One of the hardest things to fix our bad habits. When your children are in their teens or early 20s, they can develop unhealthy practices that will make their lives harder. By that time, their brains are already accustomed to it and will resist more strongly. That is why if you want your kids to live a healthy and good life in the future, you have to instill those habits while they are young.
Promoting healthy habits doesn’t necessarily mean being super strict with their actions. Little actions that leave positive impacts on them can help them adopt healthier habits.
Cook delicious healthy food
A national survey found that kids are more likely to eat French fries than green vegetables, and one in four of the kids they surveyed did not eat any vegetables on the day they were surveyed. A common misconception among kids is that healthy food, particularly vegetables, tastes gross or disgusting. Hence, this is why many of them refuse to eat them. This ends up with them growing up and spending all their money on junk food and takeout.
In fact, you can cut this habit as early as when they are toddlers by ending the misconception that healthy means yucky. If you start making healthy dishes that taste delicious, then they will be more motivated to eat vegetables as they grow older. Kids are naturally wary of new food when they are younger, especially if it has a weird color. That’s why you have to give a good first impression so that, in the future, they will be less hesitant.
The best way to make food taste good without compromising its healthy qualities is by taking advantage of seasoning and spices. If you want to make something sweeter, you can substitute refined sugar with healthier and more natural alternatives like honey and agave. Adding butter and garlic while steaming vegetables is a great way to make them less bland. Naturally, never forget the salt and pepper.
Limit screen time
Most parents today have an issue with their kids being addicted to their phones and gadgets. Because many of them are too busy to entertain the children, they stick them to Youtube or the TV to keep them busy. While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of technology, it should have its limits, like all things. That is why, as parents, you should impose a limit on how many hours they spend using it in a day.
The American Health Association says that screen time should be limited to just an hour a day for those aged five and below, and two hours for slightly older kids. Otherwise, this can lead to an attachment to technology that can be hard to break as they grow older. Some kids that are too far gone would get tantrums every time they are told to get off their phones.
Screen limitations help kids discover new hobbies and reduce sedentary behavior. They can go play outside or look at other activities that don’t involve technology.
Make habits fun
If you have a hard time teaching kids how to take care of themselves, they likely see these tasks as chores. What you can do is make it fun. For instance, you can teach better oral hygiene by making brushing their teeth more interactive. Singing songs and having little contests to see who does it better is one way you can encourage them to do it more.
Another thing that some health professionals do is give rewards to kids with good health during checkups. A lot of dentists for children give candy or stuffed toys to kids after they treat their teeth. The same goes to doctors after they get their shots. You can do something similar to keep them from being afraid of the dentist or doctor during their regular check ups.
Be more involved
Practicing what you preach is the best way to make sure that kids would follow you. Parents who get involved in their tasks can better promote these healthy habits. For instance, families who eat together are more likely to eat healthier because their parents take note of their meals. However, it means that you yourself should also eat healthy in front of them.
To make children more physically active, it helps that parents join and play with them. Kids love spending time with their parents, so they are always open when you become more involved. You can also involve your kids in your daily exercises to get them interested. They don’t necessarily have to take it seriously or competitively. When they get older, they may become more involved in whatever activity you exposed them to as a kid.