Teach your kids healthy habits early in life. Empower them to focus and build on those inculcated habits as he makes progress in life. Let the child understand the benefits of good habits and resist bad ones.
Health is wealth and healthy habits are essential for its preservation. Good habits ensure you stay away from bad habits and enjoy life-long benefits by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. These habits remain well entrenched when built on a strong edifice laid early in the childhood. Parents, thus, have a responsibility to help children learn and develop good habits encompassing their food choice, physical wellbeing, health, and psychology.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Food and Eating
Healthy eating habits fuel proper physical and mental development of a child. It helps build strong immunity and keep the body free from diseases.
Avoid serving food with overwhelming sugar, fat, or calories. Stock only nutritious foodstuffs at home and make sure your kid finds them easily. Don’t bring junk food home and curb outside eating habits. Tell your child about the ill effects of junk foods.
Encourage your kid to develop a healthy habit of eating fruits daily and avoiding unhealthy fats in meals. Read the label of foods you are buying and explain their benefits and side effects to your kid. Go for whole grains and colorful variety of fruits and veggies. Let your child explore vitamin, mineral, and nutrition content in every food type. Start healthy eating habits when he is a toddler.
Never let your kid skip the breakfast. Ask him to be on time for meals. Curb on binge eating.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Be A Good Role Model
You are the role model for your child in his early childhood, and he attentively observes your every action. To inculcate healthy habits in your kids, you must first implement them in your daily life consistently. You may not be perfect in sticking to good habits, but your zealous pursuit certainly influences your son or daughter. Every healthy action you do convey a message of righteousness. Your disapproval of unhealthy foods gives your kids a reason to keep away from. When you stick to daily physical exercise, they feel it prudent to join.
Unless you follow healthy habits, your child may not be interested to obey your instructions. Embrace good habits yourself first and then tell him to follow.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Family Dinner
A family dinner is a great way to spend time together. Bonding over the dining table helps create a sense of togetherness, eat healthy, and converse with each other. Studies also indicate that kids have a better dietary practice and low risk of obesity when eating with parents.
Family dinner allows you to have more control over the food selection. You are at an advantage to weed out unhealthy stuff and include healthy ones. You can keep a tab on nutrition requirements too. It is also easy to guide the child and inspire him with your own dietary habits.
A fixed time for dinner means your kid stays at home in the evening. No late night parties or outing with friends endows your child with a disciplined living while family warmth prevents stubborn behavior.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Replace TV With Creative Pursuits
Let not your child spend unproductive time watching TV or sticking to video games. It may impair his creativity, cognitive behavior, socialization, and physical fitness. Children glued to TV or smartphones are more likely to become obese, have sleep irregularity, suffer from impaired performance, and desist physical activity.
Motivate your child to limit TV hours to minimum – maximum 2 hours a day. Those under 2 years should not watch TV at all. Replace these habits with creative pursuits, such as painting, dance, music, and even shopping. Encourage them to spend time with family and friends. Sports activities are another good alternative.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Regular Physical Activity
Ensure your child does regular physical activity and enjoys it. Accompany your child to the playground and play with him. Teach him about fitness basics and benefits. Inspire him to remain active and attain optimum fitness level. Select and guide your kid about physical activities befitting his age and development.
Ask the whole family to move instead of only forcing the child. Even make plans for weekly family moving, including swimming, garden sports, bike rides, or exploring walking trails. Make such activities fun filled so that your child loves to participate.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: The Bed Time
Since early childhood, teach your child to go to bed on time. A good sleep is a precondition for a good health. Late sleep may lead to sleep deprivation or inability to wake up for school.
Avoid TV and parties to set an example for your child to follow. Get everyone to stick to proper bedtime to motivate your child. Read from books and tell him bedtime stories to relax.
However, you may face problems in setting bedtime rules for teens. When they attain puberty, the body clock undergoes a change. This makes them remain awake until late night. The exam is another problem leading to less sleep. Such deprivation of sleep may result in your child gaining weight or becoming irritated. Deal with such situation with astute care and attention.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Be Mindful of Your Child
Each child is unique and you must recognize this while teaching your kids healthy habits. Remember, not every child loves sports or gym. You must devise ways to motivate your child to be active without forcing him bluntly. Without love and interest, your child may not keep up the habit and leave it as soon as he turns independent.
You should not force your will on your child without an understanding of his special needs. For example, a tired child may seek food rich in energy. You cannot ignore his needs and ask him not to eat without your permission. Be aware of such situations and allow your child to easily get food or prepare it for him.
Not only inculcate healthy habits, but also ensure that your child understands and loves them. It is this adoration that inspires him to stick to these habits and carry them to every stage in life. Support the kid in the pursuit of his interest and help him find out alternatives to ones he is not interested.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Bedtime Reading
A strong reading skill, according to studies, helps a child build his self-esteem, increase the awareness, and reinforce success in future. In short-term, it is an essential ingredient in the recipe for success at school.
Make reading a regular feature at bedtime. Read out stories to motivate your child about good habits, learn new things, and ignite thoughts.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Facilitate Socialization
Encourage your child to make friends and learn from them. It is easy to inculcate good habits in a child by making him aware of dos and don’ts. A kid learns communication, cooperation, and problem-solving skills when interacting with friends and peers. Your support and guidance help him imbibe positive aspects and shun negative behavior. Provide him active help to refine these skills and make them complement his healthy lifestyle.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Positive Psychology
Pay attention to the psychology of your child. Teach him about healthy thinking and staying positive. Monitor the activity of your child to learn if he is facing psychological distress. Teach him the virtue of resilience in the face of challenges.
Lend your support to assist your child building his inner strength and self-esteem. Help him manage stress, stay mentally healthy, and develop balanced thinking. Be careful not to let your child develop any prejudice or negative thoughts.
Motivate him to select a healthier way of thinking. Guide your child to learn based on analysis and facts than just from words of mouth.
Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Maintaining Good Health
Apprise your child about dirty and unhealthy things. Inspire him to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Teach him the nuances of staying disease free, such as hand washing, dental care, disposing of dirty tissues, avoiding anything that can harbor germs, routine health checkups, sun protection, and precautions while playing with pets. As he grows up, apprise him about the risk of infections, pollution, and unsafe sex.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com