By instilling healthy habits in your children, you set them up for a lifetime of wellness and good living. Here are six simple ways to implement healthy habits in your children starting today.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Turns out there’s a lot of truth to that saying. Eating a balanced breakfast has a plethora of benefits, including lowering unhealthy cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, improving classroom performance and boosting energy during physical activity.
While you may be tempted by time constraints or a desire to cut calories, don’t set an example of skipping breakfast for your children. Make sure that breakfast is healthy by including protein, grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy.
Turn off the Television
Curling up on the couch in front of the TV can be a relaxing reward at the end of a hard day. But too much TV can have a lot of harmful effects for children as well as adults. Too much screen time can result in poor sleeping habits, desensitization to violence, behavioral problems, and obesity.
Weed out TV-dependent behaviors in you and your children’s day. For example, turn it off while eating and don’t have it on for background noise. Also, keep TVs and laptops out of your kids’ bedrooms, where they can watch it without supervision.
Create a Healthy Smile
Here’s a surprising fact: according to the American Dental Association, your child’s teeth can begin to decay as soon as they emerge if they aren’t properly cared for. That means good dental hygiene is crucial for your children from a very early age.
Begin gently brushing your child’s teeth twice a day, morning and night, as soon as they grow in. Add flossing as soon as the teeth are close enough to warrant it. As your child gets older, monitor his or her teeth brushing. Be sure to have a family dentist you and your family feel comfortable with and schedule regular dental checkups with him or her, like dental hygiene in Baton Rouge, reaching out to a professional is important.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Exercise and fresh air are important elements to a healthy lifestyle. Make getting them even more enjoyable by turning it into a family affair. Make a list of activities your family enjoys, like playing miniature golf, visiting the beach, going for bike rides and hiking local trails. Turn exercise into a game by setting up an obstacle course in the backyard or having a dance session to your favorite music. Family physical activity should be a priority in your day and not allowing anything take its place.
Build a Network of Friends
Health isn’t limited to physical health. Having good friendships reduces stress, improves your sense of happiness, gives you a sense of belonging, helps you avoid bad habits, and gives you the tools to cope when something bad happens.
Choose family friends carefully and then build lasting relationships. Have family gatherings, barbecues, and picnics. Limit social media. Friendships maintained through social media don’t necessarily have a positive impact on our or our children’s lives, so find those friends that do.
Children who have good self-esteem are optimistic, resilient in the face of obstacles or change, happier, more loving and more resistant to negative messages or pressure.
Build self-esteem in your children by being a supportive, listening and encouraging parent. Show your children affection, empathy, and interest. Demonstrate that you possess self-esteem as well by being resilient, controlling your temper, having a positive outlook, and laughing often.
Setting a good example and building healthy habits in your children now sets them up for happy, well-adjusted futures.