We all want our children to live a healthier life and the truth is that a large part of this is how we, as parents, encourage healthy habits. Obviously, everything starts with your example. If you do live a healthy lifestyle, there is a pretty good possibility your child will pick up some things. But you cannot blindly rely on that. You need to have a more proactive approach. Just talking about healthy living and not doing anything about it will not help much.
Helping With The Basics Of Healthy Living
In the US, children weigh more than in the past. This is because they eat food that has too much sugar and fat. And they are less physically active than children in the past. The big problem is that children struggling with weight issues do tend to develop more health problems in the future than those who do not. This does include things like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.
Here are some tips on how you could help your child:
- Be attentive with what food you buy. It is useful to serve various healthy foods and you limit junk food. Make sure you have fresh vegetables and foods available since they are great meal sides and healthy snacks.
- Be careful when buying low-fat foods since they might contain some unhealthy ingredients, like too much added sugar.
- Use adequate portion sizes.
- Monitor the child’s activities to implement proper behaviors through rules like just two hours in front of a computer screen when too young. Promoting physical activity is just much better.
- Make sure the child drinks plenty of water. Always avoid sweetened drinks and opt for milk instead of regular-calorie drinks.
- Eat your snacks and meals as a family. Do this at a table to further encourage conversations.
- Teach the child the importance of health check-ups and health habits.
- Make sure the child rests as much as they need.
Helping Children With Alcohol, Tobacco, And Drug Problems
It is possible that your child will be curious about some drugs when young. There are actually more children than you might think that try alcohol, tobacco, and even some drugs before reaching high school. Using such substances is less likely though if you do talk about them as a caring parent.
Help your child with these tips:
- Make it very clear that it is not allowed or okay to drink alcohol, use drugs, or use any tobacco-related product.
- Explain exactly why such substances are bad for them and encourage children to keep asking questions.
- Discuss peer pressure so it will not affect your child and make them start using drugs, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
- Set the best example, which does mean it is better to quit smoking or drinking if you want your child to avoid them in the future.
- Be aware of who the friends of your child are, and who their parents are. Try to build trust with all of these to better be aware of what happens when the child is with them.
Children always look up to parents. This is why it is so important for you to be the best example possible. The truth is that being healthy needs to be fun. If it is not fun for your child and they do not have choices, it will be quite difficult to create those healthy habits that will do so much good in the future. Reward good behavior and remain supportive and positive to actually help the child to develop the necessary confidence for healthy habits.