When it comes to being a parent, you pass along so much more than your genetics to your kids, which can mean your good and bad habits. So it is important to share with your kids things you care about, which we can only hope involves health and wellness. So here are eight simple yet effective ways to get your child on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
1. Prep Colorful Meals
Eating foods with many colors is not just fun, but it keeps a healthy diet too. Help your kids understand the important value of eating the rainbow and incorporating the different shades of fruits and vegetables into their regular diet.
If this does not happen with every meal, that is okay! But, try to incorporate different types of grains, fruits, and vegetables into their diet. This can be a great experience learning all the colors from blue, red, and orange to green, yellow, and brown.
2. Do Not Skip a Meal
Creating a family routine of regular mealtimes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner helps your kids continue this good routine eating habit when they are older. Teaching them that starting your day with a healthy breakfast will help them with their energy, keep them strong, and so much more.
3. Incorporate Physical Activities
We are pretty sure your kids are already moving around a lot: running, jumping, climbing, and playing with pals all day long. So it should not be too difficult to make regular exercise a natural next step.
Getting your child’s heart rate up by sport or play is a great way to keep your kids active. Plus, it does not require a gym membership! Head to the park or jungle gym instead to encourage flexibility, strength, and endurance.
4. Drink Water
Water is always the number one choice when it comes to quenching thirst. You can keep this simple; let your kids know that there are many additives in juices and soda. The kids might not completely understand all of the reasons why too much juice and soda is bad for them, but you can help them know that there is little to no nutritional value.
5. Eat as a Family
Life is busy, and with everyone in the family having hectic schedules, it is troublesome to find time to sit down and enjoy a meal all together. Still, hey, it is worth trying, right? According to an extensive study completed by the University of Florida, family meals help family bonds, keep kids from getting obese, and many other positive factors!
6. Build Personal Connections
Having family and friends you can trust is vital to having a healthy lifestyle in school-aged children. Having friends teaches children essential social skills such as cooperation, communication, and problem-solving. Encourage your kids to create different friendships and to spend time with them often. They will gain life skills to use for years to come.
7. Create Bedtime Routines
Children need routines to keep them balanced and organized, which comes in handy when it comes to bedtimes. We have all heard it, but keeping a consistent sleep pattern impacts our attention, memory, and behavior in all ages! For children specifically, mental and physical health has been shown to improve when getting consistent rest. So try to create a bedtime routine to help them meet their daily sleep needs like taking a bath, brushing their teeth, reading a book, and turning down the lights.
8. Limit Electronic Devices
There is no escaping electronic devices . . . they are everywhere! Now more than ever, kids have easy access to them at home and school. Although some kids might be more tech-savvy than you are with a phone, computer, or tablet, they still need instruction on using devices responsibly. Teach your child what is appropriate to read, listen to, watch, and, most importantly, never share personal information.
Taking these steps to help your child learn these healthy choices is a critical life skill parents can teach their kids. Leading by your example is enough to show them how to make their own right decisions as they get older. Lead your kids to a life of health and wellness, teaching them how to make good choices starting today!