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Helping Children Make Healthy Choices: A Brief Guide for Parents

 

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If you want to raise the type of kids who can make smart and healthy choices, the best thing you can do is lead by example. Incorporate healthy habits into your own lifestyle and you will be surprised by how quickly your children pick them up! What types of habits should you start adding today? Check out a few of the more effective habits suggested below, shared to you by Rainy Day Sunny Play.

Maintain a Clean Home

There are several benefits for your children that come from maintaining a clean home. In addition to lessening the spread of germs, and improving safety, a clean home can lower stress and fatigue for you and your children. Lower levels of stress mean a reduced risk of illness and mental health problems down the road. It also sets a good example for your children and increases the likelihood that they will maintain their own spaces — whether their rooms, vehicles, or homes — in the future.

Moreover, children raised in clean homes tend to be more successful and productive in both school and at work. One decades-long study showed that children raised in clean homes attained approximately 1.6 more years of schooling and earned almost $2.00 more than those raised in dirty homes.

Keeping a clean home doesn’t have to be difficult. By doing 20 minutes of cleaning followed by 10 minutes of something you enjoy, you can take the monotony — and stress — out of the process. Once your home is clean, consider adding plants and enhancing lighting.

Prioritize Nutrition, Ditch Junk Food

Children tend to snack on what is convenient and prefer what they recognize. For these reasons, the best way to teach your children good eating habits is to keep only healthy foods in the house. Replace chips and soda with fruit and natural juices. To encourage your kids to eat their veggies, have them help you grow your own. Let your kids help you cook and, most importantly, model good eating habits.

Make Kids Your Business

Speaking of priorities, it’s important to prioritize your kids, and that includes those parents who find themselves busy with work. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and not give your kids the attention they need, but if you work in a field that directly involves kids – such as running a baby boutique, selling kids’ products online, or distributing baby clothes – this can help keep them front of mind while also allowing you to make a living and support them. 

Exercise as a Family

Like adults, children need exercise to stay physically and mentally fit and to prevent chronic illness. Yet, despite this fact, just 50% of boys and 34% of girls between the ages of 12 and 15 in the US exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While this may not alarm you, know that 80% of obese children become obese adults with increased risks of various cancers and diseases.

To prevent adverse outcomes, establish a family fitness routine early in your child’s life. Use exercise as transportation, make it fun and enjoyable, practice what you preach, and, most importantly, involve the whole family.

Prioritize Mental Health

According to reports, one in six kids between the ages of 6 and 16 in the UK have a mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety, autism, or ADHD. Yet, just half of all those children ever receive the mental health services they need. Don’t let your children fall into the latter camp.

If one of your children lives with a mood or mental health disorder, let him or her know that you support him or her by prioritizing treatment. Consider natural home interventions and support. Discuss your feelings regularly, provide positive feedback, and keep communication open and honest.

If your child is hesitant to attend in-person therapy, consider taking sessions online. Doing so is private, secure, and convenient. By going online, you also have access to a wider variety of professionals and can save on travel and possibly therapy costs. To ensure you find the right fit, many therapists offer complimentary consultations.

In these simple ways, you can show your children what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle and encourage them to make healthy decisions about food, exercise, and mental health. You can also look for ways to maximize the time you have to spend with your children. Most importantly, you can equip your loved ones with the tools they need to thrive into adulthood.   

For more articles dedicated to helping your children live happy, healthy lives, explore the other content currently available on Rainy Day Sunny Play.

Jenna Sherman hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. A mom of three (two girls and a boy) created parent-leaders.com as an avenue for parents who want to make sure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults.

WITH REGARD TO CONTENT RELATING TO HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THIS SITE:

This site offers health, wellness, and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site.

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