Childhood sets the stage for a person’s habits throughout the rest of their life, so it’s important to establish a pattern of health and wellness early on. By encouraging children to eat healthy foods and maintain an active lifestyle, you are encouraging them to continue to be healthy and active later in life.
One of the most important things to do to encourage a healthy lifestyle is to allow your child time to play. An estimated 75% of children between the ages of five and 10 get fewer than 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and children become less active as they age. Try to find ways to include the whole family in physical activities, such as taking walks or bicycling together.
Organized Sports Lead To Healthy Habits
For extra activity, consider enrolling your child in an organized sport or extracurricular activity such as gymnastics. Gymnastic lessons help children develop fine and gross motor skills, in addition to keeping them active. Gymnastics clubs are well equipped to help your child learn safely and correctly. The knowledgeable coaches will stress the importance of stretching and help your child avoid injury.
In addition to encouraging physical activity, consider looking for healthy snack ideas and meal choices to add to your child’s menu. Children and adolescents between two and 18 get 40% of their daily calories from added sugars and solid fats. Consider healthy snack ideas like fruits and veggies, yogurt, nuts and cheese. Try to buy leaner meats, and add at least one serving of fish each week. Look for healthy substitutes in baked recipes, such as applesauce or bananas in place of eggs and oil, to increase consumption of vitamins and minerals.
With healthy snack ideas and physical activity as the base of each day, you are giving your children a solid foundation on which to build healthy habits down the road.