When you have a child, you realize that you have a great responsibility for how they turn out to be later in life. Even though this is the greatest role every parent can have, it’s also the most problematic one. The importance of building positive and healthy habits is enormous, as your kids will get a strong foundation for success and health in the future. Yes, these are some big words we use, but they all depend on every child’s early development. These are the seven healthy habits to teach your kids and make sure they stay healthy and strong for as long as possible.
The importance of starting healthy habits in early childhood
Even though they are ‘just kids,’ your little ones can benefit a lot from developing healthy habits. Firstly, this minimizes the risk of developing bad habits that could cost them in the future. Next, after they learn to maintain a healthy habit, the body releases happy hormones and makes kids feel content with themselves. Finally, healthy habits improve your kids’ overall health, and they will learn that good things and stable health take time and end effort. Getting healthy skin, teeth or hair is not something you can get in an instant – your kids will learn that these things come with healthy habits from an early age.
What are the most important healthy habits to teach your kids?
Sometimes, parents are unsure about the best time to include certain habits into their kids’ daily routine. That’s why we prepared the list of healthy habits you can start implementing now, and your kids will enjoy them for life.
1. Washing their hands regularly
Those curious little hands will touch everything for the sake of exploration and learning. That’s why it’s essential to teach them to wash their hands frequently – before every meal, after they come home, after being outside, and after using the restroom. As we’ve witnessed a global pandemic recently, frequent hand washing is a habit parents should insist on. You can make it fun by getting an interesting soap dispenser or singing a song that will last as long as necessary to get that dirt off their hands.
2. Morning/nighttime routine
Teach your kids to begin and end their day with healthy habits. Morning and bedtime routines will help them start their day with a boost of energy and go to sleep feeling secure and calm. These routines should include washing their teeth. Dental hygiene is undoubtedly one of the healthiest habits to teach your kids. Also, include bath times, reading a story, etc.
Your kids should also wake up and go to bed at a specific time. Stable sleep routines will improve the quality of their sleep. Also, the fixed time they go to bed will ensure they don’t try to postpone bedtime but go to sleep without arguing.
3. Family meals
Even though we live in a fast-paced world where everyone has a lot of things to do, we always insist on having meals together as a family. This is a valuable family time where you will make sure your kids have finished a healthy meal. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to talk, address specific issues, and answer questions your little ones might have. Make at least one meal a day a valuable bonding time with your loved ones.
4. Breakfast is a must
Out of all meals in your day, make breakfast the most important one. Skipping breakfast is not good for our metabolism. That’s why you should make it a healthy habit for your kids to eat a balanced, nutritious breakfast every morning. This will ensure they have enough energy to start their day and maintain the positive morning routine we mentioned earlier.
Bonus tip: when it comes to nutritious meals, you can introduce a healthy habit of reading food labels. If they know more about ingredients, fats, calories, and sugar counts, your kids won’t have weight issues in the future.
Drinking water is essential for the good health of both kids and adults. Staying hydrated will ensure your kids feel better, are more active, and crave less of those bad, sweet drinks. Implement this habit by explaining that our bodies are mostly made of water, and we need it to survive. Also, try to avoid buying sodas, but invest in a freshwater dispenser that your kids can use at all times. Finally, make it a habit to order water as your beverage when you all go to dinner.
6. Stay active
Our bodies thrive from nutritious meals but also from staying active each day. This is another challenge parents need to face nowadays. With all the electronics and toys at their disposal, kids often want to skip outdoor time. Staying active each day should also be one of the healthy habits to teach your kids. However, not every child is into the sports they offer at school. So, pick an activity they will love, so it gives better results. Introduce all the activities they can enjoy – and do it together. Hiking, swimming – options are endless. At the same time, try to be a good example for them. You should avoid being a couch potato, but go outside and spend some quality time together.
7. Dealing with stress the right way
It’s important to teach your kids how to deal with stress. The problems and tasks they deal with during childhood usually aren’t too serious. But they are an excellent way to learn how to cope with challenges. Parents also play a significant role here as they can be a great example of how to solve daily problems. For instance, when moving long-distance with your kids, you have an ideal opportunity to show them how to be organized and stay healthy during this critical event. Your kids can also participate in some moving tasks. This is a great way for them to learn to be efficient and hard-working, but at the same time stay healthy and feel good.
It’s not easy for parents to cover all the aspects of their kids’ early development. However, with these healthy habits to teach your kids, you will be halfway through making sure they quickly build a solid and healthy foundation.