Parents want to help their children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults, but that doesn’t happen without some effort. Parents must actively teach their children how to live a healthy lifestyle. When kids develop healthy habits in childhood, they are more likely to maintain them as adults.
Provide Them a Good Diet
Kids are picky eaters and getting them to eat a nutritious diet isn’t easy. You cannot force your child to eat, and you should not punish them for refusing to eat vegetables or any other food. The best way to teach healthy eating is through holding consistent meal times and persistently offering nutritious foods.
Scheduling regular meals and snack times can prevent your child from filling up on junk food between meals. It also provides you with an opportunity to model good eating habits. Rather than forbidding certain foods, promote healthy choices such as fruit for snacks.
Teach Them Good Habits
Young children need assistance developing daily self-care habits such as bathing, dressing, brushing teeth, washing hands, and so on. If your kids may fuss about these chores, explaining the benefits may help. For example, you may discuss how handwashing eliminates germs that could cause a cold.
Some children develop habits that can lead to health problems, such as thumb sucking, hair pulling, or tooth grinding. Grinding is especially harmful to sensitive and developing teeth. Punishing children for unhealthy habits can be counterproductive and lead to anxiety. Instead, offer alternatives and praise children when they remember to stop.
Exercise With Them
A child’s first and best teacher is always the parent, and that’s especially true when it comes to exercise. Exercising with your children is a great bonding experience and a teaching opportunity at the same time. When parents integrate activity into their lives, kids will too.
Any type of exercise is beneficial, but it’s a bonus if you can make it fun. With young kids, practice imitating the movements of animals—hopping rabbits, flying birds, walking ducks, and so on. Older kids love to go bicycling or hiking. You can measure the miles and chart your progress.
Learning healthy habits can be fun if parents model a positive attitude and commit to a family routine. As your children grow, these behaviors will become a normal part of their lives. Their healthy lifestyle will be second nature for them.
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