It may seem like part of being a parent is second-guessing your decisions, but you can bet that there’s a lot you’re getting right. For example, your time is the most important thing you can give your child. If you carve out an hour a day to play with your kids, you’re already winning as a parent.
One of the things we worry about as parents is how our kids will be when they’re adults. And we can all agree that the best thing they can be is healthy. So, let’s take a look at five healthy habits you can teach your child that will help him or her through a lifetime.
1. Take care of your teeth. You may already be on top of this one, but it’s worth a mention. Teach your kids the importance of daily brushing and visiting the dentist. Your child probably won’t love the visits, but they will become commonplace over time. And if they are used to visiting the dentist regularly, they are more likely to continue that trend throughout adulthood.
2. Hydrate well. Here’s a fun fact for your kids: Up to 60 percent of their bodies are made of water. Each and every cell of our bodies rely on water, and we lose water throughout the day through perspiration, respiration, and urination. This is why it’s so important to replenish and stay hydrated, especially when we exercise.
3. Stay active. For many kids, activity isn’t a problem. As long as they’re motivated, they’re happy to jump, run and play. But when we lose the desire to play, what’s left. Set a good example for your child by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a regular exercise program.
4. Build balanced meals. There’s a lot of conflicting information about nutrition on the web, so if you’re confused, go to the Team Nutrition page for recommendations and fun lessons for kids.
5. How to handle stress. Stress and anxiety are growing issues for kids, and it’s important that we teach them how to handle it in a healthy way. Help your child find a healthy stress release now before the bottled up emotions lead to depression and/or substance abuse later in life.
If your goal is to raise a strong and healthy child, then start with these five healthy habits. If they truly become a habit for your children, they are very likely to remain habits throughout their lives.
Written by: Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.