Helping your child develop healthy eating and living habits is crucial when they are young. As a parent, encouraging you child to live a healthy lifestyle can change their life in the long-term. Trying to get a child to eat healthy and practicing healthy habits can be difficult, but these tips can help make the struggle a little easier:
1.Set a Good Example: As their parent, your child looks up to you and follows everything you do. This doesn't mean you have to be perfect all the time, but focusing on a healthy lifestyle can help your kids follow along with you for the rest of their lives. Whether this means wearing your seatbelt on every drive or skipping the fast food restaurant, it's worth it.
2.Be Positive: When trying to get your kids on a healthy lifestyle, keep it positive. Kids don't like to hear what they can't have or can't do. Instead of telling them what they can't do, try telling them what they can do and can have. Praise them for accomplishing a goal or eating a healthy meal.
3.Get Moving: Start the whole family off with a healthy, active lifestyle. When the whole family is involved, the kids will be more inclined to participate too. Take a family bike ride, take swimming lessons or go outside and teach them a new fun game or chore you can do together, like gardening.
4.Limit Use of Electronic Devices: We know this is the most difficult step, but eliminating the use of electronic devices can make all the difference in your child's lifestyle. Limit TV time and video game usage to an hour or two a day and make sure you are consistent.
5.Reward Your Kids: Anytime your child makes a healthy lifestyle choice, reward them with something truly rewarding. Depending on your child, this could mean an extra hour of screen time, a trip to the zoo, or something else they love while still keeping with your healthy lifestyle.
6.Make Dinnertime Family Time: When serving dinner or other meals, serve them at the dinner table with the TV and all other electronic devices off. A number of studies show that children who eat dinner with their families regularly are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol than those who do not. They also tend to get better grades, exhibit less stress and eat better. A random nationwide survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that compared with teenagers who have two or less family dinners a week compared to those who have five or more, are three times as likely to try marijuana, two and half times as likely to smoke cigarettes and one and half times as likely to try alcohol.
7.Get Involved: Work with other parents and the school to encourage a healthier lifestyle for all children. Work with the community to spread awareness about healthy kids and healthy lifestyles. Make a difference!
Finding the right primary care doctor for your entire family can be stressful. At Community Care Physicians, we specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatric medicine. We have providers who are double-board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. That means that you can stay with any of the providers within the Division of Family Care from birth until your golden years.
We have twenty primary care locations throughout the Capital District Region. Use our Physician Finder to find a Community Care Physician near you!