Did you know that childhood obesity has quadrupled since 1970 in America? Good choices of food for your children’s diets improve their quality of life. It also forms healthy habits that they’ll carry for life.
But diet is just one component of healthy child development. Do you know what habits you should teach to ensure a healthy lifestyle?
Read on for a guide that will help you formulate a healthy habits list to steer your child in the right direction.
Children who eat breakfast often eat healthier in general. They’re also more likely to be active, which maintains a healthy weight. Not eating breakfast might make your child feel tired and irritable.
Eating a balanced breakfast refuels their bodies for the day. Protein should be an essential part of their first meal. Try serving things like eggs, whole-grain toast, fruits, and yogurts in the morning.
It’s good to present healthy foods in a fun way whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, a plate filled with brightly colored diverse foods usually translates to good nutritional value.
For example, apples and grapes add red and purple. Vegetables like carrots and broccoli add orange and green. Making meals that are visually stimulating is a good way to get kids to try new foods.
Check Snack Labels
Read food labels with your child to teach them nutrition and to screen their snacks. Pay special attention to the amount of sugar, saturated fat, and calories, as well as the serving size of snacks.
Foods with more than one ingredient must list them in descending order by their amount. So, if sugar is the first ingredient, it means the snack has more sugar than any other ingredient.
It’s important to teach good brushing and flossing habits after eating those healthy meals. Teaching your child proper dental hygiene from a young age sets them on a lifelong path to a healthy smile.
Both oral hygiene and a balanced diet help prevent dental issues like cavities and gum disease. Find a fluoride toothpaste flavor that your child likes and teach them to brush at least twice a day.
The brushing motion isn’t as important as some people think. The main goal should be thoroughly cleaning each tooth, whether brushing in circles or back and forth.
Also, consider children’s orthodontics for certain dental issues. This can greatly improve a child’s confidence and even prevent future problems with their teeth.
Fewer Screens and More Activity
Today’s children are often immersed in digital all throughout their day. This includes things like computers, smartphones, and television. Teaching children to limit their screen time can improve their daily life.
Too much screen time can hurt social development, cause insomnia, and make kids anxious. Exposure to inappropriate media can even desensitize children to violence.
Replace screen time with physical activities. Try things like hiking, swimming, sports, or any physical hobby that interests your child. Also, plan family activities and participate in an active lifestyle together.
Set aside a minimum of 1 hour each day for physical activity. Do this at least 3 days out of the week but more if possible. Reading is a great way for your child to wind down after physical activities and is another healthy habit.
Make Your Healthy Habits List
Now that you have some great ideas it’s time to make your healthy habits list. Remember to choose your child’s foods wisely, prioritize physical activity, and limit screen time.
Check out our other health articles for more great tips.