Did you know that childhood obesity is the No. 1 health concern of parents in the United States? More and more kids are experiencing health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, which were normally not seen until adulthood. The good news is that as a parent, you can help your children steer clear of obesity by teaching them the importance of exercise, good nutrition and other healthy habits.
Building a healthy foundation. Your children look up to you and learn their behaviors from you. Help your children develop a healthy lifestyle that lasts into adulthood with these tips.
1. Teach them about healthy foods.
Children know the difference between what they like and what they don’t like, but they don’t always know what’s good for them. Teach your kids about good nutrition and what makes foods healthy. With the right education, they will be ready to make good food choices later in life.
2. Keep healthy snacks on hand.
Grab-and-go snacking is meant to be easy. When you’re busy, keep quick and healthy snacks around to limit the temptation for bad choices and help keep you and your kids on track. Apples, grapes and yogurt are great choices.
3. Exercise together.
Exercise is fun when the whole family is involved. Choose activities like walking, riding bikes or heading to a park to keep kids active and parents involved. Exercising together helps build a strong family and healthy bodies at the same time.
4. Eat dinner together.
Quality family time at dinner helps build family relationships and provides a foundation for healthy eating. Take it a step further and have kids help put the meal together so they learn more about good nutrition.
5. Support your kids.
Speak positively and let your kids know you support them in everything they do. Let them know when they’ve done a good job and celebrate their successes to help them build a good self-image.
6. Be a good role model.
Send a message of good health for your family and set the tone for healthy behaviors. Children see your behaviors and will mirror your healthy eating and exercise habits.
7. Stay active.
Set a limit for the amount of computer, video and handheld games they can play each day. Encourage activities and games involving exercise.