Every parent wants their child to grow up strong, healthy, and happy. Various studies have found that healthy children tend to have better overall health in adulthood and vice versa. The habits that you teach your children when they’re young will influence how they behave as adults. This is why you should encourage healthy lifestyle habits in your household and closely monitor your children’s health and wellbeing. With that in mind, here are five easy ways to keep your children healthy:
1. Encourage them to be active
Children are becoming less and less active, and childhood obesity is now a major health concern. Statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that “19.3% of children are classed as obese in the United States.” Being overweight puts children at risk of serious health conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the most effective ways to keep your children at a healthy weight is by encouraging them to be active. Health professionals recommend that children should do around one hour of physical activity a day to maintain good health. They should also do muscle building and strengthening activities such as climbing. You can increase the amount of exercise your children do by encouraging them to join team sports or suggesting that they get involved in outdoor hobbies like cycling or swimming.
2. Eat meals together as a family
Nutrition is important at any age, especially for children who are growing and developing. A healthy diet can prevent many common illnesses and diseases including high blood pressure and diabetes. Research shows that healthy eating habits are more likely to stick, if you adopt them in childhood. A study by American Heart Foundation found that “developing healthy eating behaviors in childhood can lower the risk of adult obesity and heart disease.” Pay close attention to the food that you buy and feed your children a healthy diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to avoid processed meals and junk food like crisps, chocolate, and fizzy soda. Instead, encourage your family to choose healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, or rice cakes.
Eating meals together as a family will allow you to monitor your children’s diet and teach them healthy habits when it comes to food and nutrition. Eating together also helps to strengthen family ties and build a close and loving relationship with your children. Aim to eat meals together as often as possible and use groups meals as an opportunity to catch up and discuss family issues or plans.
3. Monitor their growth and development
You should monitor your child’s growth to check that their development is on track. If you notice any issues with their physical or mental development, then you should seek medical advice. In many cases, early intervention and treatment can address development issues and resolve concerns. There are many tools available to help you monitor your child’s development. For example, you can use a height percentile calculator to track your child’s growth and compare their height against the national average for their age. Keep a record of your child’s growth and update it regularly to check for any concerns or issues.
4. Make sure they get enough sleep
Poor sleep quality can affect your child in various ways. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can cause low mood, irritability, poor concentration, and learning difficulties. It can also contribute to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. A lack of sleep can harm your child’s physical and mental wellbeing and affect their development. This is why you must ensure that your children are getting the recommended amount of sleep every night. You can improve your child’s sleep by creating a consistent bedtime routine, making their bedroom a relaxing environment, and banning blue light-emitting technology before bed.
5. Teach them good dental hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can lead to painful dental issues like decay, cavities, and gum disease. You should teach your children good dental hygiene habits and show them the correct technique to brush their teeth. Limit the about of sugar that your children consume and make sure that you book them in for checkups at their dentist every six months.
Maintaining healthy habits in your household will help your children transition into health-conscious adults. Teach your children important aspects of health such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and personal hygiene. This will help them maintain good overall health and make healthy choices in the future.