Guiding Your Children on the Path to a Healthy Life by Amanda Henderson
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Guiding Your Children on the Path to a Healthy Life
For parents, it’s common to worry about whether they’re making the right decisions for their children. Remember that a large part of your job as a parent is teaching your kids to make the right choices for themselves later in life. The best way to do so is to provide examples of healthy routines your child can adopt.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
It’s easy to cave in and only give your child the foods they already like, regardless of their nutritional value. The sooner you vary your child’s diet, the easier it will be to get them to try new things. The easiest habits to break are the ones we never develop in the first place, so exercise your own self-discipline as you ensure your child’s eating habits are healthy from the start.
One way or another, of course, your child will end up trying some less-than-healthy foods. Don’t treat this as some cardinal sin to be strictly avoided. Instead, teach your child that there can be too much of a good thing and that most unhealthy things can be enjoyed in moderation. Studies have found that we eat 600 more calories a day on average than we did fifty years ago, so how much we eat is just as important as what we eat.
Don’t Ignore Mental Health
It’s been proven that our mental well-being is tied directly to our physical health, so make sure your child is equipped to keep a healthy psyche as well. How they interact with the world will reflect on them as well as you, so encourage them to be kind whenever possible. Teach them to help others or give to charitable organizations like Kids Without Cancer when they’re able.
Teach your children that there’s no shame in seeking professional help such as therapy when needed and that even healthy minds need regular maintenance. Unchecked trauma, hormone disorders, and chemical imbalances can seriously affect your child’s behavior and physiology. Especially, an online therapist is worth looking in to if your schedule stays too busy for an office visit or if there aren’t any therapists available who suit your needs. Oftentimes, online therapy is often more affordable than in-person options.
Beyond professional intervention, there are plenty of small changes you can make around the home to improve the mental health of everyone living there. Keeping nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables on hand will give everyone more responsible options that will keep them in better health and better moods. Natural lighting and dedicated quiet areas can also have a calming effect on your family.
Stay Active Often
As with a healthy diet, the earlier you get your kids outside and active, the better. Establishing the habit of active playtime will have them associate relaxation with exercise, which is an invaluable compulsion to have in our increasingly sedentary world. Make sure to lead by example and actively play with them, rather than standing nearby idly.
As your children outgrow playgrounds or even sports, set aside recurring time to exercise deliberately as a family. Daily walks, morning yoga, or intentional time in the pool can keep the whole family active. If feasible to own one, a dog can teach your child responsibility while also providing a consistent reason to exercise. As with all the other tips covered so far, making exercise a habit will ensure that you rarely break the routine.
Ideally, children look up to their parents. Make sure you’re providing a good example and setting them up for a happy, successful, and most of all healthy life.
Posted on July 19th, 2022 in News.