Every parent wants the best for their child, particularly concerning their health. Although modern medicine can help when illness does strike, a more proactive approach is always preferred. Reducing the likelihood of illness by encouraging a healthy lifestyle should be top of any parent’s to-do list. If you want to ensure that your child’s health is in the best possible shape, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Getting them to eat right
A healthy diet is vital no matter what age you are, but it is of particular importance to children. With their bodies still developing you must ensure that they receive all the vitamins and nutrients that they need.
The first step to maintaining a healthy diet for your child is cooking nutritious meals. Try to pack in as many vegetables as you can, and there are even ways you can disguise them if you have a fussy eater on your hands. Although finding the time to cook fresh meals every day is not easy, there are shortcuts you can take that don’t sacrifice nutrition. Freezing meals in large batches, for example, and then re-heating them at dinner time means you can have a homemade meal even if you’re rushed off your feet.
Also, although it’s good to have treats every once in awhile, try to encourage your children to choose healthy snacks rather than crisps or chocolate bars. Keeping a well-stocked fruit bowl in the home can help kids make the right choices for their health.
Find an outlet for that energy
Anyone that is a parent will be well aware that kids have a lot of energy – too much energy to handle sometimes. However, although it may be tempting to toss them a video game controller to keep them entertained so you can get a little rest, you shouldn’t discourage them from an active lifestyle.
Instead, try to find a physical outlet for all that energy. Look into local sports clubs, for example, that will give your children an opportunity to make friends while also improving their physical health. One of the great things about children is they have such a passion for running around and throwing themselves into new activities, that they don’t even view it as exercise – it’s just fun.
This attitude should be encouraged and maintained for as long as possible, so support them when they want to do something active. Plus, it can be very inspirational for your own fitness regime. Next time your child wants to go and kick a football around the park, why not get involved yourself and stay healthy together?
Making sure your home is safe
Your home should be a safe space for all the family, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Indoor pollution is a major issue and can cause health issues for children and the elderly. If you have smokers in the home, ask them politely to smoke outside if possible to prevent your kids from having to deal with second-hand smoke.
Similarly, make sure that if you notice damp in any parts of the house you act quickly to stop it spreading. Signs of damp include a musty smell, visible mould or moisture on the walls, ceiling and floor. Damp problems in your home could lead to respiratory issues for your children, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition like asthma. Also, make sure you remove the underlying cause of the damp, rather than just wiping it away.
Encourage good habits
Raising kids is all about teaching them those lessons that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. When it comes to their health, parents can have a huge positive impact. Create a sleeping routine that ensures that they get enough rest each day and get them to drink lots of water to keep them hydrated.
Moreover, good hygiene habits can also help with their health. Encourage them to wash their hands regularly, particularly after using the restroom and before eating, and have them brush their teeth twice a day to promote good dental hygiene.
The importance of communication
Health has a mental side as well as a physical one and this is sometimes forgotten. As a parent you should be someone that your child is comfortable talking to, no matter what is going through their minds. Encourage communication and look out for any warning signs that something is not right. Whenever you suspect that something is off with your child’s wellbeing, mental or physical, it’s up to you to act before it develops further.
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