Parents and/or caretakers want their children to lead healthy lives, but it can be challenging to guide them in the right direction. As kids get old enough to read and make friendships, social media and their peers can impact their behavior and not always toward the right kinds of habits. Still, parents remain the number one influencers in their children’s lives, according to most surveys. Our behavioral experts have some excellent tips for teaching healthy habits to your kids.
A loving family that is close, supportive, and enjoys doing things together often leads to wellness habits in children. You don’t want to force your kids to exercise and eat nutritious healthy meals, but when you’re engaging in these daily activities and lifestyle routines as a unit, you can expect better results, especially in the early years of a child’s development.
Our children tend to copy what their parents do from the large moments to the small ones. If you’re brushing your teeth and flossing after every meal with your kids, for instance, you are teaching them to adopt good oral habits. Going to a good local dentist, like the best dentist in Cary NC as a family is another positive way to reinforce healthy behavior.
This can be a tricky area because adults have their own histories with food and body image, but dieticians say that trying to keep food emotionally neutral is key.
Avoid using food as a reward such as giving your kids soda and chips for finishing their homework. Try not to label foods as “good”, “bad” or “sometimes good” because young ones can become confused over the concept of dieting, and this can lead to an unhealthy food relationship.
Offering a variety of foods introduces children to healthy options, and preparing them in different ways can also attract their appetites. Foods can be presented raw, pureed, cooked, seasoned, etc.
Kids have plenty of energy to burn, so when you want to get your young ones moving, make it pleasurable. Music is one way to get the body revving. Maybe host a dance party every week; turn up the music and let them loose. If an activity is surrounded by fun, then your children will enjoy moving their bodies and staying physically fit.
Also, you can make the activity social. Let your kids invite their friends to participate. Get them involved in their community. Maybe they enjoy running and would like to enter a children’s race sponsored by a local organization.
Children are obsessed with their digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, video games, and more. It can be challenging trying to get them to place their focus elsewhere. However, parents and/or caretakers need to put a limit on these devices as well as television time.
Playing with smartphones and gabbing on social media have their purpose, but there’s life outside of their devices, and this is essential in teaching healthy habits to our kids and getting their bodies moving.
Screen time often leads to obesity, according to studies that have been conducted. Kids tend to eat while viewing, and they’re usually avoiding fruit and veggies. Instead, they’re consuming more energy-dense snacks, energy-dense drinks, and fast food.
It isn’t easy. Our children are all unique souls, and some may have finer motor skills and are inclined to be more active. Never force them to boost their activity level, but stay positive, encourage your children to have fun, and try physical activities they enjoy. When it comes to food and mealtimes, aim for balance and openness.
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