A parent’s most important job is making sure that their kids stay healthy and happy. Children are vulnerable to physical and mental issues and need constant guidance to stay safe and content. Although it is a lot to juggle, watching your kids grow to be the healthiest versions of themselves is all the reward you need. For all of the great parents out there, here are six tips for prioritizing the health of your kids.
Limit Junk Food
Do what you can to limit your children’s consumption of sugary treats and candy, as these foods are hard on the teeth and can lead to cavities and enamel decay. Too much sugar can also lead to energy spikes and crashes, sleep disturbances, and difficulty paying attention. We truly are what we eat, so as parents, it is absolutely critical that you foster your child’s development with the right foods.
Read Bedtime Stories
Reading is an excellent activity for the brain and the imagination. Please do your part to foster your child’s learning by reading to them every night. For little kids, make nightly reading part of their bedtime routine. For older kids, encourage reading and trips to the library regularly. Giving your children access to written knowledge will help stimulate innovative thinking patterns, increase attention span, and promote creativity. Taking care of your kids’ health means taking care of their mental health. Reading is an affordable and easy way to do just that!
3. Encourage Oral Hygiene
Even the most hands-off parents know that when kids neglect the care of their teeth, it is only a matter of time before cavities start dropping like flies. Encourage your kids to practice healthy oral hygiene and make sure they understand that they should brush their teeth twice a day and use a kid-friendly mouth rinse. To keep your children’s teeth the best they can be, be mindful of how much braces cost. Many kids need braces after losing their baby teeth, so staying up to date on this information will help you financially prepare for what they may need down the road.
Have Family Dinners
It’s not always possible to have family dinner every night, but at least once a week, make an effort to have a family dinner. Treat your family dinners as time to chat about how things are going. Keeping the line of communication open is very important to facilitate your child’s emotional growth. Be sure to inform your kids that you are always there for emotional support. Children need to feel their parents’ unconditional love to mature into stable, healthy adults.
Serve Healthy Food
Your kids rely on you to feed them! Make healthy choices and serve healthy snacks. Send them to school with healthy meals instead of lunch money. Kids will have junk food from time to time, and that is more than okay if they are eating healthy meals that fuel their wellbeing most of the time. You control the groceries you buy and the meals you choose to serve.
Orchestrate Regular Exercise
Kids, teens, and adults all need to get regular physical activity. Depending on your kids’ ages, interests, and activity levels, different forms of exercise may be more appropriate than others. Encourage nightly walks, sports, and recreational activities to keep your kids feeling fit.
The Bottom Line
You’ve got this, parents! Making sure that your kids stay healthy is about balance. Keeping track of how you facilitate mental, physical, and emotional enrichment in your home will provide your kids with the skills and support they need to mature into healthy adults.