As a parent, you likely worry endlessly about your children. You take concern over every aspect of their lives, and you’re especially concerned when they fall ill. After all, when they become sick, you’ll be the one nursing them back to good health.
Eventually, though, they’ll grow up and be responsible for taking good care of themselves. And with our guide below, you can help them know exactly how to do so. Read on to learn how you can encourage good health habits in your children that will last a lifetime.
Kids follow what they see and hear. You’re their primary example of what good habits they should build—and what bad habits to break. Many dieticians and other professionals state that the most effective way to help children form healthy habits and make healthy choices is to lead by example.
So if you want your children to be healthy, set expectations and live up to them so your children can follow you in your efforts to be fit and well.
Another great way to build healthy habits with your kids is to start them at a young age (if possible) and to prioritise good nutrition. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 20 million children (aged under five years old) across the world are overweight.
Fresh fruits and vegetables have vitamins and nutrients essential for preventing illness and helping your children grow strong. By stocking your fridge and pantry with healthy foods for meals and snacks, you make it easier for your children to prioritise good nutrition and stay healthier throughout their lives.
You can also help your children view healthy food positively by not restricting these edibles in your home.
For example, if you don’t like bananas and talk poorly about them, your children may consider them a bad food they should avoid. However, if you include bananas in your fruit basket (i.e., you don’t restrict your children’s access to the fruit), they’re more likely to eat and have a positive relationship with them.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 25% of children in Australia are overweight or obese. Prioritising good nutrition is only the first step in keeping your children healthy. You also have to encourage moderate exercise to further those efforts.
Have your kids join a sports team or schedule an hour of outdoor playtime a day. Go on walks with them in the evenings or early mornings. Go skating at a local park or swimming in the ocean to help them tone their muscles and become more fit.
By combining healthy eating and consistent exercise, you not only help your children stay fit but also prevent them from gaining too much weight (which could lead to a slew of other health problems later in life).
Stress the importance of drinking enough water daily. Sure, you can offer your children the occasional juice or fruit nectar, but remember that these beverages are packed with sugar that can impact your children’s health.
Drinking enough water keeps your children hydrated and gives an energy boost when they play or exert physical energy. It also helps fill them up if drunk with meals and snacks, ensuring they don’t overeat unnecessarily.
Even when you’ve done all you can do to instil healthy habits in your children, they still might fall ill. Sometimes, they may even feel sick after normal business hours, or your children may need to see a doctor on the weekend.
In those cases, contact an after-hours doctor service, like Hello Home Doctor Service, to get your children back in good health. Doing so also lets your children know that their overall wellbeing is a priority and that they can consult with a medical professional whenever they need to.