How can we urge our children to have a healthy lifestyle? Well, the answer to this my friends lies in the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Once we start taking a step towards it our children will eventually follow our footsteps and become healthy as well.
Living healthy is a habit which I agree maybe a little difficult. But none the less when inculcated in our day to day regime it is easy to follow. They don’t just say that “Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get in but difficult to get out.” So yes, if you want a healthy lifestyle for your child then ditch your bad habits and embrace for a fulfilling life, after all, it is you that your child’s habits start from.
Here are some very easy and simple ways by which you can inculcate healthy habits in a child:
1. Let’s get active: Every child is not fond of sports. But it is very important to expose them to some form of physical activities. Physical activity helps a child to:
- feel relaxed with less stress
- grow and develop healthily
- build strong muscles and bones
- maintain cardiovascular activity
- make new friends
Children who are not exposed to regular physical activity are at a high risk of becoming obese, which in turn can lead to other conditions. A minimum of 60 mins of physical activity in the form of running, swimming, playing is good enough to keep the child active.
2. Opt for water: It is believed that children who opt for juices and aerated drinks over water are likely to be overweight. Water is considered to be the best drink since it does not contain extra calories. Also, opting for water over juice prevents dental problems. After 2 years, children should be given reduced fat milk since it has the same energy as fat milk but is lower in energy and unhealthy saturated fats. Opting for fruit rather than offering them juice is another step towards a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some easy ideas to remind your child to drink water:
- Carry a bottle of water whenever you go out
- Instead of juices and sweet drinks you can offer them cold water once in a while in the summers
- Encourage them to drink water when they are busy playing
- Save the juices for once in a blue moon time. Make sure to serve them in small glasses
3. Choose vegetables and fruit over junk food: The aim should be to consume at least 5 serving of vegetable and 2 serving of fruit every day. Replace the snack with a fruit or a veggie snack. Cucumber and carrot sticks are great finger foods as well as a healthy option.
Since vegetables and fruit are loaded with minerals and vitamins they help children to
- Develop and grow
- Increases vitality
- Increases immunity
- Decreases the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, cancer, obesity and heart disease
4. Is screen time really unhealthy: Well this is the biggest question these days. Almost every second child can be seen with a phone or tab in their hand. If that is not the case then they are literally glued to the idiot box. Screen time should come with limitations with none for children under 2 and only one to two hours for children above 2. Children who watch television for more than 2 hours a day are at a higher risk of following an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Not only this too much screen time can lead to:
- Increased possibility of obesity
- Difficult for the child to sleep
- Strain to the child’s eye
- Increases attention problem, depression and anxiety
These habits are very easy to follow and a child won’t get intimidated. With the sudden rise in lifestyle diseases, it is a must that we and the children inculcate healthy lifestyle habits. This not only lowers the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle but also leads to an active us 🙂
Children tend to get discouraged very soon. However, if you help them with a positive outlook they can foster good relationships and good habits. Teaching children with patience and helping them develop confidence makes them capable, lovable and one in a million.