Simple daily habits can have a positive impact on your health and teaching your child about the importance of health from a young age has many benefits. Modeling the behaviors and activities you want your little ones to engage in is an effective way to get them to learn and implement these habits. No matter how busy your life is, making time to get enough physical activity, quality sleep, and a balanced diet can boost and maintain your whole family’s well-being.
When your kid gets older, changing bad habits can be difficult. This is why educating them on smart choices and behaviors early on helps them understand how vital taking care of their health is. These healthy and active habits are also opportunities to connect with your young ones and bring fun and wellness to the center of your home life.
#1 Cook and Eat Nutritious Meals Together
Cooking together and sharing meals are great ways to not only connect as a family, but also to focus on balanced dishes to boost everyone’s health. Find age-appropriate ways to involve your little one in meal-prepping. As they get older, they can have more responsibilities in the kitchen. Your children can take part in the process as early as deciding on recipes together or doing groceries as a family, even before you are all busy in the kitchen.
Preparing meals as a family can boost your child’s confidence and educate them on how helpful cooking is to eat well. Cooking is a useful life skill. You can also pass down family recipes or create new ones together. Homecooked meals are usually healthier, involve more fruits and vegetables, and can make portion management easier.
If your family doesn’t usually share meals, you can start by doing this a few times a week, until you build up to at least one meal per day, possibly more depending on your lifestyle. Eating together, especially when you’ve all been involved in cooking allows you to create memories and share about your day.
When it comes to snacks, have healthy options available and determine a time when you all stop eating, like two hours before bedtime.
#2 Get Regular Physical Activity
Going for family walks, hikes, or bike rides, is a simple way to exercise together. You can also find activities that work towards building strength and stamina. Do some stretching to increase flexibility. There are lots of ways to get moving as a family. You can change things up according to your child’s age or if your fitness routine starts to feel boring. Moving your body also supports your mental and emotional well-being and is a healthy way to shake the stress out, no matter your age.
When promoting physical activity for your family, it does not have to be “formal” fitness sessions. You can make exercise fun like making a game of it during commercial breaks or in between TV episodes on streaming services. You could also have a fun dance party in your kitchen while you wait for a dish to cook in the oven! Incorporating play and spontaneity is good for all ages and can also help you bond. Spending time outside is important, and you can also make yard work and gardening fun ways to get more physical activity with age-appropriate participation.
#3 Sleep Enough
Quality sleep is essential for both children and adults. It has many health benefits, from lower stress levels to weight-gain prevention. Without adequate sleep, you may experience brain fog and a lack of energy during the daytime, which is detrimental to all aspects of your life: work, school, and leisure.
An effective way to help your family get enough sleep is to create and implement bedtime routines. While we often associate those with children, they are beneficial at all ages. Minimize screen exposure in the evening, have family time where you can all relax together, and also have alone time. Bedtime is an opportunity to connect with your kid and reflect on how the day has gone.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is conducive to restful sleep. Working towards achieving it for the whole household can have many benefits for everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
#4 Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is vital for your health and its many benefits include:
- Increasing energy levels
- Limiting headaches
- Promoting effective digestive health
- Preventing constipation
- Supporting brain function
- Balancing blood pressure
- Boosting skin health
You have a broad range of strategies to get your children to drink more water, like using funny straws or adding more fruits and vegetables into the family’s meals. Swapping soda for water has a positive impact on your well-being. Making water the go-to drink for all family members is an effective way to educate by example.
#5 Implement Simple Hygiene Routines
Some hygiene routines are easy to teach young kids and they will make a positive difference throughout their lives. They are also good opportunities for you to model healthy behaviors. You can perform several of these routines as a family, which positively reinforce the learning process.
One of these early important habits is thorough hand washing. This effectively reduces the spread of germs and can prevent a broad range of illnesses. As a parent or guardian, you will often have to remind your children to do it, especially as we need to do this multiple times a day. When your child is small, you can keep a stool near the kitchen or bathroom sink and help them wash their hands properly.
Teaching your kids to cough or sneeze into your elbow is also useful to limit the spread of germs.
Brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day is another crucial hygiene routine to have as a family. This helps prevent buildup on your teeth and preserves your oral health. Like with hand washing, you will need to show your child how to do it adequately. Brushing your teeth as a family is a practical way to remember the habit.
Another routine to implement is wearing sunscreen every day to protect your skin and your overall health from sun damage. There are kid-friendly sunscreens that don’t irritate their sensitive skin. Demonstrate how to apply it and remind them to reapply it every couple of hours when you are outside.
#6 Schedule Your Medical Checkups
Preventative care is key to maintaining your health at any age. Scheduling any necessary checkups for all children and adults in the household can make a significant difference in your lives. Regular visits to your pediatrician help monitor your little one’s growth, sleep and eating habits, and emotional-social development.
Wellness examinations, dental evaluations, and professional teeth cleanings, screenings, lab tests, and immunizations are building blocks for your health. Seeing your primary at least twice a year and your dentist every six months helps you get timely care and referrals to a specialist if you need any.
Offer age-appropriate explanations to your child about what the doctor’s appointments are about and do not hesitate to ask their pediatricians for advice. Medical professionals can be a great source of information for individuals of any age.
Are you looking for professional guidance and accountability to implement healthy habits? Contact Soza Weight Loss today at (504) 475-9817 to schedule an appointment!