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
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
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.
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
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!