The habits that kids pick up at an early age influence the type of lifestyles they adopt in adulthood. When something is done over and over, children adopt it as part of their daily routine. This is why parents must start encouraging healthy habits for their kids from a tender age.
With this in mind, consider these 5 ways to raise kids with healthy habits, and help them live fuller, healthier lives.
1.) Make Conscious Decisions
Making conscious decisions regarding health and putting in the necessary time and effort can help parents raise children with healthy habits. Nowadays, parents are so busy that they rarely spend time with their children. This busy lifestyle makes it difficult for parents to follow-up on what foods their children eat, and which activities they participate in.
Taking time to plan what foods kids eat and their daily activities can help them develop healthy habits from an early age. Young children usually follow the plans set by their parents, making it the parent's responsibility to include healthy options throughout the child's day.
2.) Make Healthy Habits Fun
By making healthy habits fun, parents can entice children into adopting them. The negative belief that eating healthy and exercising is boring can ruin the chances of developing healthy habits. To change this, parents have to make healthy habits fun. Having children take part in the planning and preparation of healthy meals is a good way to inculcate healthy habits.
Parents can use charts, pictures and graphs to help children learn the different categories of foods and their role in the building a healthy body.
3.) Make Exercising A Family Activity
Making exercising a family activity can be a helpful way of helping children learn healthy habits. Parents can encourage children to exercise by doing fun family things that are interesting and appropriate for everyone.
Examples of family-appropriate activities are: riding bikes, hiking, jogging, football, table tennis and basketball among others. Family members preferences' should come first when choosing activities. Forcing children to do things that they do not enjoy can be counter-productive to the development of healthy habits.
4.) Encourage Children
Kids should be encouraged to try out different sports and join clubs that interest them. Parents must be very keen on their children's interests, so that they expose them to opportunities that develop them. For example, if a child is interested in soccer, encouraging them to join the soccer team at school is a good idea.
Joining a sports team helps kids get their daily dose of physical activity, while building social and teamwork skills.
5.) Set A Good Example
Parents must set a good example for their children and offer positive feedback when children make healthy choices. If kids see their parents eating junk food, it is very difficult to encourage them to eat vegetables or other healthy foods. When parents set time aside for exercising, children soon learn that it is important to exercise.
When a child makes a healthy choice, positive feedback encourages them to do the same in future. For example, if a child chooses to snack on a fruit instead of biscuits, praising the child can encourage them to make similar choices.
These are simple ways that one can use to help children develop healthy habits. Starting early and being consistent is of absolute importance when dealing with kids. A healthy choice today leads to a similar choice tomorrow, allowing kids to develop into health-conscious individuals.