Advice Column, Parenting

5 Healthy habits to pass onto your kids

All parents want their children to grow up with healthy habits. However, the only way a child will learn to be healthy is to imitate their parents. What you model to your children will be the example that your children follow. Setting good examples early on is the best, as this is when children are very impressionable in their early years. The following are five healthy habits to pass on to your youngsters for them to live their best life.

  1. Exercise!

Physical exercise is one of the best things anyone can do for their health! The more a person moves, the better they feel. Exercise can be done in a variety of ways. Consider signing your child up for dance or have them join a baseball or basketball team. If you do yoga or Tai Chi, invite them to do it with you. Take a mommy and me exercise class. Or purchase a kids trampoline and have some fun with them, jumping and laughing. Take them for walks, go to the park, or enjoy swimming together. Have relay races, play tag, or kick a ball around. Any type of exercise is fine as long as they are moving their bodies. Benefits of physical exercise include better sleep, a decrease in emotional and social issues, and fewer attention disorders. If you sign your child up for a team sport, they will gain so much from this experience. Not only will your child learn what it is like to work as a team, but they will also learn the value of competitiveness. Another added advantage is they will realize what it means to count on others, as well as be counted on.

  1. Eat together as a family.

Setting a time for family meals is something that many parents look forward to, as this is a time when everyone can tell about their day. This is quality time spent together as a family. One reason that it is a healthy habit is that it instills in a child that home cooking is better than eating on the run. With fast food chains popping up all over the place, it has often become the norm with many families frequenting them. Life is hectic, and many parents would rather drive through to grab a sandwich instead of going home to make a homemade meal. But when a family eats together, children will model good eating habits. If you start your child off at an early age of eating together and make it a rule that meals cannot be missed by anyone, you will have a greater chance of succeeding with this.

  1. Pick healthy drinks.

Soda pop is high on the list for many individuals. It is easy to drink when on the run, helps give us a caffeine rush, and is readily available at most eating places, markets, and convenient stores. However, it is loaded with sugar. Water, on the other hand, is the healthiest drink on the planet. It is calorie free and has no sugar. Plus it helps flush out toxins in the body and rehydrates it. Drinking water can make one feel fuller for an extended period of time and is crucial for organ functions. We lose water in everything we do, from breathing to exercising. And when the body is made up of 75% water, it is very important to replenish this on a regular basis. Instill in your child’s mind that water is the best choice for them. Many children like juice, which is fine. However, this should not be their primary drink. Look for juices that are 100% juice that is not loaded with sugars. And if possible, consider diluting the juice with water for fewer calories.

  1. Remain positive. 

Look at the bright side of life instead of the negative. Parents that model this behavior will see children are better able to manage life’s problems. The more positive a person is, the better they will be able to handle anything that life throws at them. Teaching your child to see the glass as half full instead of half empty will make them happier in the long run.

  1. Pass on the unhealthy habits.

When your children see you smoking or drinking alcohol, they may get the impression that it is not harmful to do. Many children want to be just like their parents. Thus, it should be no surprise that children who have a parent that smokes are twice as likely to light up than a child whose parent does not smoke. Giving up snacking and unhealthy foods also fall into this category. You can not really expect your child to eat broccoli and Brussel sprouts for dinner if you are eating French Fries. Offer healthy snacks, such as Hummus with carrot and celery sticks, or apple slices and string cheese. Eat these with them instead of chips and ice cream, and your child will see that healthy eating is something to look forward to.

Passing on healthy habits to your kids is very important. The healthy habits they learn from you will be beneficial to them all their lives. These five healthy habits will ensure fewer illnesses, more energy, and a happier, wholesome life! If you are not passing any of these onto your children, it is not too late to start. Just by adding one or two of these habits will improve the quality of your child’s life.

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