Empowering kids with healthy habits is a crucial to mold them into smart and independent adults. As a parent, kids typically imitate your actions as they grow. With this delicate responsibility on you, it is important to display healthy habits, especially when they rely on you for guidance. Your actions play a critical role in helping them differentiate good habits from the bad habits.
In this article, I shall explain the 19 healthy habits that you should strive to teach your kids. I shall also offer detailed instances designed to improve your understanding and reflection of the discussed content. Hopefully, you will be in a unique position to enlighten your kid with valuable information and help them lead healthy lifestyles.
The 19 healthy habits are:
- Eat healthily
- Hydrate well
- Clean up after yourself
- Be smart with money
- Have patience and persistence
- Always have breakfast
- Be punctual
- Go to sleep on time
- Work hard and smart
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Spend quality time with friends
- Practice good table manners
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Be grateful
- Help the needy
- Avoid reptiles
- Minimize screen time
1. Healthy eating
Kids often prefer junk food such as chips, soda, burgers and sugary snacks. It’s understandable that the tasty foods are increasingly appealing to them especially when they dominate social media and television advertisements. However, it is important to teach them that healthy foods are equally delicious and better for their growth and development.
What healthy eating habits can I introduce to my kid?
Introducing a healthy diet into your home goes beyond advising your kids on their dietary choices. You can prepare homemade pasta, noodles and cakes to divert their attention from junk food. Remember, kids learn best through actions. As the adult, it is imperative to partake in such homemade meals if you intend to transform your kid’s eating habits.
You can spice your healthy diet routine by introducing diverse colors to appeal to their individual taste. Captivating colors such as brown can be incorporated by adding chocolate chip pieces when baking their favorite cake. For subsequent meals, you can incorporate yellow color by preparing sumptuous banana smoothies. Introducing such diversity is widely considered to add health benefits but also makes healthy eating a fun experience.
Participating in exercises isn’t a luxury, but a necessity in today’s world. Physical exercises are widely known to improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow to muscles and the brain. This increased blood flow makes your kid more productive and creative.
Passively letting your kid watch too much television with barely any physical exercise is detrimental to their health. When your kid falls into the comfort zone of a sedentary lifestyle, their health becomes impaired, making it daunting to complete basic tasks such as walking up a staircase or lifting objects over short distances. Your inactive kid is also more likely to develop high blood pressure and low self-esteem later in life.
How I can I encourage my kid to participate in physical exercises?
Encouraging your kid to play outdoor games with their peers is a great way to instill a sporting mentality. For kids without many friends, worry not, for you can still enjoy fun family activities.
3. Hydrate well
Dehydration is common risk for the physically active, children included. While they might be inclined to have soft drinks, water is without a doubt the healthiest, and most hydrating option. Implementing this strategy can be quite challenging but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
What can I do to ensure my kid practices healthy hydration?
When teaching your kids about the healthy benefits of drinking water as instead of soda doesn’t work, it’s time to consider a new strategy. Conduct a simple experiment with household items to demonstrate the corrosive nature of soda in the digestive system. A practical experiment is much more effective than a naggy “I told you so” when advocating for water consumption.
If your kids are old enough, educate them on the link between excessive sugar consumption and health problems.
Frequent water consumption is critical in helping your kid maintain sufficient hydration. As such, encourage them to choose it over unhealthy soft drinks.
4. Clean up after yourself
Hygiene is paramount when safeguarding your kid’s safety and maintaining their health. You can start teaching your kid about cleanliness from as early as 6 years old. At this age, they are old enough to understand garbage and why it should be disposed in designated locations.
Possessing the knowledge isn’t enough. They should be guided to dispose litter responsibly and independently, instead of having someone else do it for them. Include your kids in your cleaning routine to develop their hygiene and organizational skills.
5. Be smart with money
Teaching your kid about money from a young age helps them make responsible financial decisions later in life. If you want to give your kid a financial head start, don’t hesitate teaching them during their preteen years.
How can I make my kid financially smart?
Introducing a saving culture is widely considered to be an ideal starting point. They can deposit a few bills or coins into their piggy bank before spending the remainder on their favorite snacks or toys.
6. Have patience and persistence
Life is full of ups and downs, and this knowledge will prepare your kid for future challenges. Teaching your kid the need to practice patience is vital in nurturing a growth mindset. Patience prepares them to accept obstacles and challenges before rewards are attained.
Consider activities such as cooking or gardening. These activities don’t yield immediate results but demand patience before the outcome is witnessed.
7. Always have breakfast.
It’s an undisputed fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unlike adults, your kid is dependent on a healthy breakfast to stimulate their brain, metabolism and provide the much needed energy to perform various tasks.
Provide your kid with high-fiber cereals proven to help reduce heart diseases and diabetes. Make sure they understand the effects of skipping breakfast on productivity and academic performance.
8. Be punctual
Timekeeping is an essential skill that every parent must strive to teach their kid. By teaching your kid punctuality from a young age, they are empowered to make prudent use of their time, and complete tasks in time and follow their daily schedules with ease.
It is important to inform your kid on the need to be punctual in school and the subsequent consequences. Most importantly, punctuality is best illustrated through actions. This means that you should arrive in time as a parent to instill a similar habit in your kid.
9. Go to sleep on time
Your kid needs sufficient energy to complete various assignments and participate in various sports. Doing such activities is highly dependent on getting adequate sleep.
