How to help kids form healthy habits

Habits kids develop when they are young can follow them into adulthood, so it’s important that parents help their children establish healthy habits early on. The following are tips that can help your family stay fit and strong for years to come!

1.              Be a positive role model

Children learn by observing their parents, whether it is mimicking speech or copying mannerisms. Make sure they are picking up on positive habits by being a role model for a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, engaging in fun physical activity, and getting enough sleep each night are a few positive habits your children can inherit.

2.              Make physical activity a family affair

Being active doesn’t have to mean hours spent along on a treadmill. Instead, find fun ways the whole family can get outside and get active. Going to the beach, riding bikes, gardening, or even just taking a walk around the neighborhood are all easy and fun ways to get the whole family moving.

3.              Limit screen time

After a long day, it can be tempting to come home and veg out in front of the TV. However, both kids and adults can benefit from limiting screen time. Children should aim to spend less than two hours on screens each day, and this includes smart phones, tablets, video games, and TV. Spend the time reading or playing outside together as a family.

4.              Eat dinner together

No matter how hectic your schedules may be, make eating dinner together as a family a priority. Ban phones and other screens from the table as a way to get the whole family to sit down, relax, and talk about their days. If evenings are too busy with work, school, or other activities, aim to eat breakfast together instead.

5.              Get kids involved with their food

Help children learn about food and nutrition by getting them involved in the grocery meal planning, cooking, and shopping. Let kids take a more active role in picking healthy food choices for the week by flipping through cookbooks or looking online for fun and healthy recipes. Likewise, children of all ages can help in the kitchen with age appropriate tasks. This is especially helpful for picky eaters, who are often more willing to try a new food if they helped prepare it!