Healthy Habits for Children: 4 Ideas to Find a Balance
Updated: Jan 23, 2022
'Healthy life' means that both physical and mental health are in balance and functioning well together. They are closely linked so a change in one directly affects the other.
Here are some tips to providing an environment that helps children maintain a good lifestyle and have healthy habits.
Reducing processed food.
It is really important to reduce the amount of processed food because eating it on a regular basis can have a dangerous long-term impact on their health. Try to avoid sweetened drinks.
Eating fruit and vegetables every single day is essential for growth and development. Children's immune systems need it to prevent and fight illnesses. Fruit and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They have fibre that helps the digestive system and prevents constipation.
Guiding our children for their emotional well-being.
Children need to feel safe, respected and included. Guiding them to handle their emotions, manage their actions and develop empathy will help them to be happy. You can become your child's coach, to guide their emotional development and self-regulation. This will help them to understand their feelings and make wise decisions. Guiding, not controlling. They will listen to us as long as they feel connected to us. Use empathic limits and fair consequences rather than punishment. It's more effective than forcing them into obedience. This approach works in the long-term.
Regarding resilience, try to foster a positive perspective about the ups and downs of daily life. Spend time with your children to know them and establish a connection. Pay attention to their reactions and behaviour, because emotions are the language of our needs. If you want to know more about connection, click here.
Physical activity: 1 hour a day.
Apart from keeping your child's heart and body healthy, physical activity improves their mood and self-esteem. It will also improve their quality of sleep.
The activities could be aerobic exercise or exercises to strengthen muscles and bones. The amount is determined by their age. There are two types: moderate activity, like playground activities, and strong activity, such as running.
Limiting screen time and encouraging your child to read.
Strong research shows that looking at screens for a long time can have serious health consequences, so we need to limit it.
Children are always open to our influence, as long as they feel connected to us. We can encourage them to spend more time reading books. You can read a story with your child every day. Let them choose what they want to read and how (e-reader, paperback book...).