Why is adequate sleep important to my kid?
Getting ample sleep each night allows your kid to refuel for the next day’s activities.
An ideal strategy should begin with putting your kid to sleep early enough and close to you. This close proximity helps in instilling a sense of security.
Develop a sleep schedule that they can continue to follow into adulthood. If need be, they can take naps during the day to refuel their energy levels.
10. Work hard and smart
A “work hard and smart” mentality will help your kids in more ways than you can imagine. Being comfortable with hard work allows them to persevere through any obstacles, allowing them to achieve their goals. They shouldn’t depend on luck to achieve success, but harness their skills and talents to achieve set goals and objectives.
To work smarter, teach them about technology and businesses. This will help them to identify viable business opportunities and use technology to give them an edge in life.
11. Avoid drugs and alcohol
The influence of alcohol and drug consumption is highly dependent on your family stance and cultural background. It’s in your best interest to adopt a hands-on approach in your kid’s life by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Since alcohol and drugs are serious threats to their health, you need to adopt effective strategies to educate your kid on the dangers of such vices.
How can I keep my kid away from alcohol and drugs?
It’s equally important to develop constant communication when supporting them through various setbacks. Constant communication also comes in handy when your kid experiences peer pressure in school. With your guidance, they can understand the delicate balance between choosing the right friends and falling victim to unhealthy friendly relationships.
Knowledge acquisition doesn’t happen overnight. It takes commitment and passion to grow intellectually. To kick start this exciting experience, consider selecting books that captivate your kid’s interest. Nurturing this habit will help your kid improve their language skills and nourish their creativity.
13. Spend quality time with friends
The friendships developed in school play a crucial role in your child’s emotional and social development. By interacting with friends, your kid learn important life skills such as teamwork, cooperation, socializing and communication. Such friends also come in handy by providing a strong support system during the teenage years.
14. Practice good table manners
Not only do table manners speak volumes about your parenting, but they also reflect on your kid’s character. At around 5 years old, your kids are prepared to eat meals by themselves and introducing table manners is critical at this stage. This means that you must put in adequate effort to train them to hold spoons, forks and knives with grace and in the company of adults.
15. Maintain good oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is a critical aspect of cleanliness despite its minimal enforcement among kids. The oral habits you impart your kid will form a permanent marker into their adulthood. To ensure that you begin on the right foot, ask your them to brush their teeth twice daily.
What standards of oral hygiene can I set for my kid?
Alternatively, ensure that your kid gargles after each meal to avoid cavities and bad breath. You can pursue additional alternatives such as flossing to weed out food particles and create a perfect and healthy smile.
To safeguard their oral protection, advise them not to share their toothbrush. This reduces the risk of them catching illnesses from others.
Remember, consistency is vital in ensuring the success of the above guidelines. This means that you must frequently remind them of the above guidelines lest they make lapses in judgment.
16. Be grateful
Humility is a hallmark of great individuals and as a parent, it’s important to teach your kid to be thankful for all blessings, regardless of their size. Being grateful speaks volumes about your kid’s capacity to interact effectively with their peers, adults and earn value in return.
Apart from exercising gratitude, don’t hesitate to nurture a religious attitude in your kid. They should pray at least twice each day, in the morning and before unwinding in bed at night. However, experience is the best teacher and your kid needs to learn from you based on your actions.
17. Help the needy
Instilling a generous character is important in today’s world. It depicts humility and the willingness to ensure the wellbeing of the less privileged. You should encourage your kid to help those in need whenever and however they can.
As much as helping others is important, it’s equally critical to advise them to exercise vigilance and caution when meeting strangers. Strangers may have ill motives, and teaching your kid to be skeptical is also important.
18. Avoid reptiles
Kids generally love keeping pets. Such animals are often friendly companions. However, adopting reptiles such as snakes and lizards carries unnecessary risks.
Why are reptile pets dangerous to my kid?
Most reptiles such as lizards and snakes possess a harmful bacterium known as salmonella. This contagious bacterium can be fatal when exposed to your kid and in the absence of urgent medical assistance. Teach your kids the dangers of reptiles.
19. Minimize screen time
Your kid might be an avid fan of a particular cartoon show or film and they should be allowed to indulge. However, it is important to exercise moderation by limiting the number of hours that your kid is exposed to the television.
Too many hours spent on the TV can progressively affect their eyesight and deprive them of the much needed sleep. Such effects can build up and eventually affect their academic performance.
Having a predetermined TV viewing schedule is can help navigate the delicate balance between healthy entertainment and malignancy.
Healthy habits for kids are an integral component to your kid’s growth and development. They demand utmost attention to ensure that your kid grows into a productive and law abiding citizen. More importantly, they call for your commitment as a parent to fulfil your legal responsibility in nurturing such habits to your kid.
What can I do when my kid doesn’t adopt healthy habits? It’s quite common for some kids to exhibit rebellion towards. This behavior shouldn’t worry about. Instead, take your time to understand the root cause behind this rebellion. Afterward, you can advise your kid on why they should adopt the healthy habits and their subsequent benefits. If the problem persists, then feel free to contact a seasoned nutritionist.
How often should I guide my kid to adopt healthy habits? Adoption of healthy habits isn’t a one-time event. It takes time and fluency depending on your kid’s willingness to embrace change. Once they have mastered such habits you can pull back and only intervene when such habits aren’t adopted.