All parents want their kids to be healthier, but it can often prove difficult to change bad habits, especially on a budget. It may not be easy but improving your household habits when it comes to health and wellness is worth the effort. Try these affordable ideas for introducing healthy habits for kids (and the whole family), courtesy of Kidsrush.
6 ways to encourage healthy habits for kids
Start Them Sipping
Hydration is crucial for everyone, especially kids. So, how much water should kids drink each day? Experts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say between seven and 14 cups of water is ideal, depending on age. Unfortunately, many children often protest against drinking plain water. Getting kids to drink more water means parents need to get creative.
Here’s the good news: It’s easy to slice up fruits or veggies to make an infused water option your kids will enjoy. Buy a reusable bottle (or pick a favorite cup from the cupboard) and try these produce options in your child’s next serving of H20:
Colorize Kids’ Plates
One way parents can ensure healthy habits for kids is by offering up a wide variety of foods. The more colorful your produce, the more varied nutrition you’ll have in each meal. Phytonutrients give vibrant foods their attractive hues – and as a bonus, kids might find their rainbow-style plates more appealing.
If there’s room in your budget for new dishware, consider choosing fun plates for little ones. Plenty of parents of toddlers swear by hacks like serving up small amounts of fruits and veggies, plus proteins and carbs, in muffin tins.
Get creative with the presentation, and it’ll be easier than ever to start those healthy habits for kids from the moment they start solids. Of course, if your child is one who is incredibly picky, or if your doctor has concerns, adding vitamins to their diet may be beneficial, too.
Hire a Mini-Chef to encourage healthy habits for kids
If you have a picky eater, it might be tough to encourage them to branch out, even if all their favorite colors are present on the plate. Another way to promote healthy habits for kids is getting them involved in the whole family’s wellness.
You can start in the kitchen by hiring your little one to help wash fruit, toss the salad together, and assemble foods like wraps, kabobs, or sandwiches. For older kids, offer them the freedom to pick a recipe, shop for ingredients, and be the boss of the kitchen for a meal or two. Be sure to teach cooking skills (and take appropriate safety precautions), too.
Getting kids to eat vegetables isn’t easy. But the more control they have over what they’re eating, the more likely they are to try new things – and make healthier choices.
Make Over Your Movement
Every expert recommends plenty of physical activity for growing bodies (and grown-up ones, too). But getting the right amount of exercise in is one of the most challenging parts of instilling healthy habits in kids. Being stuck at home – or glued to technology – often means kids (and teens) aren’t motivated to get moving. To help turn things around, pick activities the whole family can enjoy together. Going for a walk is so simple yet can serve as a bonding activity plus exercise for all ages. Outdoor activities for families – like hiking, biking, or even geocaching – can bring everyone together while you work up a sweat.
Closer to home, creating an indoor obstacle course for your preschooler or grabbing a cheap mini trampoline can get everyone’s heart rate up. You can even make your gaming time active with fitness games for your console and challenge your tween to some healthy competition. The key is keeping things fun and interesting – and getting your family off the couch.
Whatever activities you choose, make it more fun by dressing the part. Purchasing new workout gear for the whole family can add up, though. Seek out Nike promo code offers before you shop for a better deal no matter how many kids need new shoes, athletic shorts, or leggings.
Good habits for children go beyond healthy eating and getting exercise. Children – like adults – can experience stress, and they often feel it more intensely than grownups. Scholastic explains that common signs of stress in children include nightmares, bedwetting, trouble concentrating, eating or sleeping problems, and other concerning behaviors.
Fortunately, parents can help! In the same way that adults benefit from self-care, so do children. Self-care for kids can start with recognizing emotions and developing an awareness of their feelings in different situations. Even young children can learn to take deep breaths when they feel overwhelmed, go to a comfy “time in” or “calm down” spot to relax or even meditate.
Go Somewhere Green
Adults often spend hours each day connected to technology, and kids are catching up fast. But experts say that it’s more crucial than ever for families to spend time in nature. Healthy habits for kids should include outdoor experiences, both with parents and alone, to promote responsibility, teach creativity, and reduce stress. The whole family can get in on this healthy habit, enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine on their faces.
Teaching kids healthy habits is a tall order. But by implementing some or all of these ideas when it comes to healthy habits for kids and the whole family, you can turn things around. Need more ideas for a healthier and happier family? Visit Kidsrush for more great content!