Tips for Keeping Your Kids Healthy
Children are adventurous, vulnerable beings by nature. However, the curiousness of children can lead to exposure to germs, illnesses and other harmful influences out of a parent’s control. It is important to teach your children healthy habits at a young age in order to help them grow strong both mentally and physically, so they can live healthy lives during their development. Continue below to review tips to help keep your kids healthy.
Tip #1: Washing Hands
It may seem too basic to even mention, but it shouldn’t be underestimated how important it is to encourage your kids to wash their hands from a young age. Crucial moments include before meals, after petting animals, after using the bathroom and after blowing their noses or sneezing. It might help to get everyone involved, including the adults. Make a family announcement, like “Before we eat, we all have to wash our hands!”
Tip #2: Make Exercise the Norm
Encouraging your kids to take up a form of physical activity from the get go is a great way of ensuring they prioritize their physical health for the rest of their lives. It will also help to develop their fine motor skills, which will benefit them daily throughout their school lives. Whether it’s hockey, swimming, basketball or horseback riding, try out a lot of different sports to give them a chance to discover what they love.
Exercise can be an excellent opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, too. Bike riding or hiking are both great examples of this. But, when it comes to finding a sport that they practice for themselves, remember that although you may be a football fanatic, your kid may not be. Allow your child the freedom to choose an activity that is suitable for him or for her.
Tip #3: Limit Screen Time
Did you know that for every hour of television a child watches between the ages of 1 through 3, he or she is around 10 percent likelier to develop concentration problems before the age of 7? ADHD is a bigger issue for this generation of children than ever before, so it’s very crucial to their school and social successes to limit the amount of screen time they have.
As a rule, enforce no screen time on computer games, digital tablets or TV two hours before bed. Not only will this mean they can focus more effectively at school and therefore increase their grades, but it also means they will sleep much better, which is another crucial component for a healthy childhood.
Tip #4: Control Sugar Intake
These days, with terms like corn syrup and fructose sweetener sneaking their ways into almost every list of ingredients, it’s getting trickier to limit your kids’ sugar intake. But, for that very reason, it’s more important than ever. Obesity is continuously on the rise, so getting your children used to the taste of non-sugary snacks is very important for their future food choices.
Consider opting for non-sugary snacks like chopped up carrots, bell peppers or apples. You can also do at-home baking that makes use of non-refined sugar alternatives, such as coconut sugar and cacao. There are tons of great recipe books out there, and the kids can get involved in the baking, too. You can also make reading food labels a family matter to encourage consciously making healthier food choices the norm.
Tip #5: Enforce Family Dinnertime
Another character-forming habit is to make the evening meal a time when the whole family sits together at the dining table to discuss their days and to enjoy food as a unit. Kids who eat separately from their parents and who eat different foods can grow up to be fussy eaters, and see mealtime as something to get over with quickly. Instead, it should be a time for sharing your highs and lows of the day, listening to others and trying out new and exciting flavors.
Tip #6: Healthy Habits at School
The schoolyard is a hive of germs at the best of times. But you can encourage your kids to take up healthy habits at home that will prevent them from getting ill at school. Ensure they cover their faces when they sneeze or cough, and that they know not to share water bottles or food with their friends. Check their hair frequently for lice and deal with the issue immediately if it arises. You could also consider child-friendly multivitamins, which will keep up their defenses throughout the school year.