The best way to make sure your kids are healthy – is to be a healthy parent! When you, as a parent, provide an consistent example of healthy eating and exercise, your kids are much more likely to also prefer healthy foods and a fit lifestyle. Here’s some tips for healthy kids and families.
Healthy Eating Tips
First, start the day with a healthy breakfast, as this helps to fuel up the body for the day, and provides energy that you and your kids need to have a productive day as well. Getting your kids involved in planning and preparing a couple of meals during the week, can help them to understand why it’s important to eat healthy!
Help your kids understand that it pays to take your time eating, as your body doesn’t register that it’s “full” until 20 minutes after you start eating. Eating your meals with your kids can make this much easier. And, serve small portions, helping them to understand portion control.
Make sure your meals incorporate more vegetables and fresh fruits – around 2 cups of fruit, and 2 1/2 cups of veggies per day. And, to keep them (and you) from getting bored with your diet too easily, add some variety in terms of the foods you choose to serve. Finally, avoid frying foods. Instead, try broiling, baking or grilling your foods.
Move more! Get up and move around every 30 minutes – and try to get between 30-60 minutes of physical activity per day in total. So, try things like going for a walk or riding your bike – and bring your kids along! Another way to make sure your kids get enough activity, to do things with them as part of your normal activities, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator. Park the car further away from the entry of stores you visit, making everybody walk more.
Get a home treadmill, exercise bike, rower, or elliptical – and teach your older kids how to use it. Then, exercise while watching television, and invite them to join you. Limit your television / computer / video game time to less than 2 hours per day, and do the same for them. Instead of becoming sedentary, do more active things that involve movement.
Additional Things to Consider
Try keeping a journal of what you eat, how much, when, and why. And, with that, keep an activity log. If you are tracking what you are doing, it’s much easier to see areas where you can improve. From these journals, you can then set diet and fitness goal that you can target.
Put your workouts on the calendar, and refer to it to help your kids see the importance of scheduling exercise into your daily life.
Eat only when you’re hungry, not because you’re stressed, bored, or tired. Teach your kids the importance of getting out and doing something when they’re bored, or have had a bad day, rather than eating!
These are just some simple tips for diet and exercise, that can help you develop habits in your family to make sure you have healthy kids, while also improving your own health and fitness levels.