Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging once you bring children into your life. Fortunately, as a parent, you have the power to instill healthy habits into your children. Starting early on will help them gain a sense of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. This will help them avoid making unhealthy decisions in their lives in the future.
Simply telling your kids what to do and lecturing them about health isn’t always the best way to get your points across. You need to be a leader and a teacher. Getting kids on the right track physically, mentally and emotionally won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.
Here are nine ways you can teach your kids healthy habits.
Children look up to their parents for almost everything. Your children watch you as they start to walk and talk. They model your actions and your words more than anyone else. That’s why you need to be a good example of healthy habits for your kids. It’s one of the best ways to teach them how to take care of their bodies properly.
This means eating healthy meals, drinking water, exercising and resting your mind should be frequent activities in your home. Your kids will follow suit as they watch you participate in your healthy habits.
Hand washing is one of the most essential healthy habits for everyone. The practice has been stressed, especially in the times since COVID-19 began spreading. Handwashing can prevent the spread of illness. Please remind your child to wash their hands with clean water and soap for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, coughing or sneezing, before eating and after playing with community toys and play equipment.
Having a positive attitude toward healthy habits is a great way to teach your kids how to be healthy. Plus, positivity, in general, can contribute to overall well-being and help them build resilience. Avoid making healthy habits seem like a chore. Instead, make it fun to wash hands, take showers, brush teeth, read educational books, exercise and eat nutritious foods.
Physical health is vital. The average weight of a child has steadily increased over the years due to things like candy, fast food and staying indoors playing sedentary games. Help your child maintain a healthy weight by enjoying physical activities as a family. Teach them fun outdoor games like tag, kickball and completing obstacle courses. They’ll likely continue to be active throughout their lives, which is a good healthy habit.
Though many parents may dread the thought of taking their children to the store, it can be highly beneficial. While shopping, teach your children to read the labels on foods and try to choose foods full of vitamins and minerals and are in as natural of a state as possible. Avoid processed foods and snacks that contain high amounts of added sugars and fats. They’ll enjoy the experience, and you can know that you’ve taught them to shop well!
Little children can learn a lot of information through fun songs. A simple song about hand washing or brushing your teeth can help them understand the proper way to perform these healthy habits. You can probably find songs to teach online, or you can make up your own silly songs. They’ll remember the songs better than a simple lesson you tell them.
After you go shopping for delicious and nutritious foods, let your children cook with you. Cooking is a great way to teach your kids a life skill and how they can create a balanced diet. Have your child prepare a salad or help you measure ingredients. You could even let them plan a meal. The best ways to learn are by doing, so instill a healthy habit of eating nutritiously by allowing them to help you in the kitchen occasionally.
Like singing and music, children are more likely to remember pictures than the words you speak. An excellent way to teach your children healthy habits is through reading books. Find a book about basic hygiene and read it together. If your child is old enough, take turns reading with them. Plenty of illustrated books depict healthy habits, so add to your library and start reading every night!
Finally, teach your child the importance of getting enough sleep. Depending on your child’s age, they should be getting anywhere between 9-15 hours of sleep each night. You can teach them by setting a routine nighttime schedule, like taking a bath, reading a book and turning off the lights at the same time every night. Proper sleep can help them stay focused and full of energy the next day.
Begin teaching these healthy habits when your children are young. The best thing a parent can have is a healthy, happy child!