As a parent one of the greatest gifts you can pass on to your child is good habits. These habits include healthy eating habits, good manners, good works habits and other important life lessons. New parents often struggle with how to make sure they are instilling healthy habits in their children to insure they grow up to be healthy, responsible adults with the ability to pass on to their children what they learned from you.
Start when your child is young. Rachael Ray says that is easier to instill healthy eating habits in children if you start when they are young. Waiting until they are older makes it difficult because you have to break bad habits in order to create new ones. Don’t stock junk foods in the refrigerator; instead keep fresh fruits and yogurt available for snacks. Starting this habit when your child is little is the first steps to creating healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Ray also says to make sure that you are practicing what you preach. You can’t tell your child not to reach for that bag of chips when they see you munching on a candy bar. Let your kids see you eating green vegetables and making good food choices.
Buy kid friendly hygiene products. Baby University offers tips on teaching children to brush their teeth which include making it fun for them by purchasing cute toothbrushes. You can get them in their favorite characters or brushes that light up when they use them. Baby University also suggests purchasing tasty toothpastes that they will like. These steps will install healthy dental habits in your children which leads to healthy teeth for life.
Drink water and give it to your children. You don’t have to drink water at every meal or forgo other drinks all the time; however, according to Sugar Creek Personal Training, drinking water is a principle that will teach children not to drink their calories. Instead they will learn that water provides our bodies with hydration, aids in digestion, replenishes our cells, and boosts our metabolisms.
Along with making good food choices, if your child sees you reaching for a bottle or glass of water he or she will learn to drink water instead of sugary beverages that not only add calories but also cause dental problems such as cavities. When your child is going from the bottle to the cup, begin introducing water when they are thirsty. If you do this they will learn that water quenches their thirst. As your children grow older, they will thank you for the healthy skin they have developed and for not teaching them to drink a day’s worth of calories in just a few hours.
- Always consult with your medical provider regarding a change in dietary habits to ensure that your child is receiving the correct amount of nutrients. In some instances, your physician may suggest a multivitamin supplement for your child.