By Guest Contributor Diamond
Though teaching your children healthy habits early in life is always better than trying to convince them to work toward breaking bad habits later, it’s never too late to encourage your kids to live healthier lifestyles! Establishing a routine for your kids can seem difficult at first, but once they’re used to practicing habits that are beneficial to their well-being, it’ll be easier for them to live healthy lives throughout adulthood.
Since kids tend to mimic the behaviors they observe around them, it’s important to realize that everything you do and say has an influence on them.
Set a good example by practicing healthy habits on a regular basis. Before long, you might notice your children doing the same, so much so that it becomes a part of their daily routine.
There’s no doubt you’ve already taught them quite a bit, but here are five more healthy habits you should teach your kids.
Sometimes children are more likely to enjoy eating vegetables when they’re introduced to them at an early age. However, there are some who would never consider eating anything green or leafy! Whatever your children have a preference for, there’s still hope.
You can get them into the habit of eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways. Start out by adding them to foods they already enjoy. It might also help to explain the importance of healthy eating and trying to get them more interested by showing them how to prepare food or assist you when cooking.
Another great way to get your kids interested in fruits and vegetables is to start a garden. Interestingly, children who garden tend to eat more produce , and gardening is the perfect time to teach your kids about the different varieties of fruits and vegetables and why they’re good to eat!
Exercise And Enjoy The Outdoors
Getting fresh air is just as important as eating well. Not only can time spent outdoors be relaxing, but it’s also necessary to maintain adequate vitamin D levels, which is crucial for bone health, among other things. Exercise, whether in the form of a sport or just taking walks around the block, is a good way to encourage kids to spend time outdoors.
Playing with your kids outside and creating an exercise routine for the whole family can be the easiest way to encourage your children to spend more time outdoors. Aim for your family to exercise together at least three times a week. Camping, hiking and swimming are some additional activities that might inspire your kids to spend less of their time indoors.
Use The Internet Safely
Since modern society is very connected to technology, it’s likely your kids already use the internet. It’s important to teach your children about online safety.
For starters, they must know they shouldn’t share any personal information (full names, addresses, phone numbers, where they go to school, etc.) online. People who chat with them on the net could be strangers who might not be who they say they are. Keep an open line of communication with your kids so they’ll be comfortable letting you know if anyone tries to contact them or if they’re targeted by a cyberbully.
Monitor and limit activities by using browser add-ons or parental control apps. Precautionary measures such as Virtual Private Networks can be used to protect your children’s privacy , but teaching your kids healthy habits in regards to technology is ultimately the best method of ensuring they use the internet appropriately.
De-Stress As Needed
Teaching your kids how to de-stress when they’re upset is extremely useful. By sharing a healthy method of de-stressing, you’ll likely see fewer tantrums and less undesirable behavior. You might also find an improvement in their ability to focus. One way to do this is to practice meditation with them.
Meditation is beneficial in a variety of ways and has been well-researched, even for its effects on children . Encourage your kids to take a moment to relax every day. Make it a habit for the whole family to meditate together.
Best of all, learning how to meditate doesn’t have to cost anything! You can find a lot of guided meditation videos on YouTube. However, younger children might benefit most from some books on the topic of meditation for kids.
If the stress seems to be stemming from school, take a step back and consider all the factors which may be affecting your child. Georgina Masefield, headteacher of Akeley Wood School (which is part of the Cognita group), states that "if they don't talk about it, don't presume that everything is OK". Talk to your child and let them know that you are there to listen to them every step of the way.
Practice Good Hygiene
Good hygiene practices are surprisingly less common than you might assume, especially with kids who are at the age where they like to dig in their noses. Snot rockets might seem like fun and games for the little ones, but they won’t be able to get away with that forever!
Though germs shouldn’t be looked at in a negative way (good bacteria is essential for gut health, after all), you should teach your kids what sorts of habits can make them or others sick. Explain why it’s important to wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating. They’ll be more likely to do it even when you’re not around.
A lot of good hygiene practices can seem like unnecessary chores for kids if they have no idea why they’re important. For example, activities that might seem simple, such as brushing their teeth, might be skipped if they haven’t been taught about cavities.
Habits Are The Starting Point
Habits tend to be implemented into daily routines. Setting healthy examples for your kids provide the foundation for what they might continue to do into adulthood. Even if you’re not exactly into eating fruits and vegetables or meditating, putting a good effort forth when your kids are present can make all the difference in how healthy of a lifestyle they pursue or maintain.
Which healthy habits do you think are the most important? Let us know in the comments.
Diamond is a health and wellness blogger and mom who is often on the lookout for new and interesting ways to encourage her kids to live a healthier lifestyle. When she’s not busy blogging at ehealthinformer.com/, she enjoys taking her children hiking and swimming.
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