Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Healthy Habits For Kids

Healthy habits for kids are unfortunately something that fewer parents these days are cultivating. Some of the most important habits you can encourage in your kids revolve around eating and activities. Let's take a look at some of the important habits you should help your kids develop in order to stay healthy throughout life.

Eating Habits

Eating meals in a regular pattern each day can be a big part of staying healthy. It keeps the body fueled throughout the day and keeps digestion and bowel movements regular.
Kids should eat three good meals a day, every day, with healthy snacks spaced in between. Skipping breakfast or using a "breakfast replacement" shake is not an option. Make sure your kids are up in the morning with plenty of time to have a wholesome breakfast. There's truth in the old cliché that breakfast is "the most important meal of the day" - it's a chance to take in energy after a period of rest. Without a wholesome breakfast, many children will have trouble concentrating at school and develop bad habits around eating as they will experience hunger at inconvenient times throughout the day.

Types of Food

The easy availability of cheap fast food, high in fat and sugar, is wreaking havoc on the health of modern children. Getting this under control in your household is a huge step toward creating good health habits in your kids. Some sweets and the occasional hamburger are fine, but they must not become the norm and they must be counterbalanced by plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as high-protein, low-fat foods like fish, eggs, chicken and lean meats. Low fat dairy products and yogurt are also good for getting essential vitamins and minerals into a child's diet.

Avoid overfeeding your child on so-called "low fat" foods that are high in sugar content - these are major contributors to the obesity epidemic and the rise in diabetes, just as much as greasy hamburgers.

Setting an Example

Obviously, everything you do yourself should be designed to set a standard for your child. Children, especially when they're very young, tend to model their behavior around one or both of their parents. If you tend to be "too busy" for breakfast or wolf down two cheeseburgers every night, your child will come to see that as normal and acceptable and start to mimic it. And remember, your child may have a different metabolism from you - you may very well be able to have two cheeseburgers a night and not gain any weight, but it doesn't mean the same will be true for your child. And just because an eating habit doesn't make you gain weight does not mean it's actually healthy - it can still do you a lot of harm internally.

So aim to keep all your eating habits moving in a healthy direction and practice what you preach - it's very hard to get kids to stick to healthy habits if they can see Mommy or Daddy breaking those same habits every day.

Read more Healthy Eating tips and ideas



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