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Children and Healthy Habits

Amother hugging onto her two young children while they all laugh and play outdoors at sunset

Teaching children how to have a healthy body is an essential lesson. It is a lesson they need to learn properly from an early age. It is possibly more important now than ever because of the growing rate of obesity in our nation and the world. There are many things parents can do to ensure their children know the best ways to take the best care of their bodies.

One of the most important ways to teach children about taking care of their bodies is to lead by example. Children watch their parents and learn from a young age how to treat themselves, so do what you want them to do. If they don’t see you being active, they will think it is okay to be sedentary. Similarly if you snack on chips while you give them carrots, they will still see that it is okay to eat junk.

While you monitor your own eating habits, be sure to pay attention to your child’s food intake. Offer them healthy food choices. Children are notoriously picky eaters, so try out as many healthy foods as possible to find ones you both can live with. Between school and friends’ houses, it is impossible to know everything that goes into your child’s body. However, if you teach them how to make good choices, they will carry that with them. The majority of the time, you are their first and greatest influence.

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is a valuable tool for a fit body. For children, exercise should be fun, and it should come naturally for them to want to get out and play. However, technology makes staying inside ever more appealing. Find a balance between inside activities, like video games, and outside play. Encourage outside activities, and involve yourself with them. Perhaps you can take walks, play basketball, or ride bikes with your child.

While teaching your child about healthy living, always consult your pediatrician. Establish a firm relationship with a doctor whom you trust. Talk to them and listen to them. Heed your doctor’s advice when it comes to your child’s health and don’t be afraid to have frank discussions. Together, you and your pediatrician will come up with the best way to maintain your child’s healthy body.

For a child to care for their body in a healthy manner, positive body image is also necessary. Parents can influence how their children see themselves. When talking to your child about their body, use language that focuses on health instead of image. Let them know the importance of taking care of their body in regard to health over appearance.

These are just a few ways to get the message across to children that it is important to treat their bodies well and how to do that. Pay attention to your child’s habits and teach by doing. Also, don’t wait until they have picked up negative habits, but teach them from a young age how to eat well and to be active.

Tomah Health