We all want to do our best when it comes to raising healthy kids, but you may wonder, “Where do I even start?” Luckily I have put together 7 tips to raising healthy kids to get you in the right direction. These tips will help you set healthy habits in your children early so they can live long and healthy lives as adults.
As parents, raising healthy kids starts with good nutrition. When they were babies this was easy. They were either breast fed or formula fed, but either way, their bodies got much of the good nutrition they needed. Now that they are older, the idea of good eating is tricky, especially if you have picky eaters. First you must lead by example. Don’t expect your child to eat a healthy salad and whole grain bread while you munch on potato chips and fried food. Always have several healthy options on hand.
It is easy to fall into the trap of letting kids stay entertained by the television, video games, and computer. Let’s be real. It is real easy. In fact, many of us would rather plug into the online world than the physical. Unfortunately, that’s not the best thing. Set aside some time each day get some physical exercise for you and your kids. Go to the park. Play a game of tag in the back yard. Take the family pet for a walk or ride bikes. Also, plan special family time that doesn’t involves watching a movie or television show.
Besides regular outdoor play, kids can also benefit from being a part of a team. Find out what sorts of activities your child enjoys. Then find out what your community has to offer. It may take a few tries but eventually you and your child will find the right activity to join. My daughter tried soccer and dance before she fell in love with swimming.
It’s never too early to talk to your children about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Keep the discussion age appropriate, but be real and honest. Children understand better than we give them credit for sometimes.
I’ve already touched on this a bit, but it deserves repeating. If you want healthy kids you have to live a healthy lifestyle also. Your kids are more likely to do as you do, not as you say. If you want them to eat right, you have to eat right. If you want them to develop meaningful and healthy relationships you have to show them examples of such. Don’t ever think your kids aren’t watching you. They are paying attention to everything you say and do.
What’s the point of having a healthy kid if you aren’t keeping him safe. Teach them about stranger danger. Go over these things again and again until it sinks in. Make sure your child wears the right protective gear for sports and outdoor activities. And please make sure your child is properly secured in the car as you drive. Take that a step further and vow to never text while driving.
Teach your child the dangers of illegal drugs. Encourage them to never smoke. If you smoke yourself, take this opportunity to talk to your child about the negative effects of cigarettes on your health. Ask for assistance in quitting and then do everything in your power to quit. Also teach your child about safe drinking and the importance of never drinking and driving.
As you can see most of keeping your child healthy and safe involves creating a safe environment that allows for continuous love and nurturing. You also need an open line of communication with your child so you can talk about issues that concern us all, but most important is being a positive example for healthy living in your child’s life.
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