Help Your Kids Become Healthy Adults by Making Good Choices Now
Of course, as a parent, you want your children to be happy and healthy. Good choices now can help your kids not only enjoy a great quality of life in the present, but it can also influence them to grow up to be healthy adults. Here is how to frame your lifestyle in a way that promotes your child’s well-being now and in the future.
You’re Their Primary Role Model
Never underestimate your influence over your children. According to some studies, parents are the biggest influence on their children’s health. You buy the groceries, arrange for medical care, and govern the overall quality of their living environment. They also look to you for how to act, developing concepts of what is normal and healthy behavior patterns.
Your kids need at least an hour of physical activity every day. This can come in many forms, such as organized sports, doing yard work, swimming, hiking or playing tag. Keeping them active not only burns off energy, but it also helps them develop coordination and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to health issues such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, so teach your children to make fitness part of their lives from an early age.
Of course, physical activity during the age of COVID-19 can be a little tricky, especially if there are restrictions in place. Thankfully, the internet can help in that department. With a good computer, access to online exercise videos, an internet connection that you can rely on, and an at-home workout space, you help your children develop a routine that will keep them in shape despite not being able to go outside as often as they used to.
Healthy Eating Habits
Even if your children are picky eaters, you can encourage them to partake in healthy eating habits. One recommendation is to actively teach your children to taste foods carefully and introduce new foods creatively instead of just putting them on plates and expecting children to eat them. The website, Parents, also suggests scheduled eating to help children embrace good eating habits. Kids should eat three meals every day, receive two snacks, and should drink plenty of fluids. Research reflects that most children don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
One way to get your kids on board with healthy eating is by modeling that same behavior. For example, to make it easier, you could stock your kitchen with plenty of healthy snacks that are based on your own dietary needs, whether it's vegan, diabetic friendly, or another restriction. Snacks can include hard boiled eggs, parfaits, or roasted pumpkin seeds. When your kids see you eat healthy, there's a greater chance that they'll grab healthy snacks, too.
Time in Nature
Spending time in the great outdoors is another way to boost children’s health. Natural elements reduce stress, refresh the mind and help to produce feelings of calm. Kids who spend time in nature tend to be more creative, have better social skills and are better problem solvers. Time in sunshine means more vitamin D, which enhances the immune system, supports brain health and encourages the growth of healthy bones and teeth.
Many parents look for natural supplements to help their children achieve better overall health. For instance, if your child doesn’t get outside as much, a supplement can help them get some much-needed vitamin D. Other parents, meanwhile, turn to supplements to help their child with certain conditions; for example, lavender can help reduce stress, though it’s always important to speak to a doctor beforehand.
Your children should receive routine medical care in order to maintain proper health. Ensure they participate in regular medical and dental exams and are up-to-date on vaccinations. Protect your children from the flu with an annual flu shot and teach them to wash their hands properly to prevent illness.
Pay attention to your neighborhood and the areas where your kids are hanging out. Even if you’re making great choices and embracing good habits, being surrounded by bad influences can leave kids more vulnerable to bad choices. It’s important to stay alert to environmental factors and pay attention if your kids are frequenting questionable areas, such as areas with vandalization.
How you raise your youngsters is the biggest influence over your children’s health, both now and in the future. Make good choices that support a healthy lifestyle. Your kids will follow your good example!
Article written by MomBeyond's guest writer, Amanda Henderson