Every parent would like their children to lead a healthy lifestyle, but it’s often a challenge in its own right. Unhealthy habits often appear to be more ‘fun’ to children, which is why if you want to instill healthy habits in your kids, you will have to take serious yet considerate steps to do so.
While there are many ways to instill healthy habits in kids from an early age, these tips should help you to be on the right track:
Find fun physical activities that they enjoy
It is important that your child gets some form of physical activity, but not every child may enjoy sports. The best thing to do is to expose them to different physical activities until you find something that they genuinely enjoy – and encourage them to pursue that. If you can find a physical activity they enjoy, they will be more likely to stick with it and may even continue it until they achieve adulthood.
Set limits on TV, video game or computer time
Nowadays it is pretty easy for your child to turn into a couch potato and while away hours watching TV, playing on the computer, or using a tablet. Needless to say this, but it is far from ideal and will lead to a sedentary lifestyle, so you should set strict limits on the time they’re allowed to spend on these activities. It may help to reward their healthy habits, such as they only get to spend an hour playing video games if they eat their greens.
Take a positive outlook
Always try to provide a positive outlook and celebrate their successes while teaching them to stay positive even if they don’t succeed. That also applies to other situations, where it is often better to provide a child with alternatives that they can do rather than simply telling them what they can’t do.
Try to explore different healthy food choices
Getting a child to eat a healthy and wholesome meal can be difficult, so you can take steps to make it a more ‘fun’ experience by exploring various types of healthy food options. Naturally you don’t have to make every single meal different, but providing some variety can help you to discover healthy meals that your child may enjoy and that can make trying to get them to eat healthy foods much less of a chore.
Lead by example
Your children will automatically look to you as a role model and are likely to emulate your behavior. While it is impossible to be ‘perfect’, you can make an effort to instill healthy habits in yourself that your children will then pick up. Sometimes you may even be able to turn these habits into family activities, such as evening walks, bicycle rides, or simple physical games while playing in the garden or the park.
Educate them about their health from a young age
It’s never too early to start educating your child about the importance of healthy habits and lifestyles. Initially you can start small by explaining why they need to eat nutritious meals, but you should also slowly expand that to include other aspects of their health. For example, medical checkups can be an excellent time to explain certain aspects of their health and what the doctor is testing for.
Considering many children nowadays spend time in daycare centers or in the care of their guardians, it is important that they play a role too. Assuming that is the case, you should provide a medical consent or authorization form so that your child can be given emergency treatment if you are unreachable. Additionally, you should try to make sure that any other caregivers are aware of the habits you’re trying to instill in your children and encourage them too.
Article Submitted By Community Writer