When it comes to your child’s wellbeing, ‘health’ can mean a wide range of things. There are many things you can do to encourage a healthy lifestyle and protect your child’s wellbeing but what exactly are they and how should you go about doing them?
Let’s take a look at the three major areas of health you should be focusing on.
A healthy diet is all about balance and having a healthy relationship with food. And the best way you can encourage your child to have both of these is by starting them off at a young age. One fantastic way to establish a healthy relationship with food is by growing your own produce. Even if it’s just growing a few herbs on your kitchen windowsill, it helps to get kids excited and curious about natural and healthy foods. It’s also a great activity that you can enjoy together for a bit of quality time.
Leading by example is also crucial when it comes to a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of your favourite naughty treats in moderation, but rather that you should eat all of the veggies and other essentials that you expect your child to eat.
And of course, despite your best efforts, some children are just picky. In these cases, you may need get creative. From finding preschool lunch ideas for picky eaters online to creating funny shapes with veggies, there are plenty of things you can do to either sneak valuable nutrients into their favourite foods or make the idea of healthy food more exciting. You just might need to think a little outside the box.
Much like a good diet, exercise is something that should be instilled in children from an early age. Of course, exercise doesn’t have to mean jogging around the park or going to the gym. It can also be fun stuff like kicking a ball around in the park, splashing around in the kids pool at the beach or going for a walk. Think of it as being active in general rather than having to dedicate time to a specific activity.
Of course, you can also use this as quality time to spend with your family where you can have fun. When possible, try and incorporate some outdoor play and encourage your child to develop gross motor skills by climbing, crawling, kicking balls and playing with different textures and space.
The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of mental health, and rightfully so. Mental health is just as important as our physical health so it’s important to encourage your child to express their feelings from an early age. The best way to do this is to talk openly with them about their fears and frustrations and to demonstrate that it’s OK to express emotion and feelings in a healthy way.
Other ways to encourage healthy emotional expression is through art, music, drama or all of the above. If you or your child struggle to open up and talk about feelings, why not express them in a drawing or painting? These are all fantastic ways to allow your child to explore their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy and whilst physical health is extremely important, we mustn’t forget the importance of mental health too. The best way to enable your child to live a healthy life is to lead by example. If your lifestyle is unhealthy, chances are your child will pick up on your bad habits. So whilst you don’t have to transform yourself into a vegan, marathon running therapist, you can help your child a lot by demonstrating healthy habits on a regular basis.
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