The world has changed so much over the past few years. Convenience has been the key function of so many services that we barely have to leave our home for anything. We can stream movies and shows online, we can order items from abroad, and we can even do our grocery shopping on the internet too! Leaving the house is no longer a pre-requisite for getting things done, and this new world is something a lot of parents are still struggling to figure out. In a world full of screens, downtime, and instant conveniences, how can we be sure that we are raising healthy kids?
While every child and every parenting style is different, we can all agree that we only want what’s best for our kids. We want them to be happy, healthy, safe, and loved, so that they can grow up to be well-adjusted adults that contribute to society. What are some steps we can take while they are little to help them when they are all grown up?
- Let kids be kids. Children are built to play, explore, and discover. While the internet can provide worlds of information for their little minds, there’s nothing like physical activity to help boost their bodies. Giving kids the chance to run around and play for at least 60 minutes a day encourages them to be curious and to learn about the world by experiencing it. Spending time outdoors also helps boost their immune system, and some good old Vitamin D is great for their bones and emotional development! Not to mention the social skills that they learn from managing the politics of the playground. This is their first foray into how human relationships work, and it’s good training for your future CEOs, artists, or inventors!
- Do it together. Going for walks, picking flowers, a bike ride, trips to the beach, or even simple playtime rituals that are consistent helps you bond with your child. It lets them know that you are there for them, that you love them enough to spend time with them, and gives them a sense of security that they will not get from anywhere else. When your child has great relationships at home, it is easier for them to relate to other people as well, and will be able to carry this into their future relationships too.
- Feed them fresh. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal to warm the heart! Not only that, making a habit of making your own food gives you a good grasp of what is going into your little kiddo’s body. You can choose to freshen up their favorites with healthy options, which is not something you can do when you are always eating out or ordering in. So go get creative in that kitchen! And while we’re on the topic of food, also make sure that they are hydrated. Offer them water throughout the day even if they don’t ask for it!
- More than 40 winks. Sleep is vital to every child’s development. Depending on how old your child is, they need 8-10 hours of sleep to make sure their minds and bodies are getting the nourishment they need. Start good sleeping habits early on, so you don’t have to struggle with them when they are older. Limit screen time in the evening so they have enough time to wind down, and stick to a regular sleeping schedule. Tired kids are cranky, unfocused kids, so make sure they are getting enough shut-eye!
- Set an example. Whether we know it or not, our kids are always watching us. So if we really want them to grow up happy, healthy individuals, we have to make sure we are setting good examples. Eat well, work out, be positive about your body and wellness, and your kids are bound to follow in your footsteps. Every kiddo wants to be just like mommy and daddy! Let’s make sure to give them something they can really aspire to one day.