Making healthy choices is important both for adults and children. But how do little ones and teenagers know what is good for them? It’s up to the parents to help and guide them. So here are five tips from Dad of Divas to promote healthy habits in your kids.
Take Them Grocery Shopping
Encourage your kids to eat healthier by taking them to the supermarket and having them pick fresh produce for the coming week’s menu. Teach them the importance of eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in order to get all the vitamins and nutrients their growing bodies need. Letting your children help you plan healthy meals will make them more likely to eat what’s on their plates. And while shopping for other foodstuffs, encourage them to read labels and make smart decisions regarding sugar, sodium, and fat content.
Sign Them Up for Team Sports
Besides the obvious health benefits of playing sports, like improved cardiovascular health, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility, just to name a few, being part of a team is an excellent way for children to learn good sportsmanship, and how to be gracious whether you win or lose. Playing a team sport like football teaches about working together and respecting your coaches, your teammates, and your opponents. And it’s also a great way to help them develop a spirit of competition and of cooperation, two skills that will serve them well when they reach adulthood.
You can work together to stay physically fit and ready for competitions by working out as a family, too. Do something you all enjoy, whether it’s throwing a football in the yard, taking the kayak out, or simply walking around the neighborhood after dinner, or even walking to dinner for a treat on some evenings. Being active together and showing kids how to take advantage of walkable neighborhoods can make a big difference in their interest in and ability to remain active throughout their lives.
Turn Off Your Electronics
Sleep is very important for kids, both for their growing bodies and for their brains. So help your children have better nights by making them turn off all their electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime, and stick to a regular routine that will signal the brain that the body is ready to get some rest. And during the day, try to limit your kids’ screen time by providing healthier alternatives like outdoor play, board games, or arts and crafts to stimulate their creativity. Getting off their phones and electronics will help them become more active and engaged.
Talk About Your Goals Together
Teach your kids how to articulate their bigger goals, and encourage them to share these goals together. You can model this practice by showing your kids that hard work pays off. If you’re dissatisfied with your job or you want to further your career, consider pursuing an online degree in IT technology. You’ll not only increase your earning potential, but you’ll also become a leader in your field. Studying online gives you the flexibility to spend time with your family while earning a master’s degree, and your children will benefit from seeing you going after your dreams.
When your kids see you pushing for a better life – and one you’ll enjoy more – they will be likely to do the same. As parents, we want our kids to succeed and push them towards setting educational and career goals, which is great. Just be careful about pushing kids into one tract or preventing them from changing their minds. Help them to see what steps are necessary for getting into a great college or becoming successful in a career field that interests them, but let them guide the process. And don’t get mad if they make changes. Let them know that change is normal, and that you will help support them through these big decisions.
Modeling ambition for your kids can be a powerful, positive thing, and one of the best ways to do that is by pursuing a nursing degree online. An online nursing program can give you the knowledge and experience you need for an exciting career in healthcare – and demonstrate to your children that it’s never too late to learn something new. With an online program, you’ll have the flexibility to study at your own pace, allowing you to manage both work and family commitments.
Turn your children into lifelong givers and philanthropists by letting them volunteer for causes they’re passionate about. Take them to the animal shelter and sign up for shifts petting cats waiting to be adopted, scooping litter boxes, or taking adoptable dogs out on walks. Volunteer at a soup kitchen together and listen to other people’s stories and experiences while you bond as a family.
Be a Role Model
Raising children isn’t an easy job, but it can be extremely rewarding when you see your little ones grow into wonderful human beings. As parents, you are their first teachers, so make sure you model good habits for them. Make being active and eating healthy fun and creative activities. And remember to be their biggest cheerleaders as you support them in their goals, both big and small. But most of all, enjoy life with your healthy, happy kids!