Teaching kids about health and healthy living involves two key components. The first component is to teach kids about healthy lifestyles. The second component is to model a healthy lifestyle in your own choices and behaviors.
The Fun Way To Eating Healthy
It's common knowledge that childhood obesity rates are among the highest they've ever been. That means that you, as the parent or caregiver, need to provide healthy food choices for your children to select from. You can teach kids to make wise choices at home and when they eat out at restaurants, including fast food places. Emphasize that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and that poultry, meat, and fish all contain high levels of protein. Teach them that protein works similar to the way fuel works in a train or other vehicle-their bodies need it in order to function properly and keep them going.
Teach kids about healthy choices for side dishes, as well. Carbohydrates are another important part of a child's diet, but there are both good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates, so they should be taught which are the best carb choices when making their selections. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources. Pasta, rice, and potatoes are good choices, too, but whole grains are the best. A proper serving size for these items is approximately cup. You will need to show children how much that actually is, and the best way to do that is to demonstrate it by serving portions of that size.
Please not that some fats should be included in our diet. Do not get rid of them as a whole. I am not a big fan of sugars, but some sugar is OK just do not let your children over indulge.
Exercise And Health
In past decades, kids used to play outside until the moon appeared. These days are quite different. More and more parents are looking at the safety concerns when leaving children outside with no supervision. Work days are even more hectic which means that any kids activities need to be scheduled in order for our kids to play.
When kids do have free time, kids these days are frequently involved in sedentary activities like gaming, computer time, or watching television. There are some innovative video games that promote healthy activities as a part of the experience, and this is a great way to participate exercise with gaming; However, the majority of video games are still sit and play games.
The best way to teach kids when it comes to healthy exercise is to allow them to participate in fun healthy activities.
Let's get our kids back outside to playing the old fashion way by using the swings and slides, chasing one another, and playing the old game of tag. This alone will get the heart pumping. Skating and jumping rope as well as riding a bike and walks in the park will ensure healthy habits.
Healthy Hygiene Is Important
When your kids were tiny, most loved bath time. They could not get enough of their time in the water with their bubbles and toys. Back then, you were pretty much in charge of ensuring that they came out of the tub sparkling clean and shiny, though, so there was not a lot of hassle about bathing. Unfortunately, most kids hit a stage when you need to monitor their bathing habits or they'll skip bathing altogether.
Both girls and boys hit a point where getting them to take a bath or a shower is something akin to torture. Then they emerge from the bathroom barely wet with dry hair, dirty fingernails, and re-dressed in the same clothes. They seem unaware that they need to develop good hygiene habits so they do not smell bad and get teased by classmates. As the caregiver, you need to teach them how to wash properly.
Teaching your children how to use a washcloth is important as well. Try to start by helping them to understand they need to wash behind the ears, and in all body crevices. Also how to wash the hair by using the fingertips to message to scalp to work the suds that wash the hair. Did you know that learning how to properly dry off is equally important?
Another aspect of good hygiene is dental care. Kids should be instructed on how to properly floss and brush. This should be taught at an early age. Other habits to include in good dental care is learning how to use mouthwash as a daily routine to keep plaque levels low. Teaching these behaviors at an early age is always best for the long run.
We Are The Parents
Parents need to take their parent responsibilities seriously. In addition to teaching them about eating right, exercising, and proper hygiene, they need to model all of these healthy behaviors personally. They also need to talk with their children-and listen-so they can help them avoid the negative impacts of others and prevent them from adopting bad habits like smoking, drinking, or drugs.
Responsibility should also be taught to our kids. Examples would be to learn how to do the laundry, household chores as well. Teaching our kids these things will be of importance down the road for when they grow up and are out on their own.
By Warren D. Griffin
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