Hey lovelies! I hope your week has been fantabulous! I have guest on the blog today. Zara is an author for High Style Life and she wrote a wonderful post for us mommies. Incorporating healthy habits into your child’s life early on is huge, but it’s not always easy. Zara gives us three tips on how to make it easier.
We modern mommies tend to be terrified all the time. What is this big worry that keeps us awake at night (speaking hypothetically, of course – after a day spent taking care of your kids, you sleep like a log – worries or no worries)? It’s: am I doing enough? It’s quite natural that the wellbeing of your kids is your greatest worry. The best way to ease your mind is to teach your kid how to lead a healthy lifestyle from a very young age. That way, even as they grow older and you need to relinquish control more and more, you will be safe in your knowledge that you taught them well, and gave them a solid basis for good habits and smart choices.
Teach Them to Eat Well
Good eating habits are one of the most important pillars of a long and healthy life. But what exactly is the ideal diet? The key is to avoid processed foods as much as possible, and to offer a wide variety of wholesome choices. Processed foods usually have a low nutritional value and are full of sodium and sugar. Cook meals using fresh, local produce that is currently in season. Meals can be made in advance and frozen for convenience, without losing much of their nutritional value – or flavour. The same goes for out of season produce – it’s better to buy frozen than fresh but lower quality. I usually just stock up on our staples online, from Foodies Organic. Kids should eat plenty of protein (for muscles), dairy (for growth, teeth and healthy bones), and at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Even if you are dealing with a picky eater, there are plenty of ways to sneak fruits and veggies into your child’s meal without them cluing in. If finance allows, always choose organic and free-range foods.
Teach Them Responsibility and Compassion
One of the best things you can do for your child is have them grow up with a pet. The benefits are amazing, both for their health and their emotional development. Research (and experience) have shown time and time again that pet owners have stronger immune systems and don’t get sick as often as people without an animal friend. For instance, they are much less prone to asthma and allergies. Cuddling with a pet is also sure to relieve stress. But to me, the greatest benefit of owning a pet is that it teaches kids how to care for someone other than themselves. My tots have learned that our fur babies have needs as well – they know when our dogs need to go out, they remind me to log onto Nettopet when we run out of dog food, and they love bathing the pups.
Teach Them to Be Active
We all know that activity is an absolute must for our physical and mental health, but for most of us, exercise is still a dirty word. By instilling in your kids the love for exercise, you will be doing them an immense favor. What are some good ways to develop a love for physical activity? Spend as much time together – as a family, doing fun things outdoors: go on hikes, play sports, take them swimming in the summer, and skating in the winter. Use bikes or walk instead of driving, as often as you can. Not only will your kids grow up healthy and fit, they will also develop and enhance crucial motor skills – and, as research shows, boost their IQ in the process. Another great benefit is that they’ll learn to love being outside. Every time we have a moment to spare, my kids are dragging me to Manly Beach for a swim, or to the Sydney Harbour National Park for a picnic. In general, the more you replace screen time with exercise – the better.
The secret to creating long lasting healthy habits is to keep it light. A tyrannical approach doesn’t really work – the more you forbid certain things, the more your kids will be intrigued by them. Lead by example instead – children learn best from positive role models. Another great idea is to turn everyday activities into games. If they associate good habits with fun and happiness, they will be much more likely to keep them, even into adulthood.
Zara Lewis (Twitter) is a mom, fitness and yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of her life for her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills. Zara sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, and baking.
What are some ways you incorporate healthy habits into your children?