I was surprised when I went to a friend’s house for a playdate for our kids and found junk food all over the kitchen. I don’t have a problem with junk food occasionally, maybe even once a day, but to give your kid a diet consisting of a lot of junk food.
That’s just not okay. When you give your child food, especially snacks, they should be healthy so as they grow they learn that this is the food that’s the best for them. The worst part of all this junk food is her kid is five (FIVE), and he has over eight cavities.I have 6 habits that I instilled in my children from the moment I could start, and I’m here to help you so your child can have a healthier life, especially as they age.
The 6 Habits Your Child Should Practice
These are all simple practices that will help your child have a healthier outlook on life physically, mentally, and emotionally. Let’s get to it!
#1: Brushing Their Teeth
My mom LOVES funky baby breath. I admit, the breath is cute, at first, but as my child got older and their breath didn’t get better, I needed to put an end to that. I started at six months, using a finger toothbrush and baby-safe toothpaste.
At first, you’re just rubbing gums, but this also helps with teething. As they begin to teeth, they’ll bite down on the toothbrush your using. Two birds with one stone. Love it.
Secondly, the repeated action gets them ready for when you start brushing their teeth with a child toothbrush and then getting them to do it on their own. The transition is easy since most kids don’t want their parents to brush their teeth, especially at sleepovers. How embarrassing, ugh!
Watching your child grow makes time for bonding activities where your child will try to talk to you. Listen and ask questions, but don’t try too hard. You want this to be where your child learns that they can come to you with information and for advice.
If you open the doors to communication, keep it open and honest. Let your child know that if they come to you, you will listen. Don’t punish them for telling you the truth. Otherwise, it’ll push them to close the doors.
Healthy communication is important, especially in those preteen to teenage years when your children become secretive and private. Make sure they know that they can come to you, especially when they need to.
#3: Healthy Eating
ntroduce your child to healthy food at an early age. They may not know what you’re talking about or why you check serving sizes, but they’ll get into that habit by watching you do it consistently. Speak to them about why it’s important and how food affects the body, and how to choose healthy choices.
Allowing them to have this experience as a child, without it being negative or forced on them will encourage the behavior to eat healthy, properly, and no over-indulge into sweets and junk food.
There’s a healthy balance of giving your child good self-esteem and making them think they’re the center of the world. My sister is like that, thinking she’s the best around and takes everyone’s breath away. I do not want my child to be like that. Confidence is one thing, but I don’t need my kid to be arrogant and self-centered.
Compliment your child, especially when they pick out their own clothes. If your teen is asking your advice, be honest (they really do care despite what they say). Make sure if you don’t like an item they’re wearing, the know it’s the item and reassure them they look good.
To keep your child from being self-centered, make sure they give compliments to others, even those they don’t know. Encourage your child to be kind and generous when it comes to compliments and self-esteem building.
#5: Body Conscious
Too many young girls are hung up on their bodies, and they think they need to look a certain way, be an impossible number on the scale, and need big boobs and a small frame. Encourage your child to be healthy and make sure they know that being healthy is different than magazines that photoshop and airbrush.
Help your child, or teen, reach a healthy body-conscious attitude, so what they see in the mirror is what they are proud of, inside and out.
I rarely see children outside running around anymore. My neighborhood has become silent with kids staying inside to play video games. It was beautiful last week, hit about 70 degrees and my son wanted to play with his friend. He asked him to come outside. Instead, the boy told him to come in to play video games because he didn’t want to be outside.
Exercise is so important for children’s health. I didn’t exercise as a kid, I played outside, enjoyed kickball, ran track as I got older and played volleyball. Most of my friends were active because there weren’t any games to play inside and if there were, we didn’t want to play them.
When your children are young, exercise with your stroller. Take them with you and encourage them to come along as they grow. Encourage talking, picnics, and picture taking just to get them to go with you. Exercise is a terrific way to boost metabolism, energy, and happiness.
For the Sake of Future Generations
Increase your child’s health so they can live long, healthy lives full of adventures, wonderment, and enjoyment. Maybe your child will be the outdoorsy type, a doctor or nutritionist, or a personal trainer. No one knows, but helping them to be healthy is crucial to their future.
What are some tips you would give to parents struggling with a child who has body issues? How would you handle your child’s unhealthy eating habit? Is there anything you’d add to this list?
Shirley is the proud mother of two beautiful children. She has been writing informational blog posts for parents for a few years now and hopes she can help with your questions and concerns with parenting. You can visit her blog or follow her on twitter