Keeping yourself healthy is all well and good, but as a parent, your main concern is your children. Giving them an example of ways to stay fit and eat right are underlying motivators for your own routine. Go on, admit it. You don’t want to wake up before work and exercise. You want to eat that extra slice of cake on your birthday. But what does that say to your children? After all, kids look to their parents for reasons to stay healthy. We all know if it were left up to them, children would sit in front of the television all day and eat candy. So, how do you encourage your children to live a healthy lifestyle that they can carry into adulthood?
Set an Example: You’re already on track with this one. By starting to exercise and eat a healthy diet yourself, your children will follow suit.
Don’t Use Food as a Reward: Parents often offer sweets as a reward to stop bad behavior or reward kind acts. The reality is- bartering food isn’t the best way to use this tool of parenting.
Involve them in the Kitchen: When you cook at home (which you should more than eating out as this promotes controlled and healthy eating), allow your children to help make meals. Keeping kids involved helps them appreciate their food and the nutritional value.
Eat as a Family: We’re all busy and chowing down in front of the television is convenient. Try your best to collect your brood and eat around the table. It will not only keep portions down (because people eat more in front of the TV), but it will also keep you involved in your children’s lives.
Play Along: When your child wants to play outside but no one is around to accompany them, get yourself outside. You’ll get exercise and so will your child.
Don’t Keep up with the Jones’: Giving kids every new fangled piece of equipment that hits the market is a surefire way to keep them complacent about exercise. How can the plain outdoors compete with a rousing adventure on some foreign planet? Show them how it can. And for the gadgets they already own, limit the time they spend on them.
Get their Hands Dirty: Keep a chore chart, battle for cleanliness in teams, get the family working to maintain a happy home. You might be wondering what chores have to do with food or fitness. Well, believe it or not, minor activities like sweeping or organizing burns calories just the same as a brisk walk.
Encourage a lifestyle that you are proud of and that your children enjoy and maintain throughout their journey through teenagehood and ultimately into adulthood. These tips will not only bring your family together, but keep your kids healthy. And what’s more important than that?