All parents want their kids to be healthy and happy. The best thing you can do as a parent is model those healthy habits yourself. Your kids look up to you most and imitate your behaviors, so if you want them to do something a certain way, you have to model it.
Some of the best behaviors to model for your children are healthy habits. Having healthy habits starts at a young age. By breaking down the goal for your family to be healthy into smaller bits of information, you can achieve that goal. Health is an essential aspect of leading a happy life, and it’s become even more critical since the start of COVID-19.
You have probably already implemented a few of these tips into your life, but if not, check out these super simple health habits to teach your kids.
Eating various foods, specifically fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains, is an excellent health habit for your children. Colorful foods should make eating more enjoyable for them, and they’ll be getting in all of their nutrients for the day. Help your kids understand the value of including various colorful foods into their diet by preparing meals and snacks for them that encompass this habit. You can get them in the kitchen to help, too!
Sleep is essential for your kids’ health. With how busy life can be today, sticking to a regular sleep schedule can keep your kids healthy. Plus, it’s a simple switch you can make to your daily routine. Kids who get the recommended amount of sleep for their age are typically healthier emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even when your schedule fills up, be sure that your kids are getting to bed at a reasonable time.
Stay away from the carbonated, sugary drinks and stick to water. Kids don’t need sweetened beverages, even if the media tells you otherwise. Sugary beverages are a segue into unhealthy habits for kids and can lead to lifelong health problems like obesity. Water, on the other hand, replenishes their body. You can encourage them to drink more water by getting a personalized water bottle and avoiding having sugary drinks at home.
Hand washing is such a simple health habit, and it’s one of the best defenses against illnesses. Children are exposed to germs all the time, whether at school, daycare, or the playground. Washing hands after playing with others, before eating, after eating, and after using the restroom can decrease the number of germs a child has. Teach them to follow the Centers for Disease Control hand-washing steps to ensure their hands are completely clean.
Kids need physical activity just as much as adults. Encourage your kids to get outside and play, whether it be playing tag, kicking a ball, or zooming around the playground. When they spend a part of each day being physically active through play, they can get better sleep, build strong bones and muscles and boost their fine and gross motor skills. Get the whole family involved in being outdoors to set a good example for all of your kids.
Spending time in a book every day or at least a few times per week can help your child’s success in school and their cognitive development and health. Kids who develop strong reading skills early on are often more successful in school and at work later in their lives. Reading helps build relationships and a child’s self-esteem. Make reading part of your child’s daily routine, whether it’s reading after they get home from school or before bed at night.
Hygiene encompasses a variety of habits, and it’s important to teach them all to your children. Having good personal hygiene can boost your child’s health, both physically and mentally. Here are a few simple hygienic habits that you can teach your kids:
- Washing hands
- Brushing teeth
- Taking a bath or shower
- Wearing deodorant when puberty hits
- Trimming nails
- Flossing teeth
When your kids complete these habits every day, they’ll be less likely to contract an illness and have better overall health.
Children in this generation have grown up around technology. There was never a time when they didn’t have cell phones or the Internet. They’ve been immersed in the digital world, and they often use screens most of the day. As a parent, you have a significant role in limiting their amount of screen time each day. Make your own plan for how long your kids can be on computers, phones or other devices. Overuse can lead to a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle.
Finally, teach your kids to take care of their mental health. Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health and wellness. If you see your children struggling with their mental health, be proactive about it and seek the attention they need, whether it’s therapy or prescribed medication. Teach them basic mindfulness exercises and that it’s okay to feel different emotions.
Start teaching these healthy habits to your kids now. They’ll thank you in the future that you led them to a healthy and happy life!