Your kids will always learn lessons from you, and many of the things that you’ll teach them they’ll take with them into adult life. One of the most important things you can teach them is how to live a healthier lifestyle, and that can start by setting an example at home.
Living healthier doesn’t have to involve drastic lifestyle changes, but if you’re serious about starting healthy habits, then now is a great time to start. Help set your kids up for the future with these important lessons to teach your kids about healthy living.
Eat healthily instead of dieting
Do you tend to go from one diet to another in a bid to lose weight? You probably find that you end up in a never-ending cycle of trying the latest miracle diet, only to end up back where you started? The truth is that diets can never really win over a balanced diet and healthy eating.
There are many lessons you can teach your kids about healthy eating. From controlling portion sizes to making sure they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, you’ll help them form good habits from a young age. You can find some great family recipes to cook together to help you all enjoy cooking meals at home from scratch while discovering some tasty new dishes.
Sleep is good for you
It can be difficult to get kids to go to sleep at night – who doesn’t deal with that daily struggle? The shift will soon happen when they become teenagers, and then the problem will be getting them up! But on a more serious note, sleep is a very important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. When you’re a kid, you don’t want it, but when you’re an adult – sleep becomes very, very precious!
Sleep helps your body to rest and recover, and without it, basic functions can become more difficult – it’s easy for the mood swings to kick in too. Try to get your kids to form good sleep habits by establishing a good bedtime routine. Don’t allow them to keep electronics in the bedroom and avoid caffeine sources at night, like chocolate, which you might not know contained caffeine! While the weekends can be a good excuse to catch up on the week’s missed sleep, you should try to avoid lie-ins and make sure you get the family up to help make the most of the day.
If you’re struggling to get to sleep at night, try some easy sleep solutions to help you enjoy some quality sleep.
Being active is fun, and important
Exercise can feel like a dreaded word, but it’s very important for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. Exercise helps to keep weight within a healthy range, while also helping to improve cardiovascular health. The UK’s physical activity guidelines set out how much exercise we should all be getting. Young children (under 5s) should be active for THREE HOURS A DAY once they can walk, while adults should be getting at least 150 minutes a week. It’s not really a lot of time when you think about it, but it is important time for your health.
So how can you get your kids excited about exercise? One way is to make exercise fun by encouraging them to play team sports like football, or taking up lessons in things they enjoy like dancing. You can make sure that you take the opportunity to exercise as a family by going for long walks together and cycling. If you can demonstrate that you exercise regularly, it will soon become a normal activity for children to take part in too.
It’s good to talk about mental health
Mental health is becoming much more widely discussed today, but there’s still a long way to go to make sure it’s taken as seriously as physical health. If you don’t feel equipped to talk to your child about mental health, then it’s worth spending time reading up on different techniques as well as which behaviours to look out for as signs that something isn’t quite right with your child.
It’s also important that you don’t shy away from your own mental health. If you’re suffering from any issues such as anxiety, stress, depression or addiction, then getting help and talking about your problems will help set a good example to your children. You can find some great resources at help4addiction.co.uk to help you discover the different types of help that are out there and get yourself back on track. Mental health can be a difficult thing to discuss, but it’s better to talk about it than staying silent on the subject.
Cut down on the sugar
Sugar remains a big problem for our health, and it can be especially difficult to limit your child’s sugar intake. The NHS has some really helpful resources to help cut down on sugar, including apps that can scan your food and drink to tell you quickly whether they are high in sugar content or not. They also have recommendations for ‘sugar swaps’ you can make to make it easier to reduce your child’s sugar intake. Cutting out sugary drinks is a great first step, and you’ll find plenty of healthier alternatives to give to your child.
Sugar can also be found in some unexpected places. When you buy ready meals, sauces, and even shop sandwiches, it’s likely that you’re unaware of the high sugar content that many of these foods contain. Always check the labels to make sure you understand what you’re buying. Cooking meals from scratch is always a good option to avoid added sugar, while natural alternatives like honey can still help to make things sweet.
Taking steps to live healthier together as a family can make it much easier to stick to it. By setting a better example as parents, your children will grow up to develop healthy habits that will stick with them through adulthood. It’s never too late to start making some changes, so isn’t it time you took your health seriously?