Kids copy what they see rather than doing what you say. There is no secret: if you want to introduce your kids to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have to start by acting the part. Too many households struggle with alarming children’s health conditions, such as childhood obesity. Did you know, for instance, that the prevalence of obesity is over 19% among US children and teenagers?
Yet, it is unfair to blame parents for the situation. Ultimately, we live in a fast-paced society that actively promotes fast food and inactive hobbies. For stressed-out families, it is difficult to fight off bad habits. That’s why you need to make every member of the family a role model for others, and that includes your children. Being responsible for someone else’s health is the best motivation you need.
Show them healthy food choices
The problem with healthy eating is that too many families choose to introduce it gradually, hence comforting children in the belief that junk food is a safe fallback option. The more you compromise, the less likely your family is going to build healthy eating habits. Instead of starting slowly, introduce healthy food choices without the sweet reward. It’s not a case of finishing their greens if they want a double chocolate cookie with cream and added sugar. It’s a case of trying out the greens and moving on to the next healthy option.
Make them responsible for healthy choices
It’s easy to follow healthy rules when you become a role model for someone else. You are more likely to make healthy choices if you know your behavior helps your children be healthy. But rather than being a burden, being a role model can be a motivation to remain healthy. So, why not encourage your children to also act as role models? Older children can be a positive influence for their younger siblings. If you have a pet, your kids can focus on choosing the best puppy food to support their dog’s healthy growth, for instance. They can also be responsible for taking the dog on walks, learning the importance of regular exercises in the process.
Be active with and in front of them
The problem with being active nowadays is that many kids grow up without seeing their parents work out. So, it can be beneficial to introduce the idea of home workouts to young children. They can learn by watching and build healthy habits through imitating. Additionally, it can be a bonding moment between parents and children if they decide to exercise with you. Toddlers enjoy yoga and are always happy to join in. Older children are comfortable with more demanding workouts, including cardio and bodyweight. Besides, you can also plan weekly activities together, such as going to a trampoline park or cycling on a Sunday morning.
Building healthy habits is crucial to reducing the risk of some health conditions and enhancing your mood. Healthy eating and being physically active can be beneficial for both the body and the mind. However, as a parent, it’s important to build a positive attitude toward healthy choices: Making healthy choices because they are good for you, rather than out of fear of what would happen otherwise.
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