Getting Kids Involved in a Healthier Lifestyle
Do you struggle with getting your little ones involved in your healthy lifestyle? I’ve been asked on numerous occasions how to do this successfully. Don’t feel like you missed the boat if your kids are already older because it’s never too late to start building those healthy habits at home.
Here are some of quick tips that I believe can help your child get involved in a healthier way of living:
1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
We’ve all heard this before, but it reigns true in this instance because there is nothing better than your child actually seeing with his/her own eyes you leading an active lifestyle and preparing nutritious meals in the kitchen. As the saying goes, “Monkey see, monkey do”.
2. Fam Jam in Session.
Set aside time each week to getting active with the fam. This could include a family bike ride or even a dance party in your living room. The point is to get everyone in the fam moving! If you work out at home, encourage your little one to join in. Just make sure they are always safe when performing the moves. Take the time to explain the exercises and what body part is being trained.
3. Positive Vibes Only.
Speak about your body in a positive way. Refrain from using words like “fat” and instead discuss the importance of being healthy, active and eating nutritious foods.
4. Let Them Lead.
Allowing your little one to choose their extracurricular activities can make all the difference. If they love soccer, they will enjoy being part of the team and make an effort to participate. Experiment with different activities and sports to help them figure out what they truly love to do!
5. Inspire a Little Sous Chef.
Having your child involved in preparing healthy meals can be the best way to get them excited about eating better. Stock up on good recipes, have them find ingredients at the super market and then they can assist in the kitchen too! Lastly, encourage everyone in the family to eat together during mealtime – no phones and no TV. Conversation only!
6. Less iPad, More Play.
Limit screen time and encourage more outdoor activity! Believe me, I know that there are times when the iPad can be a lifesaver, but when you can, get the kids into the habit of moving instead of YouTubing.
7. Set Goals.
Openly discuss goal setting with your little ones and write them down for the whole family to see. An example might be setting a goal time of 20 minutes for a family walk and aiming to meet that time each week. Be realistic and keep it fun. You can also incorporate rewards, but keep rewards in line with your healthy lifestyle. Consider a new scooter or basketball over candy and chocolate!
You Got This!
I hope this is a good starting place for you. You don’t have to try and incorporate these tips all at once. Start small and build the family up to creating more healthy habits at home one day at a time. There might be push back at first and they make look at you like you’re crazy, but don’t give up. Every little bit counts and years from now, your kids will thank you!
Photography by: Leon Chai