Help Kids Build Healthy Habits in these 4 Areas
Healthy Habits aren’t just about Eating Vegetables
From choosing healthy meals to creating positive relationships, there are lots of little things adults can do every day to instill healthy habits in kids.
• Exercise regularly as a family, and make it fun! Go for evening walks in the park, take advantage of open swim days at the gym, and ride bikes together.
• Eat a healthy diet. Start early with introducing a rainbow of produce and minimizing sugary snacks.
• Maintain – and reflect – a positive outlook. Kids mirror what they hear and see, so use positive reinforcement and praise appropriately. Celebrate your successes as well as theirs.
• Keep screen time to a minimum. Sedentary behavior is known to increases risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease, and it’s not conducive to positive social or mental growth either. Set a daily limit for TV viewing, video games, and smartphone usage and stick to it.
• Read every day. Incorporate this habit into playtime or bedtime routines to help build self-esteem and success later in life.
• Encourage kids to explore a myriad of activities to find one (or more!) they really enjoy. Whether singing in a choir, playing soccer, taking language lessons, or volunteering with a youth group, kids will meet others with similar interests while also developing their self-identity.
• Eat dinner as a family, and use this opportunity to maintain open lines of communication with everyone around the table.
• Help kids understand the importance of budgeting and savings. Whether they want that new Transformer, a bike, or an game, it’s important to install the values of saving to make purchases.
• Create written plans with age appropriate timeframes to help keep the lines of communication and learning open. (Need help? Check out this article or this one). If you’re selling your home, talk about the decision and budget that you’re looking at, so your kids understand the process.