How to inculcate healthy habits in children that stay with them for life
Making children eat their food, finish whatever is served to them in their plates at home is a huge issue. Ask any mom, and she will begin with the travails of how her children bother her over eating, how they are so finicky and how they detest the simple home cooked dal-roti-sabzi.
The result is the important issue about what sort of nutrition are the children getting from the food they are eating takes a back seat. But as parents you all know that the greater aim of parenting is to prepare kids for the big wide world by teaching them how to make good choices on their own.
As parents it is your duty to help your children develop healthy habits in all spheres of life, habits that will stay with them for life. So tomorrow when they pass out of school and go to some different cities to study they will not only be cautious and conscious about what they eat but also have a disciplined and healthy lifestyle.
Make eating colorful
Serve food of different colours in their plates. And tell your kids about the importance of eating all the colours, the nutrition these give. Include a range of fruits and vegetables as a high-fiber diet guards against diabetes and heart disease.
Tell them that water is their best friend
Water is healthy as against soft drinks which might taste much better than it. Tell them taste is not everything and not every food item is to be decided by its taste alone. Small children may not understand the concept of sugar in soft drinks that’s bad for health, but they will understand when you tell them that it will make them fat without making them strong.
Don’t let your children skip breakfast
Teach them the importance of breakfast and how it is the most important meal of the day. Give them the logic behind every sentence you utter. Harvard Medical School confirms that those who go without breakfast are four times more likely to become obese sooner or later.
Enjoy your meals together as family
In today’s hectic lifestyles, wherein both the parents are often working, it becomes difficult to have meals together. Nevertheless try towards this goal. You sure can have at least dinner together. Eating together is the time well-spent. It makes the family bonds stronger.
Pick enjoyable joint physical activities
You child may not be a sport-lover, so don’t insist him/her become one. But find physical activities that he/she enjoys and do those together. It is important for everyone, kids or adults, to indulge in some sort of physical activity daily. And habits formed in children are likely to stay for life.
Don’t let them become a couch potato
Do not, please do not, let your child watch TV for long. Stop him/her before it becomes a habit. Repeated researches have shown that children those who spend more time watching TV perform badly at school, have behavorial difficulties and attention disorders, have trouble falling sleep etc; the disadvantages are many.
Make them read every day
Strong reading skill is an essential component of a child’s success in school and college, and at work later in life. Reading helps a child build self-esteem, relationships with parents and others, and achieve greater success in life.
When your child is small, you must read out t him/her so that picking up a book becomes a habit with him. Let the kids pick up their own books to read (you must monitor their reading choices though) so that they enjoy reading and not view it as another chore.
Tell your child to spend time with friends
It is important that a child has friends his/her age. Friendships are very important to the healthy development of school-aged children. Playing with friends teaches them valuable social skills such as communication, cooperation and problem solving.
Motivate them to stay positive
Always, always motivate your child to stay positive. It is not an easy task. Kids get easily discouraged; when they don’t get picked up for a dance or song in school, when they are not made the class monitor, when they are not picked up by the teacher to answer the questions in class etc etc. As a parent it is your duty to help them learn resilience when they experience setbacks by showing them the importance of staying positive. Help your child develop a healthy self-esteem and a positive mindset by teaching him/her that he/she is lovable, capable, and unique, no matter what challenges they encounter in the outside world.