples of family wellness programs available online - feel free to check them out and choose the one that’s right for your family. 

Family Help and Wellness Careers 

If meeting your family’s help and wellness goals goes really well, your children may even consider pursuing family help and wellness careers of their own in the future! There are a number of ways in which they can get involved, including as a therapist, data analyst, behavioral health case manager, clinical trial manager, health coach, personal trainer, medical/health writer, nurse, dietitian, or social worker.

If your child is hoping to pursue a career in the military, these jobs also exist in every branch of service. (Although their ASVAB scores will be higher if they study for the test before they even contact a recruiter, so please encourage them to do their due diligence to ensure the best career possible.) Let’s briefly discuss a few of these, just to give you an idea of what they entail. 

Dietitians provide food education to their clients. First they assess their client’s needs and take into consideration health issues that require special diets. They provide counsel about healthy eating habits and nutrition issues, and then develop nutrition plans, taking client preferences and budgets into account. They usually ask that clients document their choices on a food log, to ensure they adhere to the plan and to track progress. The median pay for a dietitian is $63,090 per year, and you typically need a bachelor’s degree and internship/residency to become a dietitian (11). This is a job that can also be done remotely, which means there are far more options available. 

Social workers help people assess and solve problems in their lives. They deal with those who have physical or mental illness, and can also handle child care and crises like domestic violence. They also ensure case files and records are compliant, in addition to participating in ongoing training to meet certification standards and credentials. They coordinate care and refer individuals to treatment centers, as needed. The median pay for a social worker is $50,470, and you’ll need a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position, in addition to internship and fieldwork (12). This job is done in a number of environments, including hospitals, schools, private practices, government institutions, and a home office. Many social workers spend a considerable amount of time traveling to see clients as well. 


  1. CDC. “Family Health History.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 November 2020, Accessed June 16 2021.
  2. CDC. “Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 April 2020, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  3. Seltman, OD, Whitney. “How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep.” WebMD, 3 October 2020, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  4. Ellis, Ralph. “Pandemic Screen Time: Will Blue Light Glasses Help?” WebMD, 15 January 2021, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  5. ASPCA. “17 Plants Poisonous to Pets.” ASPCA pro, 17 June 2015, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  6. Shatzman, Celia. “14 House and Garden Plants that are Poisonous for Kids.” the BUMP, October 2017, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  7. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Healthy Lifestyle: Stress Management.” Mayo Clinic, 18 August 2020, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  8. Pacheco, Danielle. “Exercise and Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, 22 January 2021, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  9. Chung, Jennifer. “Ways to Strengthen Family Bonds.” Sun Sentinel, 9 February 2015, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  10. Greene, Brett. “The Psychology of Writing Down Goals.” New Tech Northwest, 7 August 2019, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  11. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Dietitians and Nutritionists.” US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 June 2021, Accessed 16 June 2021.
  12. McKay, Dawn R. “What Does a Social Worker Do?” the balance careers, 2 December 2020, Accessed 16 June 2021.

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