As a parent, it's likely that one of your main objectives is keeping your kids healthy. When it comes to their overall health, diet and lifestyle are two of its star players. It's important to remember that this all starts with you being their provider. Here are some ways you can ensure you're getting your kids up for a lifetime of good health and healthy habits.
Go Right to the Source
Making sure your kids are adequately hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for their health. Just how important is it? Everything from sleep to healthy cells to balanced moods depends on it.
Have you given your home's water any thought? How does it taste? Does it have any off-putting odors? Poor water quality is common in homes, and unpleasant tasting water means it's probably not going to be your family's first choice for a beverage.
Fortunately, improving your water is possible and it's not all that difficult. Installing a water softener system is a quick and easy way to transform your home's entire supply, by greatly improving the taste and removing odors (typically caused by minerals).
Once your water is perfect, try some ways to make drinking it more enticing for your kids. Using chunks of frozen fruit in place of plain old ice cubes will keep it cold and give it a fruity kick, and fun re-usable straws or kid-friendly water bottles will make hydration more enjoyable.
Build a Strong Foundation
It's no surprise that children are easily influenced. When it comes to healthy living and making healthy choices, what types of messages are you sending them?
Start with your daily habits. If you're guilty of sipping on coffee or sodas throughout the day, it will be a pretty hard sell for you to convince your kids to stick with water or other unsweetened healthy beverages. If you haven't already, purchase a tumbler or nice water bottle for yourself and let yourself be seen drinking water from it throughout the day.
Be conscious of what you bring home from your next grocery trip. Making the switch to seltzer from soda is a great way to incorporate variety without all the added sugars and calories. Plus, fizz is a hit with kids. Getting them involved in the kitchen can pique their interest and encourage trying new things. Put your kids in charge of making a healthy salad for the table, or have fun putting together kid-friendly veggie plates. Keep wholesome snacks on hand and limit processed foods as much as possible, but keep in mind that it's good for kids to understand and practice moderation with treats as well (so don't be afraid of cookies, ice cream or salty snacks from time to time).
Exercise is another important part of a healthy lifestyle that can easily be instilled, and you don't need to be an Olympic athlete to make a good impression. While exercising and being active together is awesome, don't forget that kids notice everything — so if you stick to a regular workout schedule, they'll pick up on your dedication to staying healthy. Did you know that exercise and physical activity can make kids better able to deal with physical and emotional challenges? In a world where there is a lot happening and where kids are being directly affected, staying active is important for their overall health and well-being.
If parenting came with a manual, there would be a lot of relieved moms, dads and guardians out there. But it doesn't, so it's essential that you're able to make good choices and set good examples for your kids. Focus on modeling as many healthy habits at home as possible to ensure they're learned by your kids and carried with them for the long run. Being smart and being proactive will definitely pay off.