How to Promote Healthy Habits for Kids at Home
Every year on the last week of April, Every Kid Healthy Week is celebrated to spread awareness regarding ways to improve the health of children. Advocates give helpful ideas and resources for busy parents and schools. These ideas can be used in everyday routines to facilitate healthy choices and improve the overall well-being of kids. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved.
How to Create Healthy Habits for Kids
Small changes can make a difference, especially when it comes to promoting healthy habits for kids. Start by establishing routines that the entire family can commit to, such as having meals together. Use this time to educate your child about the different food groups and the importance of a balanced diet. Most importantly, you’ll want to encourage questions and provide answers.
Promote Healthy Routines
Kids look to their parents to learn and mimic behaviors. A child who becomes accustomed to seeing their parent sit on the couch watching TV for hours will likely adopt the same routine. Change the trend by scheduling weekly family walks or outdoor game days at least once a week. Giving yourself the opportunity to be active is also beneficial to your health, all while strengthening the relationship between parent and child.
Improve Their Diet
Diet plays a crucial role in the development and overall wellness of children. Providing the right foods is equally important as providing the right portions. While too little of it may lead to malnutrition, too much of it may lead to obesity. Nutritionists recommend a balanced diet that takes from each of these food groups:
Keeps sugars and unhealthy fats to a minimum, as they are one of the leading factors of child obesity in the United States. Remember that your kids are still growing and providing the right nutrition ensures positive development that could also prevent unwanted illnesses in their immediate future.
Keep Kids Active
Diminish screen time and increase activity time, especially if it is out in the fresh air. Children are naturally curious, and the outdoors has a lot of exploration opportunities. A simple walk in the park or local hike can ignite their curiosity all while promoting physical activity.
Outside of the house, encourage children to participate in extracurricular activities at school or private organizations. These activities teach kids to collaborate with others and encourage physical activity in an environment surrounded by their peers. Some extracurriculars to consider are:
- School sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, and track
- Dance classes like ballet, tap, jazz or pop
- Community teams like hiking groups or neighborhood sports teams
Encourage Brain Development and Mental Health
Aside from nutritious diets and active schedules, children need proper mental stimulation for healthy brain development. Just like adults, children can also experience burnout from school or other stressors, so it is important to encourage mental health breaks as needed.
Activities that allow them to collaborate and build healthy relationships with other children nurture valuable skills that they can use in their future careers.
Maintain Health and Wellness
Of course, don’t forget to visit the family physician at least once a year for annual physicals to ensure your child is growing nice and healthy.
Family Health Centers provide primary and preventive health care services to all members of the community. We will provide you and your family with complete health care services in a safe, confidential, accessible environment. Regardless of your ability to pay or your insurance status, we are here to help.