Your children look to you to learn the skills that will carry them through life. By teaching them the necessary routines, you help prepare them for independence and a better future. Here are nine healthy habits to encourage in your kids.
1. Nutritious Eating
Your children need nutritious food to grow and develop, so it’s essential to promote healthy eating. You can encourage a healthy diet by making nutritious food fun. Use a knife or cookie cutter to make fun shapes and choose various foods to serve at each meal. Also, encourage your kids to make a “rainbow plate” by choosing different colored foods to try.
When you model healthy eating, it’s more likely your child will want to do the same. If you have a picky eater, try getting them interested in one new food at a time. Take time to learn about the food and let your kid help prepare it in an age-appropriate way — doing so helps them feel more comfortable and take pride in the food.
All humans need proper hydration to keep their bodies working well. When children are under-hydrated, they can become moody, tired and experience physical problems. While the amount of liquid needed daily depends on the person, teaching your kids the products to hydrate with is essential.
Water is free from calories and sugars while nourishing their organs and giving them energy. Plain milk is also great, thanks to its calcium and protein content. Juice is a good way to get vitamins and minerals, but remember, many are high in sugar. While soda for older children is alright from time to time, carbonation, sugar and caffeine make it a poor choice for hydrating.
Kids need physical activity to thrive. Exercise promotes healthy hearts, lungs and muscles, which are vital to their health.
Getting movement in also helps children sleep better, perform well in school and stay mentally healthy. Discover what types of physical activity your kids like to do and find opportunities for them to participate. Making exercise fun could make them more likely to incorporate it into their daily routine.
Some exercise ideas to try with children include:
- Jumping Rope
- Indoor rock climbing
- Monkey bars
- Ropes courses
By trying various activities with your kids, you help them discover what they enjoy doing.
Everyone needs rest and it’s essential to show your kids the value of prioritizing it. Your body needs sleep to recover from the physical and mental activity during the day. A lack of sleep can impair children’s development and decrease their happiness.
To avoid sleep deprivation, teach your kid about the appropriate amount of sleep for their age. They should also know ways to fall asleep more easily, such as putting electronics away and taking a relaxing bath beforehand.
Be sure to teach them it’s also OK to rest after significant events or when they have the extra time. That nap can help them stay energized after nights with less sleep or tiring activities.
Children don’t tend to prioritize their hygiene, but keeping them healthy is essential.
You can make brushing teeth a more enjoyable experience with a fun toothbrush, flavored toothpaste and a song or timer they can use to determine how well they brushed.
You can also explain the importance of keeping clean. The skin is an organ and it’s essential to take care of it. Teach kids to wash their hands with soap for twenty seconds before touching their mouths or faces to prevent illness.
For their hair, teach them fun hairstyles they can do themselves. You can also purchase a fun hairbrush to use.
Your children can benefit from a host of benefits of reading. Books are a great way to help your kid’s mind develop and a habit of reading will help them throughout their life. Picking up a book helps strengthen neural connectivity, reduce stress levels and increase empathy.
Whether they enjoy fiction or non-fiction, reading increases comprehension and vocabulary. Not to mention, it can help them fall asleep to get a whole night’s rest.
Everyone requires positive interactions with other humans and it’s vital to encourage children to get to know one another. It’s also important to teach your kids to interact with others in social situations to fulfill their needs.
You can teach them this habit by encouraging them to order food at restaurants, asking store clerks where an item is and explaining their symptoms to a doctor. By socializing with strangers in appropriate situations, they’ll be more comfortable interacting with others as adults.
The world isn’t fair. While that statement is evident to adults, it can be a harsh lesson for children to learn. Helping your kids form a habit of looking at the bright side can decrease their risk of physical and mental problems.
No one can always be happy, but encouraging your children to think positively in disappointing situations can relieve emotional stress and help them have better experiences. You’ll need to help them learn this skill by practicing it and sharing your positive outlooks.
It’s vital to teach your kids about safe and unsafe situations. Talk to them about how to examine a potential concern or action and determine if it could cause them physical, mental or emotional harm. By teaching your children to avoid these situations, you’re helping them learn responsibility and self-worth.
It’s not about avoiding all risks, but taking calculated ones. You want them to know their lives are too meaningful to do a dangerous stunt or go somewhere with a stranger.
Encouraging Healthy Habits in Your Kids
When you encourage your children to have healthy habits, you help set them up for a healthy future. Promoting physical and mental wellness helps your kids learn to care for themselves to help them reach their goals.