February 13, 2014

Kid-Friendly Healthy Living Tips

At the beginning of every new year, millions of people make the commitment to improve their health as part of their new year’s resolutions. While I agree that improving our healthy is important, as a mom, I also believe that teaching our children about healthy living is equally important. If we can get our children to adopt a healthy lifestyle now, while they are young, more than likely these habits will follow them into adulthood and be passed down to our grandchildren.

So, how can we adopt a healthier lifestyle and teach our children at the same time? Below are some tips for how you can get your children on board with a new healthier lifestyle.

1.      Drink water and earn “prizes.” I don’t know about your kids, but my son loves to drink fruit juices, Kool-Aid and an array of carbonated beverages. Honestly, I can’t blame him as I have always enjoyed soda and fruit juices. However, the problem is how much sugar these drinks contain. They aren’t good for my kids or myself. While that makes drinking water a little easier for me, it doesn’t make my son want to drink it any more than normal. So, I made a game out of it. If my son can drink 25 glasses (8 oz.) of water within a week (that’s 3.5 glasses per day) then he earns a prize. A “prize” may be a trip to the park, renting a movie of his choice or ice cream. This has made drinking water much more fun for him! 

2.      Make fruit and veggies fun. While my son still enjoys fruit, he no longer chooses it over a cookie like he once did. It’s safe to say that he’s growing up… However, I need him to develop an appreciation for fruits and veggies if I want him to grow to like these foods. Therefore, I’ve started looking for ways to make it fun. One thing I do is make a face with various types of veggies for healthy snacks (broccoli for hair, cauliflower for eyes and nose and baby carrots for a mount with a dab of ranch dip for a tongue). For fruit snacks, I make fruit kabobs with a side of yogurt for dipping.

3.      Exercise with the kids. In America, there has been a major increase child obesity and most of it is due to lack of exercise. I mean, kids have always ate junk food, but kids from decades past spent most of their afternoons outside playing instead of inside watching television, texting or glued to the computer. As parents, we have to get our children moving more if we want them to stay healthy and fit. And, we should because it’s in their best interest. One of the easiest ways to do this is to go exercise with the kids. It doesn’t matter if you decide to enroll in a parent/child karate class, take tennis lessons together or start playing Frisbee at a nearby park; what matters is that you do it with your kids because if you’re willing to go out and have fun with them, you will naturally motivate them to do the same. Plus, that’s quality time together.
Learning how to live a healthier lifestyle is a crucial step towards improving your health and living a longer, more fulfilling life. Make 2014 the year that you teach your children about what it means to make healthier decisions and that living healthier can be a lot of fun!

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