How To Teach Kids To Make Healthy Choices
Parents strive for their kids to enjoy a happy childhood and to also be adequately prepared for the future. Promoting healthy habits from a young age supports children’s development and increases the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood. From Candid Mama, here’s how you can instill principles of healthy living.
Optimize Your Home Environment
Consider your home to be a beacon for healthy choices. Each room should function to promote physical and mental well-being. Here are some ideas regarding how to optimize each for healthy living.
The heart of the home should aid in developing healthy eating practices. Stock the fridge and pantry with nutritious foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and sustainably-raised meats. Set up a system where kids can easily grab or assemble healthy snacks.
Invite your children to prepare meals with you. Not only is this a great time for bonding, but also research shows that kids are more inclined to try healthy foods that they’ve had a hand in making. In addition, these opportunities can be used to impart knowledge about nutrients, portion control, and the impact of different foods on the body.
A bedroom’s primary purpose is for sleep, so your kids’ rooms should be designed to foster good sleep habits. Hang blackout curtains and utilize a white noise machine to filter light and sound. Charge devices in a central area of your home rather than individual bedrooms. Eliminating temptation for late-night tech use helps prevent poor quality sleep that can lead to health issues.
Physical clutter can lead to stress and mental clutter — and it can quickly get out of hand. So, take steps to ensure your home stays tidy and clutter-free. Get creative with storage solutions that keep children’s belongings neatly tucked away, but still readily accessible. Keep art supplies in acrylic mason jars or put building blocks in a decorative basket.
Send Them Outside
The great outdoors offers multiple health benefits. Whether it’s playing sports or climbing a tree, outdoor settings are places where kids can engage in activities that build strength, coordination, balance, and motor skills. Regularly spending time in nature also supports mental well-being by contributing to improved mood, reduced stress, and greater clarity.
Encourage your children to unplug from screens and go on a bike ride or set up an obstacle course in the yard. The weather doesn’t have to be perfect to go outside, either. Rainy and snowy days provide hours of outdoor fun as long as you have the right gear.
A walk score can be a great tool for finding places that are safe and appropriate for children to take a walk. Not only does it help you find the safest routes and neighborhoods, but it can also point out destinations like parks, libraries, and playgrounds that your kids will love. It’s an easy way to make sure your child gets the exercise they need without risking their safety or security.
Teach How To Avoid Unhealthy Substances
As kids get older, they’ll face peer pressure to participate in unhealthy behaviors like smoking and binge drinking. Prepare them to manage these challenges by communicating with them about the dangers of such activities and practicing useful responses to decline participation. Approach topics with warmth and openness so your children feel comfortable discussing them with you.
See the Doctor
Regular doctor visits are key to staying healthy and catching health problems early. Make sure you and your children get an annual checkup, and more if needed. Keeping a record of visits is important as well, as it can help determine any potential health concerns that could arise in the future.
It’s also important to make sure you’re adequately covered by healthcare insurance—you can find options for yourself and for your children on the healthcare exchange. Don’t wait – take action today to ensure the best possible health for you and your family!
Model the Importance of Following Your Dreams
People often put off their personal goals when they become parents. Yes, it is more challenging to find the time for your passions while also raising small humans, but giving up your dreams (or telling yourself you’ll pursue them later) not only hurts you but also your kids. Instead, show your kids the importance of doing hard things by pursuing your goals. For instance, if you’ve wanted to pursue a career in technology, take up an IT bachelors degree online. The online classes will let you work around your family’s schedule while you make progress towards your goal!
Help Your Kids Develop Healthy Habits
Giving children the necessary tools to make healthy choices sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy living. Start by creating a nurturing home environment that provides access to nutritious foods, opportunities to go outside, and the strength to resist harmful habits. Focus on cultivating a healthy lifestyle for yourself so that you can be a positive influence on your family.
Are you looking for more helpful articles on all things parenting related? Then check out Candid Mama today!