- Sep 20, 2013
Teaching children about living a healthy lifestyle is not as hard as you may think. As parents, you should model the lifestyles you want your child to follow. Living an active way of life and eating healthy foods will help your child stay fit.
People joke about being a couch potato, but the truth is that a sedentary lifestyle leads to unhealthy habits. Jump off the couch and jumpstart your child's way to a healthy life. If you and your child spend a lot of time in front of the TV or computer screen, shut it off.
One hour of activity each day is a good starting point. Introducing a variety of activities is important. It cuts down on the number of times you hear "I'm bored" and it develops a broader scope of skills. Take a walk, play a game, ride a bicycle. Participation in a team sport not only enhances physical development, it also builds self-esteem and teamwork. Being active as a family will also increase your child's activity level. If you find it difficult to keep your child engaged, consider motivation techniques. Reward charts and recognition of achievements provide evidence of your child's growth and development. Plus, your child can take ownership and track his improvements.
Mastering an energetic life becomes an easy task if you also pay attention to the foods used to fuel your body. A balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy foods, and breads and cereals. Introducing tasty fruits and vegetables increases the daily fiber and vitamins intake. With the wide array of choices, fruits and veggies are eye candy for the health-conscious individual. How much should you offer? Young children should consume two servings of fruit and four helpings of vegetables each day. By the teen years, your adolescent should eat four types of fruit and seven portions of vegetables.
Fast food or convenient boxed products should be limited. Snacks like these tend to be filled with saturated fats, sugar and empty calories. Offer your child an assortment of nourishing snacks, including yogurt, fruits or vegetables. Again, parents should model healthy eating habits. Keeping fresh fruit or vegetables stocked in the refrigerator helps show children the importance of good eating habits.
Stay away from soft drinks and other sugar-filled drinks that provide a quick rush of energy but little nutritional value. Instead, turn on the faucet for a refreshing drink. Water quenches thirst and satiates the appetite. Milk is also a healthy option. Milk provides protein, calcium and vitamin B12. In a blender, combine milk with fresh fruit and a few ice cubes to whip up a delicious and healthy smoothie.
A healthy lifestyle requires minimal planning. It does require dedication and perseverance. By being a positive role model, parents have every opportunity to get children to live a healthy lifestyle.