Keeping your children safe and healthy is one of the top priorities as a mother. But, you won’t always be there to make your children’s choices, so you have to train them to make healthy choices for themselves. Developing healthy habits early will mean your child is more likely to be a healthy adult. Here are some things you can do to encourage those habits.
As a parent, your child will be watching your every move. If you want your children to develop healthy habits, you have to become the role model they need. If you’re constantly scraping your vegetables and salads to the side of your plate, ready to throw in the bin, it’s likely they’ll do the same thing. Children tend to develop the same taste preferences as their parents, so it’s important to show them that it’s okay to try new things. Try and incorporate lots of fruit and veg into your family’s diet so you can be sure your children are getting the vitamins and nutrients they need.
Praise over Punishment
Positive reinforcement is much better than punishment. If your child refuses to eat his peas at dinner time, don’t punish by taking away desert. But, if your child attempts to eat the peas, even one, make a big deal and praise the effort. Children will respond much better to praise than punishment, and they’ll be more likely to repeat the actions that got them the praise. As your children continue to make healthy choices, reward them whenever you can and let them know why they’re getting the reward.
It’s important for every member of the family to get regular exercise. You can encourage your children to exercise by making it a family event. Plan a walk, go for a bike ride or do a charity run/climb together. Young children have lots of energy and are naturally active so it’s important you do what you can to allow them to use that energy. If you notice your child is suddenly lethargic, there may be something wrong. Speak to an online Dr if you’re unable to secure an appointment at your local medical practice. Children pick up illnesses easily from others, but usually bounce back quickly.
Limit TV Time
Children are living in a world full of distractions. They have their favourite TV programmes and movies at the tip of their fingers, they usually have access to tablets and smartphones and they can spend hours playing video games. However, none of that is healthy unless there are boundaries. It isn’t good for any of us to be staring at a screen all day, every day. So, do your best to encourage time away from devices by having family dinner times or board game nights.
It’s something other generations missed out on, but teaching your children to read the labels on foods they buy could be one of the healthiest things you do. They’ll be able to recognise when something has too much sugar or has been overly processed.
Do your best for as long as you can and your kids are sure to take over.