Healthy Living with Little Kids

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Guest Contributor

It’s not a rule, but it’s certainly very common for mothers with babies and toddlers to let their health go. To begin with, it’s hard to take care of yourself when most of your efforts are concentrated on taking care of your little one.

Your own well-being will just have to take the backseat as keeping your baby alive and thriving becomes the priority. Add older children into the mix and your health will just have to be relegated to the trunk, if not altogether thrown out the window to land in a pitiful heap in a roadside ditch.

That picturesque little description may not have been necessary, but it gives a pretty accurate representation of what happens to your health when it plummets down your list of priorities and sinks even further into oblivion. One day you wake up 30 pounds overweight with a slew of health problems and your self-esteem languishing, stranded in that metaphorical ditch.

Overhaul Your Priorities

You should always be number one. It’s not being selfish; it’s actually just the opposite. It’s the easiest thing to excuse your poor health due to your circumstances, but if you want to give your family the best version of yourself, you’ll defy your situation to keep yourself healthy.

Why is prioritizing your health the selfless option in this scenario?

·         You are stronger and fitter, therefore more capable of being your children’s primary caregiver.
·         You model the right example for your children, exposing them to a lifestyle that is good for them.
·         You’ll be happier and more self-confident, which will make you an overall better mother to your children.

Healthy Habits with Your Kids

It shouldn’t just be you being healthy or just your kids being healthy; it should be your entire family. What are some habits you can adopt to make sure that everybody stays healthy despite all the daily incidentals that may distract you from your intentions?

1.     Drink milk daily. We all know the benefits of milk for kids; that’s why it’s considered a staple for their diet. It should be the same for adults, especially since osteoporosis is a looming threat. If you can’t have dairy for some reason, then find an equivalent source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. 
2.     Hydrate with water. This is the best drink for your family. It satisfactorily quenches your thirst without filling you with sugar. Even natural fruit juice has lots of sugar. If you want nutrients from fruits, eat the fruit instead of relying on its juice. Making water your go-to drink can make a huge positive difference in your family’s health.
3.     Have a healthy dietTeaching your children healthy eating habits is a must for living a healthy lifestyle. How do you do this? Make sure you avoid buying unhealthy items when you do your groceries. If all of the elements of your meals, from the cooking oil to the main ingredients, are wholesome, then you’ll come up with healthy dishes.

Child nutrition advisors stress the impact of snacks on your kids’ nutrition. Make it possible for your family to snack wisely. Take care to have nutritious items handy such as bite-sized veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.

4.     Exercise daily. Let your children see how important it is to stay fit by having a daily workout regimen. Even just 10 minutes of repetitive exercise will reinforce the notion. You can just supplement with other physical activities such as playing with your kids, taking them out for a stroll, gardening, etc. It might be a good idea to invest in a good pedometer app that will tell you how active you’ve been for the day.

5.     Stay off the screens. Do your very best not to let your life revolve around screens, be they from a TV, computer, or mobile device. Not only does it usually keep you sedentary, but it has other negative effects on health, from posture issues to eye strain, to mental health problems, et cetera.

An hour or two a day is enough, or even none at all if you can manage it. Like with everything, the example has to come from you, so consciously limit your screen time.

Healthy You, Healthy Kids, Too

You want your kids to be healthy, right? This is easier to achieve if you are healthy yourself. Getting started on healthy habits may be a challenge, but the key to eventual success is to begin. Start with one or two of the above habits and move forward from there.


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