Parents carry a large amount of responsibility when it comes to the health of their children. Until they reach a certain age, children cannot be expected to make smart choices when it comes their own health and they only make smart choices when they reach that age if they’ve been taught to. This is why parents need to have at least a basic understanding of what constitutes a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle so that they may pass along that knowledge to their children. Below is a list of five simple things parents can do to help improve the health of their children.
1. Set a Good Example
Perhaps the easiest thing a parent can do is demonstrate healthy living to their children so that they have a good example to follow. This means being physically active and eating healthy on a regular basis. If a child sees their parent scarfing potato chips and sitting on the couch all day, what sort of habits do you think they are going to pick up?
2. Create a Program
Most children thrive within structure. Armed with this knowledge, parents can create a health and nutrition program for their children to help keep them on the track toward a healthy lifestyle. Planning meals and activities for the days of the week can keep children focused, and incorporating some type of reward system for sticking to the health program is always a good idea.
3. Get the Whole Family Involved
In families with multiple children, having everyone participate is a great way to improve the health of all family members. Parents can focus on the team aspect of exercising and eating healthy by encouraging siblings to support one another. When children are working toward a common goal with others, they are much more likely to succeed than if they are on their own.
4. Encourage Children to Make Healthy Choices Away from Home
As much as they would like to, parents cannot be around to help their children make healthy choices 24/7. Instead, parents should strongly encourage their children to participate in any PE programs or after school program activities that may be available to them. Sparking their interest in everything from the healthiest snack selections at their school, to the types of physical education equipment they can use will also help children make healthier decisions outside of the home.
5. Stay Informed
The field of health and nutritional science is constantly evolving. Fitness experts are always looking for new ways to improve the way we eat and exercise. Staying informed of the latest health and fitness news, discoveries, and trends, particularly those related to children, will allow parents to apply new ideas, techniques, and foods to their children’s health programs.