As parents, it is our role to teach children good and healthy habits that they will follow even after they become adults. Their well-being, now and for the rest of their life, will be affected by their everyday food choices and exercise routine, so it is important to set the ground rules early on.
Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.
1. Be a good role model
The world is new to your children, so they learn what is right and what is wrong by observing what you do. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, and they will follow you. In fact, if you exercise daily at home, you might notice them trying to imitate your movements.
2. Get active
Plan family activities that revolve around sports (e.g. running, swimming, and biking); It will teach your children that exercise is fun, as well as be a time for the whole family to bond.
3. Help them find a sport they are passionate about
Allow your children to experiment with different physical activities until they find something that they really love doing.
4. Limit TV, video games, and computer time
Limit screen time so they have a chance to be active, as sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease.
5. Be realistic
Start with small steps when adopting any new healthy behavior.
6. Make visits to the doctor fun
When your children need to go to the doctor, comfort them and bring along their favorite stuffed toy. Also avoid using the threat of taking them to the doctor to get an injection as a deterrent for bad behavior, as it might make the children terrified of doctors on the long run
7. Eat smart as a family
It’s important to cook healthy meals for your family. Let your kids help even if they just toss the salad or stir a mix. Letting your kids help in preparing healthy meals teaches them how to make healthy food for themselves.
Also, try to have healthy snacking options like fresh veggies, yogurt, fresh fruits, whole grain bread snacks etc.
8. Read food labels with them
Make a game out of reading the nutritional facts and ingredient to teach them to always be conscious about what they eat and drink. Educate them about healthy nutrients and how they benefit their body.