How to Encourage Healthy Behaviors for Your Children

Parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising their children. This is especially true as parents learn how to best pass down good habits, morals, and teachings to their kids. 

Some of the best habits, which are sometimes overlooked but also the most impactful, involve health. Not only is physical health highly impacted by these habits, but mental health as well. 

The best way to teach your children healthy habits is to practice them yourself. Children learn by example and the implementation of these habits. If you don’t start practicing these habits early, it will be more difficult to encourage them in your children as they get older.

  1. Get Outside

The benefit of the great outdoors on your health is astounding. Not only does being outside help to encourage physical activity, but being in nature also helps to reduce your stress levels. 

Different activities to do with your children outside include going for walks, hiking, playing sports, snow activities, and boating. The seasons can help dictate your activities. In the summer, boat tubes such as these add an additional element of fun on the water. In the winter, skiing is a great activity for all ages.   

While being outdoors helps to encourage movement, being outdoors is good for your health. The natural sun on your skin can help to elevate your mood, fight depression, improve your sleep, and increase your vitamin D levels. 

  1. Choose the Right Food

While sugary foods, sweets, and snack foods can be fun, be aware of how much you bring into your home. These foods can be more detrimental than you know, impacting mood, gut health, oral health, skin health, and many other aspects. 

Instead, focus on a well-rounded diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. A wide range of colors means you’re getting lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your diet. Also, focus on high protein and quality meats and legumes. By teaching your children an appreciation for these nutrient-dense foods early in life, you will help to nurture a healthy relationship with food early on.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Many problems can be solved by adequate sleep. Unfortunately, our current society is inundated with unnatural blue light due to electronics. This light is impacting our quality of sleep, and studies show that increased screen time before bed decreases the body’s natural melatonin production. 

Adults alone should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Women tend to need more sleep than men due to their different hormonal needs. Most children need at least 10 hours of sleep every night. Children that had less than ten hours, and were between the ages of 3 and 6, reported having more behavioral problems.

Other factors to consider to get enough sleep include getting adequate movement and exercise throughout your day. Also, consider getting outside first thing in the morning to soak in the sun’s natural rays. These first rays help awaken your body and create a natural rhythm of sleep and awake time. 

Conclusion

By practicing these habits with your family, not only will you be teaching your child healthy habits that benefit them for a lifetime, but you’ll also improve your own health as well. By leading by example and participating in these activities together, your family will grow a stronger bond and your relationships will be nurtured and flourish, as you live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.