Healthy Habits for Kids

Here’s a question: when our kids are ready to leave the nest, what learned healthy habits will they take with them? When it comes to raising our kids, focusing on creating daily healthy habits can go a long way if we, as parents, are persistent about implementing them now. Luckily, helping your children develop healthy habits doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be as simple as just getting them involved in the process. Kids are master imitators; they learn from observing and participating.

Here’s our top 4:

1. Healthy Eating
This is a habit that will set them up for success in almost every facet of their lives. The food we eat plays such an important role in our overall wellness. At an early age, start teaching your kids about what a healthy meal looks like. As they grow, allow them to make their own choices about food (when possible).

Put it into practice:
Have your kids help plan the menu for your family dinners. Doing so will teach them about the components of a healthy meal and give them ownership over what they’re eating, which may decrease the dreaded dinnertime battles.

2. Sleep Schedule
Sleep is a vital biological function. It’s when our bodies grow, heal, and boost our immune system. We all realize we’re not at our best when we’re running low on sleep, and the same can be said for our kids (just ask anyone who has ever had to deal with a sleep-deprived toddler). Teaching your child not only about the importance of sleep, but how to stick to a healthy sleep routine, will give them the tools for long-term sleep success.

Put it into practice:
Craft a comforting bedtime routine for your child, and stick to it! Talk with your child to find out if they are experiencing any difficulties at bedtime and work together to resolve it. There can be many factors that go into creating a solid bedtime routine, and it can be different for each person.

3. Activity Levels
Leading an active lifestyle can help reduce the risk of some health issues. Helping your child find activities they love at an early age can set them up to lead a healthy, active lifestyle for years to come.

Put it into practice:
Get the whole family involved! Take turns planning a weekly family outing, focusing on an activity. Whether it’s basketball, hiking, or kayaking, there are so many ways to get everyone moving. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

4. Down Time
Stress plays a role in all of our lives, even our children. It’s vital to teach our kids the importance of relaxation, and give them the tools to cope when stressful situations arise.

Put it into practice:
Make time to talk about your feelings as a family, and then make relaxation part of your daily routine with your child. Remember, everyone is different. What may be relaxing for some might not be for others. There are many relaxation methods to experiment with. Try them out until you find one that works for you and your child.