As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Your child will carry the lessons that you teach them with you for the rest of their lives. These lessons will probably (and should, definitely) include healthy habits to ensure that your child lives a safe and happy life. Here are three good habits to instill in your child while they are young and some tips for making sure these healthy activities become habits that become a part of your children for the rest of their lives.
1. Teach Your Kids Good Hygiene
Depending on your child’s age, you are probably somewhere in between being fully responsible for their hygiene and being mostly removed from their cleanliness habits. While most adults understand the things that they need to do on a regular basis to maintain good hygiene, these habits are normally not instinctual, and they need to be taught. Teach your children the importance of brushing their teeth, washing their face, bathing regularly, and most importantly, bathing thoroughly. Teach them how to avoid using strong perfumes and other strong scents that may be offensive to others, especially in close quarters, such as riding on buses, trains, and planes, and sitting in the classroom.
Teach your children these life lessons about hygiene while they are still young, and you are still responsible for your their hygiene. As they grow older, make sure to continue to check in with them, verifying that they have maintained the habits that you taught them early on about maintaining good hygiene. Before you tuck them in at night, ask them if they’ve washed up and brushed their teeth. If they haven’t, it might be helpful to brush your teeth along with them until they get into the habit and becomes instinctual.
2. Teach Your Kids to Exercise Regularly
Part of being healthy is being active. Get your child interested in sports, or any activity that helps them become physically active on a regular basis. It is a good idea to show them that exercising can be fun, while they are young. As they grow older, they may lose interest in sports. If this is the case with your child, encourage them to go for a walk or find another activity that will get their heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. Make it a natural routine, so it won’t feel like an obligation, and exercise won’t feel like a chore, or an interruption in their daily routine later on, when they become adults.
3. Teach Your Kids to Eat Right
Establishing good eating habits early on, is an important part of maintaining your child’s health. While many kids don’t like to eat certain vegetables, such as broccoli or brusell sprouts for example, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to eat any vegetables. Sometimes you can mix certain vegetables together, some they like, others they don’t like, to make eating vegetables more appealing to them during dinner. Make sure that your child understands the importance of fruits and vegetables and the difference between a healthy snack and a “treat,” something they get just once in a while.
It’s easier to form healthy habits than it is to undo unhealthy habits, so getting your child off to the right start in their journey to health is vital to maintaining their health later on.
For more information on maintaining good health by eating fruits and vegetables, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruit and Vegetables!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.
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