Children can be extremely impressionable, and therefore require guidance when it comes to development. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of development is that of a healthy lifestyle. Habits that children may begin to solidify can often be difficult to change, so a healthy diet mixed with physical activity is important to instill early on, typically between the ages of 1 and 5.
Because many new parents have hectic schedules with little room for accommodation, young children typically spend their days in child care settings, whether they are nurseries or schools. With that said, the skills of those left in charge of taking care of your children are a critical component in their development. As mentioned before, an emphasis should be placed on healthy diets and physical activity. When choosing a facility to take of your child, review their policies on these two considerations.
Outside of education or assisted care, you as a parent can instill beneficial habits in your children in the comfort of your own home. Regarding healthy eating habits, stress the importance of snacking and which foods are better than others. Limit how many snacks your children may have in a day, but provide healthy choices when they do. Fruit, vegetables, or nuts are great alternatives to sweets, though the occasional cookie doesn’t hurt. Rather than drinks containing high fructose corn syrup or large amounts of sugar, have your children drink water, milk, 100% orange juice, or natural fruit drinks.
Getting your children out and about can teach them the importance of physical activity no matter what the activity they are partaking in. A great way to do this is to enroll them at a local sports club, allowing them to choose whatever sport they’d like to play most. Soccer, baseball, or football are all great youth sports that promote fitness and health. If sports are not their first interests however, simply taking them to the park for a day at the playground or walk around the area is enough to show them the importance of physical activity.
In a world dominated by technology, it’s an easy escape tactic as a parent to give your children iPads or phones to keep them distracted while you have other pressing matters to attend to. This can create a harmful dependency in your child, and negatively affect his or her attention span. Be sure to limit your children’s time in front of the television, computer, or other recreational screens.
Though I have named just a few, there are countless activities you can take part in as a parent with your children to promote healthier lifestyles, and doing so at an early age is crucial in their growth and development. Teaching habits that positively affect their lives will allow them to maintain those practices, giving them the best possible chance to live happier, healthier lives.