If you want to raise healthy kids you can start by setting a good example. If you smoke, quit! If you need to lose weight, start on it today. If you eat healthy and serve your family healthy meals, they’ll learn to love these foods and they’ll even become comfort foods in later years. What you do to improve your overall good health helps train those young minds in ways to act and things to do. Active parents that involve their children seldom have kids that become couch potatoes.
Get them involved in some form of exercise.
Whether it’s Little League, hiking, walks in the morning or other type of activity, find something your kids love and get involved with it too. While a museum may not sound like it’s a place for exercising, if it’s large and you walk the entire area in a day, that’s good exercise that seems more educational. You may not be the great outdoors person, so exercising at home with the kids joining you is another way to start each day. Make sure you take time to do it each day. It will become part of their routine.
Create dinners that provide a healthy blend of foods.
If you didn’t grow up eating healthier, it might not be as easy as it sounds. When you start serving foods that are closer to whole foods, foods with the least possible processing, you’ll come closer to a healthier meal. Eating healthy isn’t dieting. Dieting doesn’t work. It’s making smart choices, such as substituting brown rice for white rice or using Greek yogurt to replace sour cream for baked potatoes. It may mean changing the way you cook, from frying to steaming, grilling or broiling foods or using unsweetened applesauce to replace sugar or oil when baking. When kids grow up with healthy food, it becomes their comfort food.
Give them healthy snacks.
Snacks aren’t bad. In fact, most healthy food plans include two snacks a day and sometimes three. Eating smaller, but more frequent meals is one way for you to lose weight and help prevent your children from gaining it. Apple slices with peanut butter, delicious fresh fruit juice pops and fresh veggies with dip make delicious snacks. You can get the kids involved and make snacks with them. Try mixing honey, peanut butter and wheat germ, creating balls and rolling them in wheat germ. Refrigerate these and you’ll have sweet, yummy snacks ready for the kids that are good for them too.
Limit the time on the computer and phone. If your kids have a phone, get one that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. That just encourages sitting and game playing. Let them learn that the great out of doors can be fun!
Make sure they learn to appreciate water as a drink choice. Too often people serve juice or fruity drinks that declare an abundance of vitamin C, but fail to mention the abundance of sugar. Keep bottled water on hand, even if you have to wash and refill the bottles.
Choose whole fruit over juice. Whole fruit gives fiber and fills you as it refreshes, saving calories.
Make a special time for each child where you do something special and active with them.