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How to Encourage Your Kids to Be Healthy

Mom and Daughter stretching
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People who learn healthy routines when they are young tend to carry those practices throughout their lives. Most children do not actively make healthy choices for themselves, so it is up to you to make sure they do what is best for their bodies. To establish healthy habits for your kids, incorporate these few simple tips into your daily life.

Stay Active With Your Children

Physical activity is important throughout life, and by staying active yourself, you encourage your children to build healthy habits they can lean on throughout life. Look for interesting hobbies and sports that keep them moving, and pick up something you can do together. Hiking, cycling, and soccer are just a few ideas which get them outdoors when the weather is agreeable.

Other outdoor activities with your children can turn into learning opportunities. One of the most entertaining subjects your young ones can enjoy outside is astronomy. To make it more fun, consider adding a telescope to their learning tools so your children can point the device at the sky and learn more about the stars, or add glow-in-the-dark stars to their ceiling in the shapes of constellations to identify as they drift off to sleep. The more you bring a subject to their level, the more they will engage.

Model Lifelong Learning

It’s helpful to remember that, just like physical activity, modeling the importance of education is influential with children. Keep learning throughout your own life and you will not only encourage your kids to learn, you’ll reap other benefits like broadening your knowledge base and even advancing your career.

As Valamis explains, learning as an adult can be formal or informal. You can read books about subjects that interest you, like famous sports figures, events in history, science fiction or information technology. You can even take it a step further and go back to school. There are online programs that bend to your schedule, and as a result, you might even earn that computer science degree you always wanted. In the process, you show your kids that learning never ends, and that life is what you make it.

Have Fun With Mealtime

Mealtime doesn't have to be boring. Try to integrate a lot of color into your children's meals. Cut their food into interesting shapes or serve it in an amusing container. It might seem difficult to get creative with meals, but if you put together a meal plan in advance, you don't have to think as hard every day.

You can even integrate snacks and meals into their daily learning. For example, if you're teaching your children astronomy, try making peanut butter planet pops. These are healthy energy bites shaped like the different planets in the solar system.

Choose Nourishing Foods

Have you ever been surprised by the amount of food your kids can eat? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains children and teens need food packed with nutrients to encourage growth and development.

To help your kids eat healthily, serve them nourishing and satiating meals. If your kids are satisfied with breakfast, lunch or dinner, they are less prone to reach for unhealthy snacks and drinks. Likewise, keep your children well-hydrated to help them avoid sugary soft drinks.

For picky eaters, try to put yourself in their position. When you figure out why your children are picky, you can develop a plan to curb the finicky behavior. Start small by preparing their favorite menus for the family at mealtime and introduce them to new foods slowly and positively.

Food and physical activity are two cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. To set your children on the right path, make mealtimes fun, focus on good foods and make sure they are enjoying themselves outside whenever possible.

By Jenna Sherman, an aspiring writer and a mom of three (two girls and a boy). She hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. She created as an avenue for parents who want to make sure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults.

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