If there is one person who will have the most influence on encouraging kids to form healthy habits – it’s mom!
As active as kids are, running around with energy to burn, it’s an easy assumption to make that they need little to no encouragement to become and stay active, and adopt healthy habits. But many studies suggest that parents’ activity levels actually help determined how likely their children were to want to get moving.
So, if parents let their exercise routines slide, they could encourage a more sedentary lifestyle in their children. Of the two parents in a family, children are more likely to follow their mother’s example. Here are a few tips for mums to introduce encouraging healthy habits in their families early on!
Start while your children are young
Not every activity has to be a rigorous exercise – simple scheduling play time is enough to get your youngsters moving. Little ones love spending time with their mums. Take them for a bike ride around the neighbourhood or visit a park with a view to walking from one end to the other. Another option is playing on the beach or visiting a play area. The key is just to keep them while having fun doing it.
Encourage participation in organized activities
While there is certainly a time, place and list of advantages to joining a sports team, but even a trip down to the local playground will benefit your child greatly. As they get a bit older, teach your kids how to use the equipment safely and encourage them to get creative under your supervision.
An equally great way to encourage healthy habits is to encourage your kids to swap out any sodas or sports drinks for water as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to let them see you make drinking enough water a crucial part of your daily routine. If you drink water regularly, it will normalise it for them as well.
Spend time with your kids in the kitchen
One of the key areas where mother play a role in encouraging kids to develop healthy habits is the kitchen. Parent determine what the family eats, so bringing your little one to help prepare the meals helps them to understand the importance of proper nutrition from the beginning. Preparing homemade meals will also teach your kids about how to use different ingredients and about portion control.
Get a good sleep routine in place
Proper sleep allows you to function at your best – and as we get older, we learn only too well about the effects of a Netflix marathon or working late. Insisting on a good sleep regimen is imperative to keep your little ones healthy, because poor sleep decreases the growth hormone kids and can even impact their immunity. With proper rest (even on weekends) your kids will bounce out of bed with enough energy to get them through the day without the crankiness that comes with sleep deprivation.
Encourage kids to feel their emotions
If you can teach your child that there are no “bad” emotions, they’re more likely to be able to communicate them effectively and in a healthy manner, not in a way that can be construed as aggressive or disrespectful. Anger can be managed by deep breaths or journaling; crying should be met with empathy. They have a right to their emotions, as we all do, and teaching them to express appropriately will go a long way to balanced emotional development in the long run.
All mums want their children to grow up as happy and healthy as possible. By encouraging the right habits as early as possible, they can help ensure their little ones stay that way as they grow up and hopefully pass the right habits on when they have children of their own.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!