Parenting is a full-time job. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-time parent or have just been blessed with your third child – parenting never gets easier. You are basically responsible for nurturing a young mind, help them grow, and ensure that they are healthy, well-mannered, and responsible.
That’s a lot, to begin with. Then there are the various child health issues that keep you up at night or the fact that their grades are constantly declining. Whatever it is, when you have kids, there’s hardly any time when you’re not worrying about them – especially when you’re trying to create a healthy lifestyle for them to follow.
At times like these, it is only fair to wish for a comprehensive parenting guide for raising healthy kids. Too bad there aren’t many things that work for all, but there are ground rules that can help you at least start the journey – everything else will hopefully follow.
To create a healthy lifestyle, there are five straightforward rules you need to abide by. These include:
1. Physical Activity
- Your kids need at least an hour of vigorous physical activity every day. This promotes muscle development and physical well-being in your children.
- You as a parent need to set the right examples. Being fit and active is a choice you need to make every day with your kids.
2. Water over Other Beverages
- Water is life. You need to introduce water as the drink of choice for your children. Skip the soft drinks, sweetened drinks, and fruit juices for their added sugar content.
- Milk is essential too. It makes a wholesome nutritious drink that is rich in calcium required by growing healthy bones.
- Don’t stock packaged fruit juices at home. Use fresh juices or whole fruit instead for your children.
3. Say Yes to Fruits and Veggies
- Not the most appetizing choice of food, but you can always make fruits and veggies fun for your kids. They are nourishing and provide essential vitality to the child’s growing body.
- Add at least three serves of veggies and two serves of fruits to your child’s daily diet. Try serving veggies with these delicious Australian beef recipes.
- Introduce fresh fruit as a go-to snack between meals for your kids.
4. Swap Unhealthy Snacks with Healthier Alternatives
- Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy-based snacks make the most nutritious snack choices.
- Say no to snacks that are rich in sugar and/or saturated fats. These will mostly include cookies, chips, cakes and more. These snacks contribute to obesity and an unhealthy diet.
5. Limit Screen time
- It’s okay to allow your kids to watch TV, play computer games, or surf online, but in moderated time windows. These activities make your child sedentary and may cause them to become overweight.
- Small screen (phones and tablets) are another thing you need to tackle. Limit their small screen time to no more than two hours every day and encourage them to take several breaks between that too.
- Divert your kids more towards fun outdoor activities that motivate them to cut back on their screen time all on their own.
With the basics outlined for you, we guess you have plenty to get started on. Just keep in mind that the same tricks may not work on each kid, so you need to improvise to make the little ones ease into a healthier lifestyle.