Parents have a lot of responsibilities. There are so many things kids need help with that it can be overwhelming sometimes. And while you do your best, you may forget to instill certain healthy habits.
Health habits help your children grow and develop into healthy individuals. So, you must do everything in your power to ensure they maintain healthy habits into adulthood.
Here are five habits you should start teaching a child at a young age.
1. Regular Physical Activities
Fitness is a crucial aspect of your child’s development. Regular physical activity is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps a child get more sleep and energy throughout the day.
Sports activities also help kids develop discipline and focus. Although, exercise caution when letting them choose their sport. If they have any medical conditions, take that into account. Also, ask them what sport they like and what their goals are. This will enable you both to find sports that interest them.
Other activities such as dancing, swimming, and yoga are highly recommended. They help kids burn calories and improve their motor skills. Once your kid finds sports, they enjoy, stay supportive. They may not excel at everything, but never discourage them from following their dreams! At the same time, it’s best to supervise them when they are doing physical activities. Their safety is of the utmost importance.
2. Limited Screen Time
Kids are naturally curious. It’s great to allow them to learn by themselves with their own devices. However, don’t let them spend their whole day on the computer or TV screen.
To limit their time, set a time limit for how long your child can use specific devices. You can also make it fun by rewarding your child when they abide by the time limit.
How much screen time kids should have is debatable. There’s no right or wrong amount. Just be consistent in your parenting and set ground rules. Some devices can be great tools for learning new things. For example, kids can learn much using the LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Kids’ Learning Tablet.
Overall, try to balance your child’s screen time with other activities to ensure they are not too dependent on them.
3. Proper Oral Hygiene
Another healthy habit is for a child to brush and floss their teeth twice daily. You can hold the toothbrush yourself and help guide a child through their mouth. Be sure to teach them how to clean their teeth properly.
Sometimes children develop oral health issues, such as teeth grinding. Your dentist can also help you diagnose any problems your child might have with their teeth. For example, if your child grinds their teeth, a dentist may recommend using a night guard. The guard will prevent their teeth from grinding at night.
4. Healthy Diet
Kids need a lot of nutrients to grow up healthy and strong. So they should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
You should also give your child enough water to drink for adequate hydration. Water is better than sodas and juices, which contain a lot of sugar that can harm a growing body.
Educate your child and help them understand what a balanced diet is. A diet plan can help kids develop healthy eating habits. The right program will give them a visual layout of the right foods to eat. At the same time, encourage a child to accept new foods and not be picky about food. If they’re too picky or don’t eat the right foods, they may have many health problems later in life.
5. Plenty of Sleep
Healthy sleep habits will help your child grow up healthy and happy. Kids who don’t get enough rest are more prone to depression and are less attentive. Sleep also affects mood, concentration, and ability to learn.
Thankfully there are many ways to ensure a child gets adequate sleep:
- Keep their room dark and quiet.
- Provide a sleep mask if they are sensitive to light
- Use a white noise machine for younger children to help them fall asleep faster
- Turn off the TV and electronics well before bedtime
- Help them wrap up their homework earlier in the evening
The recommended amount is nine hours per day. So, keep this in mind as you gauge how much sleep your child gets. Furthermore, watch out for signs of insomnia and other sleep disorders like bedwetting. Schedule an appointment with your pediatrician if you notice anything of the sort.
Parents naturally want their kids to grow up strong and healthy. But, at the same time, kids must understand their responsibilities to care for themselves.
Help your child become aware of the importance of these five healthy habits. And do your best to ensure they practice them daily. You can start by using these tips as a knowledge base.