Even during winter, kids need to stay active in order to stay healthy. Unfortunately, not every child has a chance to get up and run around during the school day. Only six states require physical education for grades K-12, and what’s defined as physical education can vary. One of the best ways to make sure your kid is staying healthy is to help them develop good habits at home. Here are just a few ideas on how to incorporate healthy habits on a daily basis so you and your kids can live better.
Emphasize Healthy Eating
Your kids learn their eating habits from the adults in their lives, and for the most part, their daily diet is defined by you. How you shop for groceries and what foods you prepare at home will help shape your child’s relationship with food stay healthy as they grow. Try to plan out meals and snacks ahead of time if possible to help everyone in your family get the right nutrition every day. The 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume around two cups of fruits and two to three cups of vegetables per day. The sooner you educate your child on healthy eating, the sooner they’ll pick up the habit.
Pick Active After-School Activities
While many kids enjoy more sedentary extra-curricular activities, try to encourage them to participate in at least one that’s more physically engaging. While learning to play an instrument is incredible and should be encouraged, what about also joining soccer? Not every child will enjoy the same sports, and it’s okay for your child to have no interest in participating with a school-based organization. However, having some structure keeps kids active, and routine after-school meetups can help them keep moving and stay healthy even on days with low motivation. As you’re encouraging your little ones to be more active, just be sure to teach them safe ways to run, jump. and sprint. Over 80% of ankle sprains are a result of rolling the ankle inwards. By showing your kids the proper way to run and outfitting them with good shoes, you could avoid a trip to urgent care to treat that sprained ankle.
Share Healthy Hobbies
Finally, staying active is an important value to reinforce at home. Many kids and parents alike will sit down in front of a computer or television screen right when they get home after a long day of classes or work. Instead, encourage your children to get involved in some of your more active hobbies to stay healthy. They don’t necessarily have to feel like exercise to count – even a trip out to a local lake is more physically involved than sitting and playing video games. Besides, 19.6% of Millennials participate in water sports, and there’s a chance your children will be more interested than you first expect.
Teaching your kids to be active and stay healthy year-round can be a challenge. This year, while you’re working on fulfilling your New Years’ health resolutions, be sure to get your family engaged and involved. The more they can participate in your path to wellness, the more likely it is they’ll pick up some of your healthy habits along the way too. How do you keep your kids up and moving? What health tips would you give to moms with kids who just won’t stay active?