The earlier your children learn healthy habits, the easier it will be for them to stick to them as they grow up. Here are five habits you should teach your kids now.
Obesity is a huge problem in the modern world. Plentiful food and sedentary lifestyles have made it easy to put weight on and hard to take it off. This is a problem that is affecting younger and younger children each year. This means it is important, now more than ever, to teach kids to stay active. Focusing on a number on the scale is rarely effective and can permanently damage your child’s self-confidence. Instead, focus on doing fun, active things. Don’t tell your kids they need to exercise to lose weight; tell them they need to stay active so they can have great experiences. Help them learn to be active not only so they stay healthy, but so that they don’t miss future opportunities like hiking in the Grand Canyon or exploring Prague on foot.
There are many different ideas out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat to stay healthy. Simplify things by focusing on one rule: eat colorfully. Naturally-pigmented foods like spinach are often the most nutrient-dense, and eating a wide variety of colors often means you are getting a healthy assortment of nutrients. Feed your kids green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables, and brown whole grains to teach them that a healthy meal is a colorful meal. Of course, you can’t completely control what food your kids like, but exposing your kids to a wide variety of healthy foods makes it much more likely that they will learn to eat and enjoy them in the future.
A healthy mind is an important part of a healthy body. Teach your kids to read every day. Read signs on the road, nutrition labels, comic books, and novels together. Reading teaches children to seek out valuable information that can keep them safe and healthy, but it also keeps the mind active.
Basic hygiene may be basic, but it is absolutely essential. Teach your kids to cover their mouths when they cough and to wash their hands after using the restroom. Make sure they learn early not to neglect dental hygiene. Find someone who specializes in kid’s dentistry to teach your kids how to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Help them learn to take care of their skin by keeping their hands off their faces and washing up before bed. Simple hygiene habits not only prevent your kids from spreading germs, they make it less likely for them to bring germs home when other kids are less careful.
A positive attitude is essential to lifelong success. Teach your kids now to see the good in the world and in other people. Of course bad things happen, but staying positive makes it easier to solve problems and help others. A positive attitude will help your children stay motivated whether they are running a race, learning to cook, or working on their multiplication tables. The best way to teach your children to be positive is to be positive around them. Don’t let them hear you gossip about others or whine about the way your butt looks in those pants. They learn how to see the world through your example, so set a positive one.
By teaching your kids healthy habits now, you are setting them up for success in the future.