Guest Post from Emma Lawson
It’s not an easy task to raise a healthy child considering that pretty much everything has changed drastically in the last fifty years, from food quality to the ways our kids play and spend their time. Obesity, food allergies and lack of physical exercise have never been as rampant as they are today. However, if we invest time and energy and stick to our rules, we can teach our kids healthy habits. Here’s how.
1. Start early
Children acquire habits from the earliest age and they only know what they are exposed to. Feeding your baby healthy food, keeping them away from sugar from the start, dedicating time to their physical exercise and getting fresh air will all be natural to them if you start as early as you can, and not try to implement these as new rules later.
2. Be a role model
Children adopt behavioral patterns by observing and copying the behavior of the adults they are surrounded by. That means they will do things the way you do things. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but it is important that you have clear guidelines that you follow and that you always try to make the best choices for yourself. Your child needs to see that you are careful about your food choices, that you make the effort to exercise regularly, that you don’t stay up too late, that you avoid self-destructive habits and so on.
3. Teach them through play
Kids learn the best through play, so important life skills like building healthy habits can be taught through play as well. You can use their dolls or superheroes and invent a situation where one of them eats too much candy and gets sick or watches too much TV and has to wear glasses. You can come up with any scenario that will serve your educational purposes or look for teaching life skills ideas online.
4. Find healthy replacements
Rather than ban something altogether, it’s a good idea to come up with healthy replacements. For example, prepare healthy snacks like nuts, seeds and fruits instead of chips and chocolate. Have natural juice from a juicer ready rather than buying soft drinks. If your kids need an energy boost, create the habit of drinking some wonderful smoothies that will keep them going longer than lollies or junk food.
5. Do stuff together
It is much easier to have control over your children’s habits when you actually spend time together, have meals together, go out to the nature together and so on. You will all behave like a compact unit following the same healthy habits if you spend enough time together. It also provides a certainty for your kids that this is how things are done and they won’t doubt it.
6. Eliminate temptation
To make things easy for everyone, eliminate anything that could lead to unhealthy habits. Don’t buy lollies, don’t buy unhealthy foods, don’t accept chocolate as gifts from the kids’ grandparents, set firm food rules with everyone and follow through on them. Also, don’t have easy access to the internet, have a password, keep the tech gadgets in the living room where you can monitor their use.
Remember that you are the greatest authority in your children’s lives and they will learn healthy habits if you insist on them and live by your own rules.
About our Guest Blogger: Emma Lawson is a passionate writer, online article editor and a health enthusiast. In her spare time, she likes to enjoy her cup of matcha tea, and write articles to spread mindfulness and positive thoughts. She also strives to suggest innovative home remedies that can help you to lead a quality and long life. You can follow her at @EmmahLawson
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