As much as we might like to, we can’t protect our kids from every bump or scrape. But I think it’s safe to say that we all want to raise active healthy kids. But if we want our kids to have the best chance of a healthy lifestyle, we’ve got to teach them the right mindset and habits now to take with them into adulthood.
Healthy kids ~ five ways to help raise healthy kids.
- Practice what you preach. Kids learn by example. You can’t ask your kids to do things you don’t do. You can’t ask them to eat all their veggies if you never do. And you can’t teach them the health benefits of exercise if you never get any exercise yourself. Pay attention to what you say about yourself, too. Positive self-talk and kind words about your body teach your kids to have a healthy body image.
- Make meal time a learning time. Teach your kids to know what their eating. Ask them to look at their plate and tell you which food is a protein or a carb. Talk about how you need carbs for energy and how proteins help your muscles work. Teach them how their food provides fuel for their body.
- Put yourself first. Make a family whiteboard and hang it somewhere everyone can see it. Put everyone’s schedule on it for the entire week. If your kids see: “Mom is working out from 9am to 10am” they know that’s not a good time to ask for anything. Teach them to respect your time. When your kids see you prioritizing your health, they learn to do the same. Sacrificing our needs for the sake of our kids only teaches our kids that we don’t value ourselves. When you take care of yourself, you’re better equipped to take care of your kids — mentally and physically.
- Be active together as a family. The most important workout is the one you actually do. If you don’t like something, you probably won’t do it, and you definitely won’t stick with it. Find an exercise you love to do and encourage your kids to do the same. Get active as a whole family. Have a goal to move more and be active every day. Go for a hike, swim or bike, or try something new like dance. If your kids learn that exercise time can be fun time they’ll be more excited about doing it.
- Get your kids involved in sports. Let your kids pick a sport to try and experiment to find the one they like. If team sports aren’t for them, how about individual sports like swimming, gymnastics, fencing, cheerleading or dance? Sports show kids to believe in their bodies and what their bodies can do, take care of their health, learn leadership skills and work as a team. Kids learn about winning and losing. Sports teach skills that can last a lifetime.
What tips do you have to raise healthy kids? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.