Raising children may seem easy these days, with everything at the touch of a button. All you need to do is provide them with healthy habits like doing exercise and eating healthy food, protecting them from becoming overweight and from developing diseases.
However, that is not always the case. Today’s parents who are prone to living a healthy lifestyle see it differently. Since there are countless diversities of various foods, especially unhealthy ones, the temptations are skyrocketing. Therefore, what can we do as adults to protect our children and raise them to be healthy?
There are many things we can do, but a few seem to dominate the others.
- The plainer it is, the better
- The key is to be included and keep them active
- Try making it a family activity
Adults usually do not like being told how to raise they kids. However, a little help can go a long way.
Set the Example
Although we may not always be aware, our children look after us as their main role models for most of the things they do.
Therefore, you can do a few helpful things like:
- Eating healthy in front of them and making it a primacy to adopt healthy routines
- Always have them be involved
- Constantly keep the tone of conversations and discussions polite and optimistic
Children often undertake the phrase “monkey see, monkey do”. Therefore, they mimic the behavior they see and believe to be acceptable. Most of their young life is spent watching how adults act, while copying them. Of course, expect the temper tantrums to erupt, but do not surrender to them. They will raise the white flag eventually. Sit them down calmly and discuss the positive outcomes of eating healthy and doing exercise.
Be You Children’s Encouragement
Of course, we all have our own individual ways of encouraging our children to be more physically active. However, they need to know how supportive the parents are in whatever they choose to pursue.
- Plan family outdoor activities
- Enroll them in a sports program
- Drive them to their practices and events
- Always be their biggest fan
Choose Games that are Fun and Dynamic
Most kids love to play outdoor games. However, there are always those who would rather stay copped up inside. Try planning more fun and dynamic games, making them want to come outside and play.
It is always a good idea to plan ahead by writing down any fun ideas you come up with that they would enjoy.
- Start taking strolls
- Try tickling them
- Blow fun bubbles with them
- Jump rope
- Play Frisbee catch
- Fly a kite
- Play with a soccer or volley ball
Swap Watching TV with Physical Activity
Instead of allowing them to spend countless hours in front of the television, make them go outside.
- Monitor their screen time and try to limit it
- If they have a television set or laptop in their room, place it somewhere else
- Make a schedule of when they can and cannot watch TV or use the laptop. Do not give in or negotiate. Studies done by the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage only a maximum of 2 hours screen time.
Try Being Fun with Healthy Eating
If children watch while we are preparing the healthy food, or even better, if they are directly involved in making it themselves, the likelihood of them eating it will dramatically increase. They will feel proud to have been included in the process.
- Color always adds to a kid’s imagination, therefore use fruits and veggies to make things interesting for them
- Since they also respond to shapes, try using cookie cutters
- Plan a family outing to go apple picking and use the apples to make something later
- Ask them to help you plant a garden in your backyard and then make the ripe fruits and veggies with them
Make Nutritious Food
Nutritious food always demands planned preparation. Therefore, try making a plan beforehand so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen cooking and baking.
- Shop for nutritious and suitable foods
- Kids respond better to frozen foods, so try keeping some fruits and veggies in the freezer
- Make some foods beforehand and freeze them for later
- Try finding recipes of foods that take up to 30 minutes to make
Try Keeping it Cheap
It is a rumor that all healthy foods are expensive. There are nutritious and delicious foods you can cook at an acceptable price.
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Lentils, beans or peas
- Fruits and veggies that are in season
- Frosted fruits and veggies
Gradually Eliminate the Junk Foods
Do not get rid of all the unhealthy foods at once. Instead, gradually replace them one by one with their healthier counterpart. No need to panic when doing this. The slower, the better.
- Replace white rice with brown rice
- Try using olive oil and not butter
- Go for the non-sugar cereals
- Eliminate the soda bottles and replace them with juice or water
- Replace cheese with pureed veggies