Young children are the members of the family that are the most influenced by being exposed to healthier family habits.
Benefits of Healthy Habits
As young children begin to grow they naturally want to gain control over some aspects of their life, and eating is often the easiest one to begin with. This can lead to the “picky eater.” Many kids will get stuck on one food that they always want, but they will eventually tire of it. Parents should be prepared with healthy food options and let the child decide what they want to eat – or if they even want to eat. It is possible to steer children towards making healthier selections, but often times they have to get creative. Bright colors, tasty dips, exciting combinations, or even fun shapes are all things that might entice your child. Why do you think they started cutting chicken nuggets into “Dino” shapes?
The bottom line is that kids are not going to starve themselves, they will learn to be more flexible. If you do not give them the unhealthy food they want, when they get hungry enough they will try what you put in front of them. When you are trying to introduce new foods to them it can be helpful to pair it with something that they already know they like. And remember to set a good example for them! Let them see that you are eating the same thing that they are.
Now, more than ever, it is important to encourage children to “go play outside”. With the advancements in technology and the increase in affordability , children are spending more time than ever in front of screens. While parents often do express concern over this, they also find they are increasingly too busy to take the kids out to play. The problem is that we know there are some big life skills that children develop when the spend time outdoors and playing sports. Motor skills, hand – eye coordination and balance are all necessary things that develop while a child is running around outside with their friends. They also learn how to handle situations that don’t go their way, they learn empathy towards their peers, and how to get involved in problem solving.
1 in 5 Less than 20% of the world’s children are physically active enough
88% Teachers report that a child is happier after playing outdoors
7 Hours Children spend an average of 7 hours a day in front of electronic devices
4 – 7 Minutes Time the average American child spends a day playing outside
Healthy Habits for Children
As our lives become more and more busy, and faster and faster, it is important to remember that children need plenty of rest. A child that gets the recommended amount of sleep for their age is physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier.
Stick To Water
The truth is that children don’t need sugary, sweet drinks. We give it to them because they want them. When we give them sugar sweetened beverages, we are increasing their risk of obesity, tooth decay, and other preventable diseases
Play Hard…Especially Outdoors
the health benefits of vigorous play for children is well documented. But when a child is able to play outside, there are even more benefits to their health. The earlier that you can expose your baby to the outdoors, the more likely they are to develop a life-long love for it.
Limit Screen Time
Growing up in a digital age can present obstacles to a parent that wants to limit screen time. Too much screen time takes away from healthier, more active habits.
How Family Wellness Affects Other Family Members
If we are going to promote wellness in regards to the entire family, we must also take a look at the impacts that it has on each member; the child, the teenager, and the parent(s). Each member of the family must reach a balance between pursuing their personal goals with contributing to the overall well-being of the remaining family members. Different age groups have different wellness needs that must be provided by or enhanced by those around them.
Despite their statements to the contrary, teenagers still need their family.
Adults’ well-being is just as dependent on their family as their kids’ is.
Learn how healthier habits benefit the entire family.
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