Keeping our kids healthy is priority to us as parents, but the current invasion of fast food, sugary snacks, and oversize portions are creating an epidemic of overweight, inactive, and unhealthy kids. The powerful influences of the fast-food industry, omnipresent junk food advertising, and the vicious cycle of TV, computer games, and Internet addictions only make our children more susceptible to a sedentary lifestyle and a lifetime of bad habits and obesity.
You can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.
Be a good role model – children copy what they see their parents do. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is important to your family.
Be positive – develop in them a positive attitude to life. This will help them in making life choices that will affect their future. Kids don’t like to hear what they can’t do, tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.
Keep the family together – do things as a family, dish out responsibilities to every party this will ensure togetherness and team spirit, Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
Be realistic – Setting realistic goals and limits are key to adopting any new behavior. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time, so start small and build up.
TV use should be monitored
Try not to use TV as a “baby-sitter” on a regular basis. Be selective in choosing television shows for children. Some shows can be educational as well as entertaining. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. you can Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
Encourage physical activities– Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it.
Give children unconditional love. Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life. Children need to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments. Mistakes or defeats should be expected and accepted. Confidence grows in a home that is full of unconditional love and affection.
Encourage Children to Play To children, play is just fun. However, playtime is as important to their development as food and good care. Playtime helps children be creative, learn problem-solving skills and learn self-control. Good, hardy play, which includes running and yelling, is not only fun, but helps children to be physically and mentally healthy.