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How to Pass Healthy Habits Onto Your Kids

It’s 2019 and almost 40% of America’s population is obese, and even though childhood obesity dropped from 15.9% to 14.5%, it’s important now more than ever to be instilling your kids with healthy habits.

There are a significant number of health problems that are associated with childhood obesity, including:

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Increased risk of glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and Type II diabetes

  • Breathing problems like asthma and sleep apnea

  • Joint problems and musculoskeletal pain

  • Fatty liver disease, gallstones and gastro-esophageal reflux

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Low self-esteem

  • Social problems like bullying

Children who are obese are much more likely to carry these problems into adulthood, where they can take a greater toll on the body and whose symptoms are more severe.

The only way to fight childhood, and eventually adulthood, obesity is to teach your children now how to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Pass Healthy Habits onto Your Children

The keys to a healthy lifestyle are nutrition, physical activity and sleep; but it’s no secret that kids in America are eating way too much food that’s high in fat and sugar, spend more time playing Xbox than outside, and struggle with getting good, quality sleep.

As parents, though, there are lots of ways you can help them develop healthy habits now, so that they live long and healthy lives.


Nutrition

When it comes to being healthy, nutrition is the most important piece of the puzzle. Eating a nutrient rich diet helps children monitor diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer.

To help your kids build healthy eating habits:

  • Pay attention to the food you buy. Stay away from junk food and keep to fruits, vegetables, and foods with low-fat and reduced sugar

  • Use proper portion sizes. Almost everyone is guilty of overeating just because we fail to measure out portion sizes

  • Eat meals together. Instead of watching the TV while you eat, gather at the table as a family

  • Drink water and milk. We all know the phrase “drink our calories” when it comes to sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices; so increase the amount of water, milk or even tea that you drink


Exercise

Following a nutrition-rich diet, being active every day is an extremely important component to a healthy lifestyle.

To help your kids exercise regularly, try:

  • Taking a daily walk after dinner

  • Going for a family bike ride 2 or 3 times a week

  • Playing a team game like basketball, soccer or football

  • Creating your own obstacle course

  • Getting a family membership to a gym


Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs

Kids are naturally curious, but with the easy access to social media, children are learning about alcohol, tobacco and drugs at much younger ages.

If your kids start to become curious about any of these, here’s how you can help:

  • Make it clear to them the health ramifications of smoking, taking drugs, and excessive drinking

  • Set a good example for your kids to follow

  • Talk to your children about peer pressure

  • Be sure that there are clear rules and consequences regarding these activities

Considering Your Child’s Health

Most children look up to, respect, and admire their parents from a young age. It’s important to be the best example of health possible from the very beginning.

This doesn’t just apply to activities like drinking and smoking, but also for eating and exercising. If you approach nutrition and physical activity with positivity and make it fun, they will, too!



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