Empowering Kids to Make Healthy Choices: A How-to
We all want the best for our kids. One of the best ways you can ensure your kids grow up strong and happy is to empower them with the power of health. As parents, we have a great deal of control over our children’s habits, so why not ensure they pick up habits to guide them through life? Here, Integrative Pediatrics and Medicine shares valuable tips for teaching healthy choices.
Talk Them through Healthy Choices
Your kids aren’t automatically going to know the healthiest choice at the table or pick up on the dos and don’ts of exercise and movement. That’s why you must talk about healthy options and turn everyday experiences into teachable moments.
How can you do this? Well, speak up when you see unhealthy choices (and explain why that choice is unhealthy). For example, talk to them about good versus bad fats and why vegetable intake is critical for a balanced diet. Reward their good behavior, too – Positive Psychology reports that positive reinforcement and recognition are the best ways to induce healthy habits! Affirming statements will help them pick up on the helpful cues faster, but with none of the guilt that can come with food and beverage choices.
You can do the same with exercise too. Movement is critical for kids of all ages, so reward their good behavior when prioritizing exercise and play. Better yet, get moving with them, and talk them through the benefits of specific exercises, stretches, and yoga movements. This is a fun and rewarding way to help them enjoy movement activities, which will be a treasure they cherish for the rest of their lives.
Offer Coping Mechanisms
While you care deeply for your kids, you can’t protect them from all the bad in life. Stress and pain are inevitable, so try to offer your children strategies for coping with difficulties down the line. Healthy coping mechanisms could include meditation, breathing exercises, working out, and positive self-talk. Tell your kids that anger and sadness may be expected, but that they are not permanent. Creating an atmosphere that feels safe and nurturing while acknowledging their emotions will be essential. This will also ensure your kids have a center and know how to deal with difficulties without picking up risky habits such as addiction and experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
Model Good Behaviour
According to VeryWell Mind, one of the primary ways children learn is to model the behaviors they see close to home. While you’re teaching them about diet, fitness, and other healthy habits, don’t forget to talk to them about their future and how to achieve their goals. One of the best ways to do this is to be a shining example for them. When you keep your promises, treat others with respect and avoid negative language and self-talk, your kids are going to pick up on that.
Another essential step will be to live your own life in a commendable way. For example, if you’re passionate about information technology but have never made the career switch, consider getting an online degree in IT. While you learn about data analytics, cyber security, and information technology management, your kids will pick up that it is never too late to pursue your goals – and hopefully, model that down the line too.
Caring for your children’s health supports their growth and development into adulthood. Moreover, it gives them the tools to deal with issues down the line – whether it is eating disorders, physical conditions, or mental unrest. Invest in your kid’s health today for a happier tomorrow!
Would you like more great health tips. Check out the Integrative Pediatrics Wellness Kit.