Healthy habits start at home. And there’s no better way to teach your kids to be healthier than to lead by example.
According to a research published in The Journal Law, Medicine and Ethics, parents greatly influence their offspring especially when it comes to making food choices. The more an adult shows how good certain food choices are, how exercise is good for the body, and how healthier options are the way to go, the more a child understands.
Here are some surefire ways to set a good example for your kids:
Develop their love for an active lifestyle
Encourage your kids to play at least one sport! Starting them young not only keeps them healthy, it also helps them develop values that sports teach such as the spirit of camaraderie, sportsmanship, hard work, and discipline. When a child is exposed to the world of sports, it becomes a hobby or passion that will be difficult to outgrow. Spend family time under the sun, walk outside, and enjoy the great outdoors!
Assign them food-related errands
A great tip would be to let your children accompany you when buying ingredients for your home-cooked meals – especially when it means taking a visit to the local wet market. Teach them how to pick fresh produce! Picking good fruits and veggies is a skill they’ll be able to use until they get older. Allowing them to be involved makes the labor of sourcing ingredients less intimidating for them.
Involve them in the cooking process
After doing errands, let them in on the cooking fun as well! Don’t just let them watch you cook, teach them how to prepare a meal. Make it a fun bonding activity with your kids! Show them how simple it would be to make a healthy meal and how fun it could be doing it. Show them these are meals you prefer to eat because of all the benefits you could have from just one bite! You can even let them compare how much you can save if you eat at home!
Build their palette
Mix up your daily menus at home! Make sure to keep things interesting while using healthy recipes. Try asking what kinds of food your kids enjoy and recreate them while adding new ingredients they can try! Most people don’t eat healthy simply because they are not aware of the different ingredients you can use for certain meals.
Craving for some pasta? Try making spaghetti squash! Want a meat stew? Try using tofu instead! Non-greasy burgers? Use mushroom as filling! The more you widen their knowledge on food, the more they’ll seek for better alternatives for consumption!
Follow a diet
Parents have to make conscious choices of what they serve their kids. It’s best to follow a diet or cut down on certain foods that aren’t so good for the body like sugar. You can do this by choosing brown rice over white, going for wheat products and opting for yogurt instead of ice cream!
Sleep early (take bedtime seriously)
Another good habit that kids could mirror from you is the habit of going to bed early. When they see their parents hitting the sheets, it would only be natural that they follow suit. Share how much sleep is valuable and shouldn’t be taken for granted. More often than not, sleep is taken for granted. And though it’s hard, it’s a discipline we must do and pass down to our kids!
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