As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. But getting your kids to follow healthy habits and actually keep them can be a challenge! So the International Center for Nutritional Research has come up with a few strategies to help you out in your parenting journey.
Promote Healthy Eating Habits
Parents magazine notes that kids learn by observing and mimicking their parents’ actions and behaviors. So if you want your children to have a healthier diet, try to incorporate the foods you’d like them to eat into your own daily intake. Take them grocery shopping and select fresh produce that you can then prepare together for a family lunch or dinner. And when you’re hungry between meals, reach for tasty, natural snacks like popped sorghum and dried fruit like raisins and plums.
Looking for new recipes your kids will love? Try baking granola cluster cookies, or if someone in your household has food allergies, try making no-bake, gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan coconut snowballs. By jazzing up your meals and snacks, you’ll get your kids to explore a larger variety of food options, and they’ll be more inclined to opt for healthy alternatives when dining out.
One way to teach kids the range of food options from your own pantry is by involving them in cooking. Kitchen gadgets can make cooking fun so they can be involved in the preparation of their food, which, in turn, gets them more excited about healthy eating. If you need to purchase a few pieces of cookware or kitchen gadgets like colored whisks or even learning towers that allow them to work at counter level, go online and read up on reviews to get an idea of what’s available. Look for durable materials and designs that are kid-friendly.
Prioritize Bedtime Routines
Good sleeping habits will help your kids stay healthy and keep their minds sharp. So Healthy Sleep recommends setting a regular bedtime routine for yourself and your little ones, and keep that routine going even on busy weekends and on vacation. Instill good personal hygiene habits in your kids by making sure they floss, brush and rinse their teeth before going to bed: this will help prevent cavities and tooth decay as well as protect their enamel. They’ll be able to flash a great smile for years to come, which is a great confidence-booster for people of any age.
You can also help avoid the morning rush by giving your children a relaxing bath at night and having them pick their clothes for the next day before they go to bed. Take advantage of this time together to listen to them talk about their day, and help them ease into a restful night’s sleep by reading a favorite book or listening to soft, relaxing music.
Encourage Fresh Air and Exercise
Many parents lament the amount of time their children spend on electronic devices. Between TV, video games, smartphones, computers, and tablets, kids have a hard time “signing off” and stepping outside for good old-fashioned outdoor play and exercise. So if you want your kids to ditch their screens and go out, designate a “no-electronics” day or afternoon and take your crew out for some fun. Go to the park, to the lake, or to the mountains and enjoy some fresh air. Even a walk around the neighborhood may be a great way for your family to get some exercise during busy seasons of life.
And if the weather is too dreary outside, challenge your kids’ brains by putting together a scavenger hunt indoors, where they’ll have to figure out clues to find a prize, or put on some music and try some yoga moves and breathing exercises together so you can teach them ways to relax when they feel stressed.
When you’re busy raising kids, make sure you spend quality time with them and help them make their own healthy choices by being a good role model. Strive to eat various healthy and nutritious foods, and take care of your mental health by getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. Your children will develop into healthy, well-rounded adults as they follow your example.
Dr. Gerald H. Smith of the International Center for Nutritional Research is a recognized international authority and pioneer in craniomandibular somatic disorders with a focus on resolving chronic pain. Contact us today for more information! 1-800-272-2323