How to Help Your Kid Put Their Health First
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Are you trying to improve your kids’ life skills? Sometimes, getting them to eat a carrot over chocolate or play outside over playing video games can feel challenging. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to teach your kid how to put your health first. Here are some tips to help keep health a priority for your children.

Start with Yourself

Kids look to their parents when they pick up habits, so start with yourself to set a good example. Try to get outside to exercise as much as possible, and take your kids with you for nature walks and other activities. Be positive about exercising and eating healthily, and your children will start to follow your example. 

Be Positive About Health Appointments

Nearly a third of Americans are worried about visiting the doctor. Many of these started with unaddressed childhood phobias or concerns. Try to maintain positive language around medical checks, and find the best local dentist for pediatric dentistry to ensure they feel comfortable attending appointments.

A great way to normalize it is to take them to the dentist and doctor’s appointments from a very young age so they are used to going. You can follow the same pathway with regular eye tests to familiarize them with checks that prioritize their health.

Teach Them About Body Health

Hands-on learning is a great way to get kids excited about being healthy. Learn Bright has lesson plans on various body parts, such as the Human Heart lesson plan. These activities can help them get more familiar with the workings of the human body and how it operates when it is healthy. 

Enroll Them in a Local Sports Club

Does your local area have a kid’s football, rugby or martial arts club? Enroll your child in an age-appropriate class to encourage them to have fun and be active. Try to find one they enjoy so that they can pursue it into teenagerhood and even adulthood. If they’re not keen on group sports, consider enrolling them in a nature club or one that encourages outdoor pursuits.

Teach Kids About Moderation

The best way to teach kids about health is to encourage things in moderation. Don’t punish your kids for seeking out unhealthy choices, but explain why salty or sugary snacks aren’t the best choice. Try to make healthier choices the easiest available option so that it’s less of a battle for them to choose between an apple or some crisps.

Encourage Sleep Hygiene

A decent bedtime routine is the foundation for healthy kids. Establish a decent bedtime schedule and a wind-down routine at the end of the day. Establish a routine for waking up and breakfast so that they wake up refreshed and sleep calmly. A good sleep routine can avoid many mental and physical health concerns.

Teach Them to Talk About Their Feelings

Emotional intelligence is what enables everyone to process their emotions. It stops strong emotions like anger or sadness from upsetting a day’s plans. Children can benefit from talking about and learning to process their feelings, as it encourages them to be engaged in learning and grow more positive relationships. Use a color-coded mood meter to help them identify their feelings and teach them to talk through their emotions.

Encourage Them to Persevere

A key feature of raising healthy children is to teach the strength of perseverance and resilience. Encouraging them to break down tasks into smaller chunks can help them with planning and see a path through to completion. This is important when engaging your child in physical activities like football matches or long walks. Helping them to persevere with a task and enjoy the rewards of completing something is an excellent path to health.

Help Them Eat Healthy

Remember to serve kids child-sized portions, and try to give them at least five or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Aim for low or no-sugar fruit juices and avoid foods with saturated fats. Explain to your kids why these foods don’t help your body work as well as it should. Avoid attributing food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but talk through which ones help your body work at its best.

Cut Back on Screen Time

Try to cut back on the time your kid spends completing inactive tasks, like watching TV or playing video games. You should also remove screens from their bedroom at night. Limit screen time to two hours a day or less. Simply removing devices from easy use will make it easier for kids to prioritize reading a book or going outdoors over staring at a screen.

Encourage Laughter

Laughter is one of the best ways to stave off poor health for all ages. Encourage times when you can collaborate together on a fun board game or watch something silly as a family. Laughter is a great way to boost mental and physical health, as it releases endorphins, happy chemicals that improve mood, lower stress and even lower feelings of pain.

Reach Them Where They Are

Kids have various physical and emotional needs that make establishing a cookie-cutter health routine impossible. It’s really important to take the time to understand your child and reach them where they are. If they’ve never engaged in sports, try to build up small health steps over time. Be realistic with your child and avoid building up a health-obsessed mentality that actually harms rather than helps your child.

Your kids look to you as the first example of how to act, so start with yourself and set an excellent example of what healthy looks like. Teach moderation for things like screen time and sugary or salty foods. Encourage them to socialize with others through local sports clubs or groups and engage in hands-on learning about the human body. 

Perhaps, most importantly, help your kids learn the skills of perseverance and resilience to become more familiar with following through on sports events or exercise. Encourage laughter and family time to help them better communicate and learn to talk through their feelings. Teaching your kids to put their health first is the best step in raising physically and mentally healthy adults.

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