Helping kids to get and stay healthy is a daunting task. Steering them clear of delicious yet unhealthy foods is hard especially since they are readily available. Getting to part with their video games, or to tear them away from the TV is an equally tough job. As parents, it seems you got your work cut out for you. Fortunately, healthiergeneration.org has the following tips to help you do your part as a parent in preventing obesity.
Become a better Health role model
We all enjoy a ‘treat’ once in a while. That said, although you may not be the perfect Health role model for your kids, but for them to see you making an effort to improve your health habits, they will realize that being healthy is really important and be motivated to improve as well.
Talking about health with your kids
Talk to your kids about health, nutrition, weight, and fitness in an approachable way. Do not make these issues sound like chores. Explain it to kids in ways that they can understand. Also, make it a family affair so that your kids won’t feel isolated.
Deal with your picky eater
Most kids picky eaters. They’d ignore the apple and reach for the chocolate-covered cookie. If your child is a picky eater, then you may want to try out the following tips:
- Get them excited about healthy food – let them smell, taste, touch, and ask questions about foods. Ask them what they think of the foods. Let them know that their thoughts are being considered.
- Get them involved in the kitchen – let them help you out when preparing food. Thank them for their help.
- Give them a say in what they eat – the key is to make them choose between/among healthy food options. If they feel that their opinion matters, they will be more excited about what they eat.
- Take them grocery shopping – again this is all about having your kids’ heard. This can also lead to less war-of-words during mealtimes.
- Keep junk foods out. Add healthy foods whenever you can.
- Help your kids learn about healthy foods. Encourage your kids to draw pictures of healthy foods. Post them on your fridge so they’ll know you’re proud of them.
- Eat together. Meal time is family time. Turn off your TV and enjoy eating as a family.
- Make healthy food and mealtimes fun – cutting up foods into fun shapes of funny face is a good idea. Or putting them inside a fun plastic bags or containers may turn them into a cool snack for your kids.
Getting enough sleep
As much as getting enough exercise is important for children, getting enough sleep is important as well. Make sure your kids get at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
Limit their screen time
The average kid or adolescent spends about 4-5 hours a day watching TV. Screen time also encourages snacking on healthy foods. Limit their screen and/or idle time by striking a balance between ‘rest’ time and activity. Help your kids recharge their bodies, minds and overall health by having them read books, draw, or just take a nap.