Who doesn’t want to raise healthy children? Today parents are under pressure to raise health-conscious, active children. However, many find it challenging to get kids to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Now — as children become more reliant on technology for entertainment — it’s even harder for parents to keep them healthy. In spite of ever-evolving lifestyle changes, plenty of parents are determined to raise children who are self-aware, conscious of what they eat, and enjoy being physically active.
Here are six ways you can raise active, health-conscious kids:
1. Get them excited about vegetables.
You can make vegetable exciting to children by replacing negative associations they may have formed with positive ones. Grow a small garden in your backyard. Get your children together, dig up some soil, plant some seeds, and nurture them until your vegetables grow. Make sure you keep your children involved throughout the process. Once the vegetables have grown, harvest them and cook them together.
Come up with fun and delicious recipes that the kids will enjoy. Make good use of herbs and seasonings that reduce the bitterness of vegetables and accentuate the flavors your children prefer.
2. Guide your family to eat healthily.
Everyone tends to resist anything forced on them. With kids and veggies, it’s no different, which is why subtle guidance is essential. Change up your pantry slowly, switching out junk food for healthier snacks. Simple changes in habit can also help your family lead healthier lives. These changes include eating smaller portions, sleeping on time, and eating slowly.
3. Switch screen time for active play.
Today you might not be able to deny your children PDAs because they’ve become such a norm. Nevertheless, they aren’t the healthiest for children. The following guidelines can help balance the kids’ screen time and active play: two-year-olds and younger are better off with zero screen-time; three- to five-year-olds, one hour per day; and six-year-olds and up, two hours per day.
Monitoring the time your children spend on their devices can make a big difference. Switching screen time for active play, buying toys that encourage physical activity, and encouraging them to get more exercise, can help them form healthier habits.
4. Get them involved in sports.
Even if you weren’t big on sports when you were younger, understand the many benefits of your children picking a sport. It’s easier to get them interested in sports when they are younger. They’ll make new friends while learning teamwork and leadership skills. Even the smallest of teams spend a good few hours in training every week. Getting your children to join a sports team will be the easiest way to stay active for them.
5. Stay active during family time.
It’s common to spend family time watching TV together. Try playing active games instead. Play catch, hopscotch, dodgeball, basketball, frisbee, or other games that get the kids moving. Just one hour spent playing physical games is much better for the body, mind, and family bonding than hours on the couch — probably munching on unhealthy snacks. Why not burn calories together while getting in some cardio too?
6. Choose active outings on weekends and holidays.
When you spend time enjoying physical activity during your regular schedule, your children wouldn’t be resistant to it during the holidays. Plan active outings for the weekends. Instead of riding a tour bus to see new places during holidays, take your kids on a walking or biking tour, hiking, kayaking, swimming, etc. Show the kids how to have fun outdoors, and watch them run and play in nature.
Contributed by Brooke Whistance: Brooke is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her family and cats. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs and websites in the health and fitness industry, including Hourglass Express. You can follow Brooke on Twitter at @IamBrooke94.