One of the best things you can do for your child is develop in them some healthy lifestyle habits. Giving them financial stability, a good education, both of these are very important. But, teaching them how to adopt healthy habits is something that is just as valuable. The things you learn as a child stay with you until your final moments, teaching them how to be, and stay, healthy, will improve every single aspect of their lives.
This is why we compiled a list of some good habits that will keep your child happy and healthy. But, before you dive in, there is one point we need to emphasise. Namely, every single thing on this list means nothing if you don’t lead by example. Children, especially little children, learn by following your example. They will detect hypocrisy immediately if you say one thing, but do the other. On the other hand, they may just pick up on thing on their own if you yourself lead a healthy lifestyle. And with that out of the way, let’s get down to the list.
Good eating habits
It’s not just what your child eats, but how they eat. One of the things you should do is teach them to eat slowly. If a child just wolfs down a whole plate in a matter of seconds, he or she might feel sick quite quickly. This isn’t just because they didn’t chew their food properly, but also because they won’t actually feel full right away. The feeling of satiety, or “fullness” lags a bit behind the actual food. That’s why they should take their time and chew. Furthermore, chewing their food completely helps with digestion, and helps the food gets processed better.
On the other hand, don’t fret if you have a picky eater. You should be firm, but gentle, with a child that doesn’t what to eat what you give them. Never force or yell at them to eat. This is just begging for the development of eating disorders in the future.
Finally, try, as often as you can, to east together, as a family. Of course, we understand that work can be a hassle, but at least try to eat at the weekends. No phones at the table, shut the TV off, and the only thing that’s supposed to go on the radio is music.
Teach them that healthy food can be tasty too
Most children hate broccoli, brussel sprouts, and string beans. It’s pretty much a TV cliché at this point, but it’s still true. Well, guess what, you don’t have to force them to eat these just because they’re super healthy. And saying “you have to eat this, it’s good for you “won’t really matter. It will just make the child dislike this food more. So, you have two options, both require experimenting in the kitchen.
You can either find a way to prepare healthy food in a way that you’re kids will enjoy or, you can find healthy foods that they like. This requires lots of experimentation in the kitchen, and thinking up of any tasty recipes your imagination (or the internet) can spring up.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore
Children are naturally full of energy, that’s just the way they are. But, some don’t like physical activity that much. That is somewhat unusual, but nothing to be scared of. And honestly, a shiny PlayStation with the latest games can be a lot more fun than running around outside in the Sun. They need exercise nonetheless. That’s why we suggest you make exercise fun.
Have a nice talk with them, and see if there is any sport or other physical activity they may be interested in. It’s ok if they take up one kind of sport, and then just get bored of it after a month. You can always sign them up for something else. As long as they’re exercising, that’s all that matters. Forcing them to do one specific sport will just make them dread physical activity, and see it as a chore and as an obligation, not as something fun.
You can also make that into a family thing. A family bike ride around the park may be exactly what they need. You can even get a few practical electric bikes, hop on them and go have a fun family adventure This will get them to associate physical exercise with family.
Teach them some food basics
We’re not saying you have to be a licensed dietician, but there are some nutritional basics you should keep in mind. So, whenever you give them some food, say, exactly and specifically, what it’s good for. So, you can, for example, say how eating carrots will make them really see well. Or, how calcium will make their bones extra strong.
You can say how fruits will give them more energy and get them to play longer, or how meat and eggs will make them big and strong. Just be creative and, if needed, Google all the info you need.
If you really want what’s best for your child, you want them to have healthy habits. They may make a fuss, or throw a fit, or just get all stubborn, but as long as you’re patient and creative, they will certainly get your point. And if you make all this fun, you won’t even have to try!