Whether you’re a new parent or not, one of the most important things to keep up with when raising a child is their health. Young children should be taught important life lessons such as proper hygiene and nutrition early in on in order for them to form healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
A common epidemic we face in our country today is childhood obesity. A lack of exercise, improper nutrition and too much time with technology can all contribute to the epidemic. While many schools and organizations teach young children healthy habits, it’s important to implement them at home as well. Turning meal and exercise time into delicious and fun activities will both motivate and help children to be interested in healthier habits!
When it comes to food, here are a few tips to begin implementing:
- Swap foods for their healthier counter parts… opt for baked chicken nuggets instead of fried chicken fingers.
- Reduce the amount of sugar consumption by eliminating artificially-sweetened beverages… encourage kids to drinks water or make natural fruit juices and smoothies together.
- Increase the amount of veggies consumed… mac and cheese night? Try mixing in extra veggies.
- Encourage kids to make healthier decisions by packing lunch together and purchasing fresh, healthier snack options such as fruit and nut butters or veggies and hummus.
- Don’t just encourage children to “eat healthy,” spark up conversations and teach them about why and how eating healthy is important.
Physical activities to try:
- Sign your children up for after school activities, whether it’s at the school itself or a local institution.
- Allow them to explore the activities they are interested in whether they are sports, creative arts, cooking, etc.
- Encourage play time with neighbors and peers.
- Set an electronics or technology schedule to ensure they are not spending all of their time in front of screens.
- Participate in activities together over the weekend by going to the beach, pool or even local parks to play sports.
Children who are obese have a higher chance of being teased by their peers, becoming obese as adults and developing other health conditions later on. Fortunately, all of this can be prevented by implemented healthier habits at an early age.