Early in life, parents should help their kids build good behaviors that will bring lifelong benefits. “Kids look up at their parents so that parents can set a good example,” Kimberly Leek says.
Together, every family profits from adopting healthy habits! To find out which ones you have already accomplished, and which ones to follow as your next target on your road to a healthier family, see our top 17 healthy behaviors for children.
Everybody wants to be safe and happy with their children. But the end goal can feel daunting sometimes!
So we’re breaking down the big objective into ten manageable habits that can be worked on by your family to help you raise healthy children.
If 17 things sound like a lot to recall, the more good news is here. A few of these habits you’re actually already implementing! Taking a look at the 17 good behaviors that are most important for children:
Keep it encouraging
“Helping your children develop a positive attitude can contribute greatly throughout their lives to their well-being and help them build confidence,” says Dr. Leek. “Tell children what they can do, not what they can’t do, and celebrate their achievements.”
Screen Time Limit
Kids and teens are growing up absorbed in the modern world, exposed at all hours of the day to digital media, including laptops, smartphones and TV. In teaching their children how to use screen time in a safe way that can benefit everyday life, parents play an important role.
“Make your own plan for the use of family media, set limits and encourage play,” Dr. Leek says. “Media overuse can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, displacing significant social interactions, exercise, and even sleep.”
To help you develop a customized family media use plan, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has resources.
Read every day with your baby
To start reading to your kid, it’s never too early. The AAP suggests that parent-child reading should be begun at birth and at least continued through kindergarten.
“Reading with babies and toddlers helps their young brains form connections,” says Dr. Leek. “These links build language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that are important for the development of a young child.”
Build a colorful collage of meals
Filling a plate with brightly colored foods, especially when the products are in season, translates into health benefits and nutritional value. Think red (apples), blue and purple (eggplants and grapes), yellow and orange (carrots and squash), green (beans) and white (carrots and squash) (cauliflower).
A healthy way for your child to start the day is to eat a nutritious breakfast with protein. Attempt: Try:
- Hard-boiled eggs, an apple, and toast
- Almond butter on toast with whole grain
- Greek Yoghurt
Enjoy physical activities:
Expose your children to a number of physical activities and enjoy them together as a family, from swimming to hiking. Every child is different, so something they would enjoy is bound to be there.
Read labels for food
By looking at the food labels for their chosen packaged foods, educate your child about nutrition. You should concentrate on a few main parts of the label, such as the amount of sugar, saturated fat, calories, and the size of the serving. If more than one ingredient is in a food, it must have the ingredients specified by quantity in descending order. If the first ingredient specified is sugar, this snack consists of more sugar than any other ingredient. With your support, your kids will be able to leave.
Make fruits and vegetables for half your meals.
This is our suggestion number one. Children who eat fruits and vegetables at each meal in the proper portions load up on high-fiber, high-nutrient foods. And don’t worry if they’re not biting the picky eaters yet. Continue to prepare nutritious meals and model healthy eating.
Reduce added sugars.
The average child gets 16%, a whopping 10 teaspoons per day, of their total calories from added sugars! Added sugar has been related to obesity in children, chronic diseases, issues with behavior, and more! Keep about 0-5 percent of this amount
Protein is important for the growing brains and bodies of children, and variety matters. All healthy protein sources to be included in a child’s diet include fish, meat, lean beef, eggs, dairy, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Practice good oral hygiene.
From a very early age, encouraging children to brush their teeth twice a day can help avoid cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping your mouth safe often means eating less sugary foods, especially water over juice and soda.
Select whole grains.
In addition to an energy boost, whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, and even popcorn are all whole-grain foods that provide fiber and B-vitamins.
Stick to four daily meals.
There can be a decreased appetite and less willingness to try new foods for children who are allowed to graze. It’s OK for kids between meals to get hungry! They’ll have a heartfelt appetite for the nourishing dinner you serve when mealtime arrives.
A solid sleep routine can be difficult to adhere to with the busy schedules of today. But kids who get the amount of sleep recommended for their age are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier.
Limit highly processed foods.
Many healthy foods are “processed,” such as whole-grain bread and peanut butter. You don’t need to avoid these foods. But aim to avoid foods that are heavily processed, including artificial coloring, preservatives, refined fats and flours, and added sugars. Strive to cook using whole ingredients from scratch.
Kids don’t need drinks that are sweetened! Sugar-sweetened drinks, like childhood obesity, have been blamed for many of the health concerns plaguing children today. These drinks also substitute foods that have nutrients and fiber that need to be developed by children. Stick with the things that are good: water.
Play hard, especially outdoors.
When children spend most of their day outside engaging in physical activity, they experience better sleep, a healthier body, better mental wellbeing, and increased school concentration.
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