As a parent, you pass so much more than just your genetics onto your children. Kids are notorious for picking up habits and behaviours from their parents and they learn the most from adults as they grow up.
From you, children will learn how to act, treat other people, react and communicate and these skills form the foundation of their personality and decision making throughout their life. It’s important to realise that the decisions and lifestyle choices you make can have an impact on your children, in more ways than one.
Demonstrating healthy habits and choices to your children from an early age will greatly influence their own decisions as they grow older. It really is an invaluable lesson you can pass on. With that in mind, here are 3 healthy habits to pass on to your children from a young age.
Take Up Fun, Regular Exercise
Not every child loves sports, but if they see you being active and enjoying physical activities from a young age, they’ll be more inclined to try out new things, too. They’ll then be more interested in staying healthy if being active comes easily to them, so it’s best to start this interest early on. If your child is younger than 5 years old, then they will likely be more interested in running around and playing games, but now is the perfect time to introduce them to different sports and activities such as swimming, cycling, gymnastics or football as a family or as a bit of fun over the weekend.
Studies have found that children who spend more than an hour of television per day are at greater risk of developing health problems as they grow older, including weight management problems, irregular sleep, impaired academic performance and behavioural difficulties.
Avoid forcing the interest, as this will only make them disinterested in finding an activity they will like. Instead, it should be an organic discovery for them as they grow older. If your child hasn’t found their sports interest, then encourage them to keep trying different things until they find something they like or enjoy. As they get older, teach your children the importance of exercise and the different positive impacts it can have on their health and bodies.
Adopt Healthy Eating Habits
Children are notorious for being fussy eaters, but if you introduce them to healthy foods from an early age, then they will be more likely to eat them regularly without kicking up a fuss. Plus, if they see you eating them without any trouble, then they’ll be less wary about trying new foods. Eating a range of foods in different colours isn’t just fun for children, but there are many different health benefits too. You can help your children learn about the nutritional aspect of foods by simply including a range of colourful foods as part of their daily diet.
As well as the foods they eat, the eating habits they adopt are important too. Things such as making sure to eat breakfast and following a regular mealtime routine are important for energy levels and if taught at a young age, children will be more likely to follow this habit as they get older. When it comes to snacks, avoid relying too much on convenience and ready-made foods and instead, find fun ways to present healthy snacks and make them look interesting. A fun and colourful reusable snack bag is a good investment to make as they can take healthy snacks with them on days out or to school.
Personal Health Is Important
There are many things you can teach your children about from a young age, but one of the most important is their personal health and how to look after their bodies. Try to form the habit of regularly brushing their teeth from an early age so that they continue with this throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Children have delicate immune systems, especially from an early age, so getting them into the habit of regularly washing their hands, such as when they go to the bathroom, before eating, after petting animals and when they come in from being outside can help to protect them from picking up childhood bugs and illnesses as easily.