The prevalence of overweight and obesity has been on the rise in adults for decades. The increase is becoming much more significant in children now as well. Since children form lifestyle habits at an early age, it important to teach them about healthy eating and provide regular opportunities for physical activity when they are young.
To get the best results, it is important for the whole family to be involved. Parents serve as role models, so they need to practice healthy habits in order for their kids to learn from them.
Below are simple steps to follow to provide a healthy environment for kids at home:
Increase physical activity
Physical activity is a great habit to teach your kids. Help them enjoy being active in a nice, fun way.
Wash the car with them, play hide-and-seek, or work in the garden. Include them in all of these activities! When you buy them a gift, get something that will encourage them to be active, such as a ball, a bat, or a jump rope.
Choose healthy drinks
Offer kids water and skim milk regularly, instead of fruit beverages or sodas, which are high in calories. Water is a great alternative to quench their thirst, without adding extra calories and sugar. Skim milk is an important source of calcium, essential for the growth and development of the bones, and it is low in fat and calories.
Provide a balanced diet
Increase kids' consumption of fruits and vegetables in a fun way. Motivate them to try new fruits and vegetables of varied colors by using games and recipes that include these delicious foods.
Replace high-sugar cereals with those made with whole grains. Children are usually open for change, and you will be surprised to see the way in which they adopt new habits so easily.
Provide opportunities for more active fun
Establish limits for the amount of time kids spend watching TV, playing on the computer, and playing video games. Instead of prohibiting them from these activities, encourage them to participate in games and other activities that involve physical activity.
Encourage and support children in making healthy choices
As your kids make positive changes, be sure to reward them (do not use food or screen time as a reward!) and recognize their efforts. This, along with the benefits gained from the tips listed above, will make them feel good about themselves. Your whole family will benefit from these healthier lifestyle choices.
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