How to Promote Healthy Habits for Kids

Nutrition // Lisa Donaldson

All parents want their kids to be happy, active and healthy, and the best way to do that is to lead by example! If you spend your weekends watching television and eating takeaway, it’s likely your kids will be doing the same. Let’s look at five ways you can promote healthy habits for your children. 

1. CAN Dos

No child likes to hear what they can’t do so tell them what they can do instead. Swap, “You can’t watch TV all day” to “We can ride our bikes to the playground for a picnic later”, or “You can make your very own vegetable patch with Dad”.

2. Move Together

Plan active things to do together. Whether it be going for a walk somewhere lovely, a bike ride to the park or visiting the local indoor swimming pool with the awesome slide. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.

3. Limit Screen Time

Studies have shown that too much screen time can lead to sedentary lifestyle coupled with increased snacking – so limit screen time, but make it something special. A new family movie on NetFlix each Saturday night or an hour of uninterrupted computer gaming each Friday night. Get them to plan their viewing and schedule it in as a special activity.

4. Find Something They Love

Every child finds joy in different things. For me it was trampolining, my sister loved swimming. Encourage them to pursue different activities and celebrate their involvement/development. It’s not about being the best, but having a go. For activities that may have a high cost involved – add them to a rotational calendar as something to work towards.

5. Eat Together

Get your kids involved in shopping, cooking and planning meals. This way everyone develops good eating habits together. Learn to eat slowly, share your day and talk about the food you eat.

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