Help Your Kids Learn Healthy Behaviors by Modeling Them Yourself


*** THIS IS A GUES POST WRITTEN BY AMANDA HENDERSON FROM SAFECHILDREN.INFO ***

Are your kids junk-food junkies or excellent eaters? Are they active or couch potatoes? Likely, they fall somewhere in between, and that’s okay. But we all want to help our kids learn how to be healthy adults, and sometimes, that just takes a little extra work on our part.

Your kids’ good choices begin with you, and a little practical modeling can go a long way towards positive results. Bryan Wisda & ADHD Lullaby wants your family to be healthy and happy, so let's look at some tips to help your family flourish.

Start teaching

When you teach your children how to cook and how to plan meals, work on teaching them about nutrition. Go online with your kids and research what they each need in their diets. Then work on how to adjust your meals.

Keep in mind that if kids have more choices in what they eat, they are less likely to refuse to eat or sneak food, which can lead to binge eating later in life. It can also help to have them select the veggies you buy—consider having each child pick one new vegetable per shopping trip. They’ll be more likely to try something they chose than something thrust upon them.

Then when it’s time to prep meals, have them help! They can use a kitchen scale to help measure out portions so there’s enough for everyone and to avoid overeating. You can even stream cooking shows or video games to inspire meals you make together. With an appropriately-priced computer and a high-powered connection, you can have the whole family cooking up a storm together!   

Be active

Start doing active things as a family, such as hiking, biking, skiing, playing in the backyard, and more. And find a workout that you can do solo, then get into a routine and stick to it. Use a fitness app to track your goals and stay motivated. When achy joints and sore muscles get in the way of your regimen, schedule chiropractic care.

The more active and dedicated you are, the more active and dedicated your kids will be. If they see mom training for a mini-marathon and dad going on nightly walks, they’ll see that fitness is an important part of every day. Bring them along to train with you sometimes, or plan to run/walk a 5K as a family. It’s good for their bodies, and it’s wonderful bonding time for your family.

Of course, getting all of the gear and clothing you need to develop a healthy routine costs money, but it doesn’t have to completely wreck your budget. For example, if you shop at Kohl’s for your exercise outfits, you can use coupons and cash back offers to help make these items more affordable.

Make hygiene a priority

Whether it’s brushing your teeth, bathing, or keeping yourself groomed, maintaining your hygiene is an important behavior to model. Especially if you want your kids to start out with good habits. By starting young, you can build a foundation for your child so they know the importance of good oral health, why they should wash their hands, take baths, and why it’s important to brush and comb our hair.

It’s also a good idea to take your children to the dentist regularly; most dentists recommend a checkup up twice a year. It’s always best to look for a dentist that is conveniently located and makes your kid's feel comfortable.

Do a safety check

Go through your belongings and make sure you put up anything hazardous to children; Parents.com notes some items, like dishwashers and latex balloons, can be surprisingly dangerous. It’s a good idea to do this regularly because our hectic lives leave constant changes in our environments. The safer your home, the less you’ll have to worry about. With older kids, discuss why you make the decisions you do and enlist their help in keeping their younger siblings safe.

Kids can learn to live healthy lives along with their parents, and the whole family can begin to model healthy behaviors. Don’t demand that your kids never touch sugar or insist on them being on a strict diet their whole lives. That just paves the way for problems down the road. Teaching your kids moderation and the reasons behind your actions can help them stay fit and healthy throughout their lives.

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