Set your kids up for a healthy, happy life with these 7 simple habits
One of the biggest jobs you have as a parent, in my humble opinion, is to set your children up with healthy habits, and a lifestyle that – hopefully – will help them grow up healthy, happy and strong.
I remember when my little girl was born, thinking how wonderfully brand new she was. A complete blank slate of perfection. And at that moment, as a parent, you suddenly find yourself with this massive task ahead; keeping this little bundle safe and healthy and happy from this day forward and forever more. Or at least until they are old enough to take over that task themselves.
Installing healthy habits goes a long way in making sure this goes to plan, I think. With the idea, of course, being that these habits will slowly turn into practices that children will eventually do without even thinking, habits that will (hopefully) last them a lifetime.
Where to start? Here are some good areas to take charge, mamas:
1. Make time for breakfast
There is a very good reason experts are always harping on about breakfast. After a night's sleep your body is on the lookout for fuel, and a good breakfast, consisting of – ideally – some good carbs (like oatmeal or whole grain bread), some protein (eggs, yogurt etc.) and some fresh fruit, will set you up for the day.
2. Brushing those teeth
Set your children up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums by making sure they get used to brushing well and regularly. Ideally, teeth should be brushed twice a day, and experts recommend that parents help their children brush their teeth until they are at least 10 years old to make sure it is being done correctly.
3. Put limits on screen time
This is one where us parents not only have to put limits on how much time our children spend in front of a screen, but also actually practice what we preach. Because simply, there is no point in you telling your five-year-old how unhealthy it is to be staring at the iPad for hours when she can see you doing the exact same thing with your phone.
4. Aim for a balanced and healthy diet
Getting children used to eating healthy, nutritious food will vastly increase the chance that they will continue to reach for the right things as they get older as well. Introduce plenty of fruit and vegetables, limit unhealthy options (if it is not in the house, they cannot eat it!) and get children involved in cooking and preparing healthy meals from as early as possible.
5. Encourage staying active
Our bodies are built for movement, and experts are more and more in agreement that a sedentary lifestyle is as dangerous as a diet high in fat and sugar.
Help your children learn to love to be active by encouraging them to play out, take up sports, spend the weekend in parks, go for a hike or take a family bike ride. This is another area where it is important that mum and dad lead by example too, so explain to the kids that you are going for a run or to that yoga class because keeping fit is important and makes you feel good.
6. Learning to love the outdoors
People who love to spend time in nature are often healthier than those who don't, according to experts. So making sure your children spend time outdoors is important, and will hopefully ensure that they continue to do so as they get older.
7. Get enough sleep
This one is vital, as growing children need a lot of sleep. Set up a nice bedtime routine that they will get to know and anticipate, and stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to children, and prioritizing sleep will no doubt lead to a happier, less stressed and overall healthier household.
What healthy habits are YOU trying to install in your kids? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @herfamilydotie