Getting Your Kids Into a Healthy Lifestyle
The statistic is sobering: As of October 2017, the national childhood obesity rate was an astounding 18.5 percent. No one wants their children to become part of that statistic, which means acquainting them with a healthy lifestyle is a must. Although getting kids on board can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips on how to help your kids start and maintain healthy living habits:
Start Them Young
Starting kids off on a healthy path from the beginning can set them up for a life full of healthy habits. You don’t have to be one of those parents who never lets sugar touch their kids’ lips, but limiting sweets at home will teach them that they’re reserved for special occasions. This is an extremely simple way to encourage your kids to live a healthy lifestyle. Just make sure to keep sweets and sugar-filled snacks to a minimum at home, and your kids will think that’s the norm.
You can use this same tactic for getting your kids physically active. Get your whole family involved by taking family walks at night before dinner or finding a group activity you can all do together. Show your kids that physical activity can take hundreds of different forms and encourage them to try whatever they’re interested in. Encouraging your kids and demonstrating healthy behavior at a young age will show them that healthy living is something your whole family should value.
Educate Them on the Benefits
As we all know, kids take in knowledge like sponges. They’re constantly asking questions and yearning to learn whatever they can. You can use this to your advantage and teach them how well exercise and diet affect body function and performance. It can be as simple as telling them their bodies need different vitamins and minerals and that they need exercise for a healthy heart and strong muscles. Arming kids with health knowledge will make them more interested and invested in healthy living.
Teaching your children about healthy living also gives them a leg up in social situations. If another kid at school asks them why there aren’t cookies or candy in their lunch, they can simply respond that the lunch they have is good for their health. Hopefully this knowledge will rub off on their friends, too, and make for a healthy contribution to the community.
Set a Good Example
Getting your whole family on board with a healthy lifestyle will help your kids learn why it’s important. Setting a good example for them is one of the biggest factors in helping them succeed with their healthy lifestyle. If you’re munching on unhealthy snacks constantly and the only time they see you is when you’re all watching television, they’re going to think that’s what they should do too. On the other hand, if you’re making healthy meals and frequently exercising they’ll model that behavior.
Invite your kids to help make healthy dinners so they feel involved in the process and can learn about the benefits healthy food has on their growing bodies. You can also ask them if they want to go for a walk, play a sport, or exercise with you.
One of the hardest parts about raising healthy kids is making sure you’re practicing what you preach. Making healthy lifestyle choices as a household not only benefits everyone’s health, it provides a central bond for the entire family.
If you’re looking to change your lifestyle but are unsure where to start, reach out to us today. We would love to help you and your family live the best lives possible!