We all want the best for our children, but if we’re being honest, we probably aren’t setting the best example. Because saying and doing are two completely different things. We want better for our children than we accept for ourselves, but it’s difficult to inspire change when you’re doing the same old thing. The only way to really teach your kids to live a healthy lifestyle is through example. Set a good example for your kids through your own habits and encourage them to make healthy choices for themselves.
Here are some powerful ways to teach your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle.
You can involve your kids in the cooking process from about the time they start eating solid foods. Naturally, at this point, they’re more playing than cooking, but it still makes an impact.
As your kids get older, cooking together can help strengthen your bond and encourage them to have a healthy relationship with food.
During your time cooking together, take the healthy living lifestyle to the next level by teaching your children about the ingredients you’re using. Talk about the nutritional benefits, including vitamins and minerals, that each ingredient offers. When you think of food as true nourishment, it’s easier to adopt a healthy attitude towards nutrition.
Plan group activities
If you want your children to become more active, get active with them. Plan family hikes, bike rides or dance parties. Teach them how to tape a hockey stick and hit the ice rink with them, or grab a basketball and shoot some hoops. This is another case where you must lead by example. If you’re struggling with the idea of your kids spending too much time on their phones, it’s up to you to make a change. This is another case where you must lead by example. If you’re struggling with the idea of your kids spending too much time on their phones, it’s up to you to make a change.
“Do what I say not what I do” is a philosophy that’s simply not going to work here. If you want your children to get active, make it fun for them. And, at least at first, make it mandatory.
After some time, everyone will have so much fun that they’ll look forward to the group activities.
Set limits on technology
These days, it’s common for families to struggle with technology time. It’s difficult to strike a healthy balance because technology is such a large part of our lives.
But if you want to teach your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle, its crucial that you set limits on technology. When you’re focused on a screen, you’re not living your best life. It’s challenging to be fully engaged in this moment of your life if your mind is focused on what’s happening on your phone, computer or television.
Never use food as a reward
Think about your own relationship with food. If you think of food as a reward, or if you associate food with love, you may have an unhealthy relationship with food.
This is something you don’t want to pass on to your children. When you reward your child with a sugary treat or use desserts to uplift a child’s mood after any sort of injury, you’re encouraging an unhealthy relationship with food.
It’s always done with the best intentions, and this relationship is ingrained into our society. But you can do your part to encourage healthier relationships with food.
Encourage healthy relationships
Part of being healthy is having healthy relationships with the people in our lives. From when your child is very young, talk about his or her relationships. Talk about their feelings around other people and offer advice on how to handle relationships when you feel it’s necessary.
Not only should your child learn to be empathetic and a good friend, but they should learn to recognize those healthy traits in other people. In this way, your child will naturally attract healthy people and distance his or herself from unhealthy people.
Emotional wellbeing is such an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle, and if you can give your child the gift of emotional wellbeing, that may be the best gift.
Avoid bad habits
Your child won’t have access to certain bad habits when they’re young, but if they see you doing them, they’re likely to pick up those habits later in life.
These are habits like drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Consuming alcohol isn’t inherently wrong, but it can be damaging when it becomes a habit. Teach your kids how to have a healthy relationship with alcohol – by leading through example.
Your children are paying attention, and they’re picking up more than you realize.
If you want to set your children up for success as adults, teach them the healthy habits they need to get ahead in life. By leading through example, you can solidify healthy habits in your children that will become second nature to them by the time they become adults.
This often means addressing your own unhealthy habits, but the effort is completely worthwhile.
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