Parents, give yourself a pat on the back. You successfully taught your toddler how to walk and talk, not to mention the fact that you got him out of diapers. The hard work is done, right? Not exactly. As your children grow into the school-aged years and their world opens up beyond the back yard, it’s time to instill healthy habits before it’s too late. Create an attitude in your family that puts health and wellness at the forefront of your children’s minds, allowing them to learn the importance of healthy habits.
Physical activity has proven to be beneficial to your health, whether you are eight or 80 years old. It strengthens your muscles, increases blood flow to your organs, helps fight off illness and relieves stress. That’s likely why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Although that seems like a lot of time to squeeze into your already busy schedule, try these helpful tips to make it happen:
- Incorporate physical play into family time by introducing your kids to activities you enjoy, go on family walks or play tag and other fast-paced games kids love.
- Make it a priority by scheduling physical activities every day. Enroll your kids in sports activities that they enjoy, like baseball, basketball, swimming, dance, gymnastics or karate.
- Limit your kids’ time in front of the television, video games or a computer screen. Instead of automatically reaching for the remote for background noise, let a quiet house inspire your kids to get moving.
- Make fitness a priority in your life. It makes an impact when your kids see you attending your weekly yoga class or waking up early to run regularly.
Eating a healthy diet means choosing whole grains, lean meats and cheeses and fresh fruits and vegetables. Many families constantly on-the-go, turn to prepackaged dinners or processed foods for convenience. However, these options do not compare with real food when it comes to nutritional value. Instill healthy eating habits in your children so they will make healthy choices as adults.
- Serve vegetables and/or fruit with every meal. Even if your children balk at broccoli or turn up their nose at peas every time, it’s important to keep introducing these foods to them.
- Eat as a family. Turn off the T.V., dim the lights and enjoy time catching up with your family each evening to show your kids the value of a family meal.
- Limit sugar. Consider the amount of refined sugars your kids are getting through juice, granola bars, chewy fruit snacks or candy. Limit the amount to one serving per day or less.
- Talk about nutrition. Kids are naturally drawn to what tastes good, which isn’t always the healthiest. Help them make a connection between what you eat and how you feel by talking about liquid multivitamin and minerals that help them grow and fight illness.
Tobacco and Drugs
Teens often take risks by trying tobacco, drugs or alcohol out of curiosity. Conversations about the health risks associated with risky behaviors can begin at a young age when your child comes to you with questions about smoking or alcohol.
- Be honest and give your kids the facts in an age-appropriate way.
- Be clear on a no-tolerance policy. Express to your teen that tobacco, drugs or alcohol is prohibited. Give them the consequence that will occur if they choose to break the rule.
- Set a good example for your children by not smoking and drinking in moderation.
- Get to know your kids’ friends and families. You should always know where they are, who they are with and what they are doing, even as they grow into more mature teens.
Creating healthy habits in your children is definitely a full-time job. However, it will be well worth your efforts when you can one day be proud of your adult children living full and happy lives.
I’m Adam. Content is king, so the saying goes. Do you want to check out some more wonderful piece of writings like this, then check out this tech blog and you’ll find many more tech articles that will make your day.