The earlier your children learn to live a healthy lifestyle, the easier it will be for them to carry on those habits through their adult lives. Alternatively, unhealthy habits are tougher to break the longer they’re in place. Here are a few ways that you can implement healthy choices into your children’s routines, leading them on the path to keeping themselves healthy even when you’re not around to make them:
Get your children to try new foods
No matter how much your kids refuse to eat green foods, chances are, there’s at least one green vegetable out there that they can tolerate. If you find that they’re hiding their peas under their unfinished mashed potatoes, try broccoli. If broccoli falls shorts too, try introducing them to zucchini. Continuously getting your kids to try a food that you and them both know they don’t like will only get them to stubbornly refuse to eat it. Giving them the opportunity to try new things, however, will up your chances of finding healthy foods that they’ll eat and even enjoy. Also, try new cooking methods or have them help you make it. The more involvement they have – the more likely they are to try it.
Give your child the opportunities to taste new, healthy foods.
Make water their go-to
Keeping soda and other sugary drinks in the house will only make your child want to drink them. Instead, encourage your children to drink water or AquaBall when they’re thirsty. This will become commonplace and after a while, your kids will probably stop asking for soda! When it comes to juices, opt for homemade fresh-squeezed juices, like lemonade this summer instead of the juices you buy packaged in the store – those are loaded with sugar and may not even be all-natural!
Don’t eat on-the-go
The quicker you eat, the less time your stomach has to send the message to your brain that you’re full. This leads to overeating. It’s understandable to not always have time for a family meal. But getting your kids up with enough time to sit and eat breakfast before school and planning a couple of days a week for a relaxing family meal can really make a difference. Not to mention, this gives your children time to actually enjoy and savor their food and learn their body’s cues that they’re full, instead of just snacking as they run out the door.
“Active kids become active adults.”
Let them run around outside
Instead of letting your kids plop down in front of the TV after they’ve finished their homework, allow them to go play outside if the weather permits. Your kids may think they want to watch TV or play on the computer, but once they get outside and start chasing each other around, you’ll probably have a hard time getting them back inside. Childhood is practically the only time in a person’s life that they don’t have to make a purposeful effort to exercise, so give them full reign to enjoy it while it lasts. If they become accustomed to being active they have higher chances of becoming healthy and active adults. A study published in BMC Public Health found that people who played sports in high school had a higher chance of living an active lifestyle as many as 50 years later.
Make sure they’re getting enough sleep
When your kids are regularly well rested, they can tell what their bodies feel like when they don’t. A well-rested child finds it easier to be be alert in school, as well as have the energy to go out and play after school. Getting adequate rest also gives your kids’ bodies the ability to fight off infections. Set a bedtime and a time to wake up and stick to it … even on the weekends. 🙂