Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Teaching Children Healthy Habits

One of the things that is important to me is to be a positive example for my children. I do my best to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Having children has given me the drive I needed to push myself to limits I was not aware that I could reach. Now it is my job to be sure I teach my children these healthy habits. Here are a few ways in which I try teach me children healthy habits.

Eating Nourishing Foods: I do my best to eat healthy 80% of the time. I am a firm believer in "cheat days". Some health experts say that having "cheat" days may cause a person to go off track and make unhealthy choices. This is not true for me. I am more driven to eat clean and healthy all week long and when the weekend rolls around I allow myself to indulge.  I make my children follow this as best as I can. They are toddlers so yes, some days throwing them Goldfish or Crackers is just easier. I try to offer things like strawberries, banana's, yogurt or granola. What they don't get are chips, candy, cookies or chocolate. My four year old, Chase, may ask for them yet I tell him these are things we can have on the weekend. Or in their case, when they go to see their grandparents.


Gardening with the kids: Right now we are in the middle of gardening. We have a couple box gardens set up and we are attempting to grow some of our own veggies.I made sure that Chase was a part of this process. He of coarse is drawn to dirt (it is in his DNA being a boy) and planting was something we did as a rainy day project about a months ago. We have finally moved most of our little crop outside and Chase helps to water these plants and is excited to watch them grow. He was thrilled last year when he was able to start picking things from our garden to eat. It is easier to get your children to eat those veggies if they helped to grow them.


Preparing Meals: As I was writing this I stopped and asked Chase what healthy meant to him. You could tell he was really thinking about this. These were a few of the things he came up with: "Strawberries, banana's, granola bar, yogurt and making meatballs". He associates health with food and I love this. Food is a key part of being healthy. He is learning that what we put into our bodies is important. I love that the last thing he thought of was "making meatballs". Chase loves to help me in the kitchen. I try to involve him in preparing meals as much as I can. Once a week we use turkey burger to make burgers or meatballs. He just loves getting his hands into whatever it is I am making. He is always requesting to help me. I feel it is important, even annoying as it may be some days, to let him help prepare meals. The kid is pretty good at cracking an egg too!

Staying Active: Chase has come accustomed to the routine that mommy needs to go for her runs. A couple nights a week when daddy comes home mommy is out the door like a bolt of lightning. Just recently Chase and I have started going for a run/walk together. We live on a hill and it is a half mile down and a half mile back up. It has been a nice way to spend time one on one with him while getting him to be active. He thinks this is great and gets excited about doing something alone with mommy. That is the key with getting a child to be active: you need to make it fun. If I suggest a walk I may say we are going to go see the cows or go on an adventure in the woods. Be imaginative! Maybe you are going on a special "mission" or looking for rocks and leaves to do art projects with. The bottom line is to make them move and learn to enjoy being outside. No child wants to be forced into something so if you make it exciting they will want to do it.


Being the example: Each of the above I mentioned takes a parent to model these behaviors. We are our children's most important mentor. It is our job to give them the tools they need to be healthy. It has to start first with us. We need to be the ones to show our children that it is important to take care of our bodies inside and out. If they see us practicing healthy habits they will hopefully want to model that behavior.

Many things we do in life require teamwork. We all rely on others to help us at different times, in different ways. Our children need us to teach them. We need to guide them to live the best life they can. It is us, as parents, who need to work with our children to create the happiness and health we desire for them. Together you may find you are building much more than healthy kids; you may just find you have created some new memories.


Thank You for stopping by!




4 comments:

  1. You know what's funny? The way you are standing in that picture is the same way I see Chase stand / pose for pictures. Too cute! Like Mama like son!
    Your garden looks great! So far we only have herbs planted. Need some chives?

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    1. That's too funny about the pose. Now that you say that, he is standing like that with his hand in his pocket for his spring photo's at school. :)
      The garden is coming along. That is the Kale pictured and that is doing well. A couple of the other things we transplanted aren't doing well and not sure they will pull through. Spinach is coming up though which I started from see so that makes me happy! I have dill and basil to transplant still.
      Chives? Yes please!
      My flowers though are really coming alive!!

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  2. You are so right. we are our children's mentors. Our approach and attitude seep into everything and they absorb it. Like you we model good eating but also don't want to get too strict because it might make my boys rebel when they are older. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by!
      Sometimes I feel like nazi mom saying NO to certain foods they want. But I want them to know good health and how important it is to take care of yourself. I hear exactly what you are saying about not being too strict! That is why weekends and special times are when they are allowed to choose foods I may normally say NO to. I believe in indulging myself. Who doesn't like a cupcake now and again?!

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