It is a parent’s responsibility to set a good example for their children. As your kids will monitor every move you make, they will likely follow in your footsteps regarding diet, physical activity, stress management, and more.
If you want your kids to make smarter food decisions, embrace regular exercise, and manage their emotions with ease, they must adopt healthy habits while they’re young. Learn how you can help your kids make better lifestyle choices.
While a movie night on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn is a fun activity for the whole clan, you must also incorporate healthy activities. If all you do is indulge in snacks when spending quality time together, your children may associate joy with food. As a result, they could develop a bad relationship with food.
Ensure they understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle by exercising together. For example, you must plan activities that will get your heart pumping, such as a family bike ride, a walk through the park or along a scenic beach, or a fun game of soccer in the backyard.
Also, Moms into Fitness provides some fantastic exercises that are designed specifically for moms and children. The workouts can take as little as 15 minutes to complete, and it can make exercise a fun, healthy habit. Remember, your children need at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, so aim to encourage them off the sofa to get their body moving.
Adopt Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Every parent will experience some stress at some point in their lives, stemming from a demanding career or family issues. Lead by example by adopting healthy coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing, chatting with a friend, or going for a walk. It will prove there are better ways to cope with stress than snacking, drinking alcohol, or smoking.
Never Use Food as a Reward
Don’t promise your children their favorite candy or fast food if they’re good for grandma or pass a school test. If you do, they could associate food with reward, leading to a negative relationship with unhealthy foods. Instead, use non-food rewards to acknowledge their good behavior, such as active days out as a family, sticker charts, or a play date.
Make Healthy Food Fun and Enjoyable
Fruit and vegetables don’t need to be dull and boring, despite what your children might think. Encourage your kids to make better food choices by aiming to make healthy foods fun and enjoyable. For example, you could serve frozen grapes as a snack on a hot day, cook delicious vegetable kebabs, or treat them to a strawberry-topped frozen yogurt for dessert. Also, provide a mix of fresh, canned, dried, and frozen fruit and vegetables to help your children find some options they like.
Encourage Mindful Eating
Children can ignore the food they’re putting into their mouths when watching TV or scrolling through their smartphones. As a result, they might complain they are hungry an hour or two later, which could lead to them consuming unnecessary calories.
Help your kids to focus on each dish by banning screens during mealtime. It will ensure they are aware of every bite, which can help them identify when they’re full much sooner, and it can prevent them from wanting a snack after breakfast, lunch, or dinner.