As a parent, you’re probably your child’s greatest source of information and inspiration. Although they may be besotted with characters on TV, it’s you they learn from. When it comes to health, it’s never too early to start setting a good example and teaching your children good habits. If you’re keen to set your kids on the right path, here are some simple ways you can make your family healthier and happier. Three healthy family habits and practices to instill in your children are:
1. Get moving
If your children see you going out for a run from time to time or they know that you cycle to work or go to a dance class in the evening, this will inspire them to be more active. If you’re sat around at home reading magazines, watching TV or surfing the Internet from the comfort of the sofa, this will encourage them to think inactivity is normal.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial for adults and children. It enables kids to let off steam, socialize with others, and learn the values of being in a team, as well as lowering their risk of being overweight. If you’re a busy parent, it can be hard to fit healthy family habits and practices like daily exercise into your routine. But the benefits are worth your while.
Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, and it can also reduce stress, lift your mood, and give you more confidence. Start being more active as a family. Go for a bike ride or a long walk on the weekends and get out into the backyard and play games as much as possible.
2. Look after your smile
Going to the dentist isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it’s so important to keep up to date with routine dental checks. Ideally, you should start taking your child to a pediatric dentist from the age of 12-18 months, and you should attend appointments every 6-12 months.
If your children are used to going to the dentist, the prospect will be much less daunting when they’re a bit older, and they have more awareness of where they are and what they’re doing. It’s also hugely beneficial to show your kids how to brush their teeth and to encourage them to adopt brushing as part of their morning and evening regimes. Brush together, make it fun, and talk to your children about why it’s so important to clean their teeth.
3. More healthy family habits: Get enough sleep
If you’re tired all the time because you don’t go to bed until late or your kids see you falling asleep on the sofa, this could cause you problems when it comes to putting them down. They may want to stay up, and they may think they don’t need a lot of sleep because you seem to run on empty most of the time.
Bedtime routines are very helpful for children, but they’re also advantageous for adults. Try and aim to get into bed and get up at similar times, just like your kids do. You should find that your energy levels are much higher during the day.
As a parent, there’s nothing you want more than healthy, happy kids. Hopefully, passing on these habits will help to ensure you’re all fighting fit for many years to come.