We all want our kids to be healthy, but sometimes, it can be a challenge to get them away from the television or convince them that their vegetables are good for them. The secret is to incorporate healthy habits into family life so that they become normal and natural for your kids as they grow up. Here are some simple ways to do just that.
The Importance of Exercise
According to The Guardian, children who exercise are more likely to become healthy adults. Not only that, regular exercise during childhood has also shown to be linked with better cognitive function later in life. Teaching them to enjoy physical exercise is not just going to make them healthier, it may make them smarter.
The thing is, it will be difficult to teach your children to be active if they don’t see you being active as well. It’s not enough to send them off to the backyard while you watch TV – studies show that you need to get involved and be a positive role model, particularly when they are young.
Even if you are not the kind of family who goes on intense mountain hikes every weekend, you can help instill a love of healthy activity in your children from an early age. Take some time to do some exercise with them, even if it’s simply playing with a ball or going for a bike ride around the neighborhood.
On a similar note, it is also important to teach your child to enjoy being outside. Regular exposure to nature has been shown to improve children’s health in a multitude of ways, including their physical fitness, cognitive skills, mental wellbeing, and immune systems.
Doing activities outdoors as a family can be harder depending on where you live and what the weather is like, but do try to get them to interact with nature on a regular basis. This can be a simple walk in the park, a weekend trip outside the city, or an afternoon of gardening.
Shopping Healthy On A Budget
It can feel impossible to shop for the whole family on a budget without buying cheap, unhealthy convenience foods. However, with a bit of planning and forethought, you can feed your kids delicious and nutritious meals without breaking the bank.
There are a few simple ways to feed your family healthy meals on a budget. These include planning your meals before you head to the supermarket, building your meal plan around seasonal produce, and buying generic and bulk products.
Another thing you can do is skip the weekly trip to the supermarket entirely. Depending on where you live, you can get your supermarket shop delivered to your door. This stops you and your children from adding any unnecessary and unhealthy treats to the shopping cart. It is also easier to keep track of your spending on an online shopping cart than a real one.
Cooking With Your Children
In order for your child to become an adult who can feed themselves well, they need to learn to use ingredients to cook fresh, healthy meals. According to the BBC, studies have shown that children who learn how to cook are better at recognizing a healthy meal and are more willing to eat one.
The good news is that children love getting involved in the kitchen, and it doesn’t have to be dangerous. You don’t have to introduce chopping and using the hot stove right away. Ease into it by giving your kids tasks like mixing, shaping, and mashing foods, and then slowly introduce the sharper tools and cooking implements with supervision.
The bottom line is that the best way to get your kids to make healthy choices is to have them see you make them as well. Approach your children’s health as a family matter, one in which your influence and participation play a huge part. By giving them the skills and opportunity to exercise and eat well, you are empowering them to become healthy adults that are capable of making good decisions about their well-being – and that, ultimately, is what every parent wants.
Amanda Henderson is a mom to two wonderful, active boys and a preschool teacher. She enjoys writing in her freetime, and recently decided to create safechildren.info so that she would have a place to share her thoughts and favorite resources on parenting and child safety.