Seven Ways That You Can Keep Your Kids Healthy
If you have kids, then working out how you can keep them healthy is probably at the top of your list of priorities at all times. We keep seeing alarming statistics over the media - levels of child obesity are rising, kids are more attached to their screens than ever before… but as a parent there are things that you can do to ensure that your kids learn how to live healthy lifestyles. Here are some tips on how to do it...
Lead Through Example
First of all, you’ve probably already noticed that the best way to teach your kids anything at all is through example. (Is there a parent out there who hasn’t accidentally cursed in front of their toddler and then lived in fear that they’d end up repeating it in front of your mother in law?) Your kids will pick up both your good habits and your bad habits - and if they notice that you don’t make your own health a priority in your life, chances are, neither will they. If you smoke, drink to excess, or eat unhealthily in front of your kids, you’re unconsciously telling them that it’s a good way to live their lives - and if you don’t want them picking up those habits in future, you need to change them.
Keep Yourself Informed
No matter what, it’s important to educate yourself as well as your children. Keep abreast of new developments in the child health market, whether that’s the new fidget toys that can really help kids with ADHD and autism, or any new medications that can help to calm down symptoms of common childhood ailments. However, you need to remember that although new innovations are often fantastic, you should wait a little while to ensure that there are no nasty side effects - for instance, there have been lawsuits regarding teething tablets that have frightened a lot of parents so you need to remember that even the most innocent-seeming medications and products might not be as tried and tested as you would ideally want them to be.
Get Them Physically Active
Making sure that your kids are physically active is one of the most important gifts that you can impart to them as a parent. Obviously, not everyone will enjoy sports or be the most coordinated of people - so you need to make sure that you help your kids find something that they enjoy. Maybe your son doesn’t enjoy softball - so why not ask if he’d like to try ballet? Making sure that you don’t conform to gender norms is a great way to ensuring your kids have great self-esteem and confidence. Make sure that physical activity becomes part of everyday life - don’t drive everywhere, make sure that you walk as well, and find a sport or fitness activity that you enjoy so that you can lead by example.
Teach Them Good Eating Habits
There is very little that’s more important in your role as a parent than to teach your kids how to eat well. No one’s saying that they need to be in the kitchen whipping up gourmet recipes before the age of ten (although wouldn’t that be nice?) but it is important to make sure that they don’t exist solely on pasta and potatoes if they have aversions to vegetables and fruits. It’s important to expand your kids’ palates from a young age, which you can do by offering them a wide sample of different tastes and textures in their food. If you aren’t sure how to cook using certain spices then take your kids out to meals at restaurants from different cultures from your own so that they can experience different cuisines from different parts of the world. Not only will that make them more open minded but it will also make them more likely to branch out in the future.
Be Strict About Bedtimes
One of the ways that you might know that your child is overtired is if their behaviour starts to deteriorate. A lot of the time, a lack of focus, tantrums and poor behaviour at school in the classroom is thanks to simply not getting enough sleep. A lot of the time, a poor attention span and bad moods can be improved by getting a good night’s sleep, and it also helps with the metabolism and the way that we digest food. Of course, not everyone needs the same amount of sleep - but generally, preschoolers need 10-13 hours, 6-13 year olds need 9-11 hours, and teenagers need 8-10 hours (even if they protest otherwise!). If your kids are reluctant to go to bed, make sure that you have a good bedtime routine in place - a bath and then a story is a good place to start.
Make Hydration A Habit
One of the main causes of not feeling particularly healthy is not drinking enough water. A lot of us spend most of our lives feeling dehydrated and not particularly realising it. If you often find yourself feeling lethargic, tired or headachy, you might find that making sure you start drinking more water will help you. Not only will it make you feel more energetic, but you’ll also find that your skin will get more clear and bright. It’s important to ensure that your kids drink enough water too - make sure that you offer it to them with every meal and that you send them to school with a water bottle. Metal bottles are reusable every day and are excellent because they’re good for the environment. Over the summer it’s particularly important to make sure that your kids drink plenty of fluids.
Foster A Love Of The Natural World
Finally, a good way to make sure that your kids lead healthy lifestyles is to help them enjoy the beauty of the natural world. This will mean that they’re more likely to enjoy hiking and walking, to be enthusiastic about taking your dog out on walks, and to play sports outside. A lot of the time, an outdoors lifestyle is a healthy one.