Posted by on May 19, 2019

Today’s life is chaotic. Between work, school, and staying on top of chores, it can seem that there is a never-ending list of things to do. A healthy lifestyle can often fall by the wayside. However, with a little planning, and by working together, you can help your children appreciate the importance of healthy choices.

Choosing Healthy Food

Healthy food is incredibly important to a child’s development and well-being. Having a nutritious diet that isn’t dependent on processed food can be expensive when on a budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of a farmers market because their options are often cheaper than store-bought choices. In addition, bulk-buy certain items, like whole-grain rice, quinoa, and beans. Save more money by also looking out for generic branded items, as well as store sales and in-season products. When teaching your child healthy choices, it’s important not to make them feel guilty, or to have them perceive healthy food as punishment or a denial of food they like. Explain to them whynutritious food is healthy and how it can make them strong and feel good, and try to share meals with them. Discourage them from eating junk food, but, equally, offer them snack alternatives that are yummy and appealing.

Teach Them to Cook

Your child can learn the importance of healthy eating even more by helping you cook. When you teach your child to make healthy meals, they will learn to make healthier food choices. Cooking a healthy dish doesn’t have to feel overwhelming; make sure your child is comfortable in the kitchen by giving them simple tasks, including stirring the ingredients and cuttingsoft fruits and vegetables. Give them the right tools to make cooking easy and fun, such as letting them use the microwave for a quick snack.

Limit Screen Time 

Kids are by nature boisterous, but in this day and age, easily succumb to lethargy thanks to the constant visual stimulationof smart technology. Crucially, by encouraging a more balanced relationship with their tech, you can create conditions that will be more conducive to a healthy and active lifestyle. As with every aspect of life, moderation is key. You can encourage this behavior in many ways, the least of which is modeling ityourself. When you spend time with your children, be present and put your phone down. Don’t spend hours in front of the TV when you could be actively doing things with your family. Allowing your child todecidewhen they use their screen time, and what apps or games they spend it on, can help them feel empowered, and may make the transition easier.

Be Active Together

Physical activity is hugely important to a child’s health. Getting children outdoors can, however, be a challenge. To counter this tendency, try to make an active lifestyle fun. It’s the perfect way to foster a healthy relationship with the outdoors. Additionally, try totake partin outside activities with your children. This will nurture a strong bond between you and make it even more fun for your kids. Encourage your children to try different things, especially if they don’t immediately enjoy being outdoors. Offer to play different sports with them, and if they don’t enjoy sports, try dance or swimming at the pool.

Encourage Responsibility

A good way to help your child make better choices is by letting them take responsibility. This doesn’t mean having them fend for themselves, but teaching them the benefits of making good choices. Let your grade-schooler help research local family outingsand physical activities, or even about how their family can be more environmentally friendly. Talk to your teenage driver about safe driving practices and invite them to learn how insurance lawswork in Georgia so they understand the rules of the road and what’s at stake if they’re in a fender bender. By giving your kids certain responsibilities, you can raise their self-esteemand confidence, and give them important knowledge that they can utilize as adults.

There is nothing quite like working as a family and a team. You can get more done and have more fun at the same time. Whether it is cooking, playing, or exercising, it’s better if it’s accomplished together. Teaching your children the importance of healthy choices will set them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

 

Leslie Campos

leslie.campos@wellparents.com

 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

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