As parents, one of the most important things that we can do is teach our children how to be as healthy as possible. One way that we can do that is to be good role models and model the healthy behaviors that we want them to learn. So let’s talk about some important healthy habits for the whole family.
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5 Healthy Habits for the Whole Family
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is an important part of looking and feeling our very best. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out toxins, keeps you feeling full in between meals, and makes sure that your skin, our bodies first line of defense against infections, is well hydrated. Drinking more water instead of sugary sodas and juices also ensures that you can keep the number of calories you and your family consume through beverages in check.
Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead to feelings of tiredness, and fatigue and in children that can lead to misbehavior. How much sleep children need varies by their age but in general children aged three to twelve years old need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. The sleep needs of adults vary from person to person, but generally speaking, even adults need 7 to 10 hours of sleep each night to wake up feeling rested and at their mental and physical best.
Plan Physical Activity for the Whole Family
Take a walk, ride bikes, play yard games, or whatever your family enjoys doing to stay active. Physical activity that gets the whole family involved can be as simple as a soccer or basketball game in the backyard. Ask your kids what physical activities they would enjoy doing as a family. In addition to making sure that the family is active together, make sure that individual members are also getting plenty of physical activity several times a week.
Eat Healthy and Prepare Meals Together
Eating healthy and teaching kids about making nutritious choices is very important and can impact their health for the rest of their lives. Talk to your kids about the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Make sure that you also discuss how less healthy foods are a treat and something that should only be eaten occasionally.
Not all children, or adults for that matter, are excited about eating healthy especially when it comes to vegetables. Some children are more likely to eat their vegetables if you include them in the process of choosing them and preparing them. You can let them pick out vegetables they would like to try at the store, or simply ask them which ones they would like to help prepare for dinner out of the vegetables you have at home.
Teach and Model Healthy Ways to Handle Stress
Stress is a part of everyday life for both children and adults, so it is important to teach children healthy coping mechanisms for handling stress. Encourage your kids to talk to you when they are feeling overwhelmed and make sure that you are listening to what they have to say before offering suggestions. Sometimes simply talking out a problem is enough.
You can also teach your children about deep breathing exercises for relaxation when they are feeling stressed. Encourage them to remove themselves from situations that make them feel angry or overwhelmed. Simply stepping outside for a breath of fresh air can make a huge difference in perspective and gives everyone a moment to calm down.
Teaching kids healthy habits means leading by example. If your kids do not see you practicing these healthy habits they most likely won’t carry them into adulthood. So get out there with your kiddos and create healthy habits for the whole family!