Try These Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Choices

By Catherine Workman

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As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for your child. One of the most important things parents can do for their children is to teach them how to make healthy choices. However, this can be a daunting task, especially in today’s world, where unhealthy options are everywhere. Here are some tips from Youth Connections to help parents guide their children toward making healthy choices.

Teach Them How to Manage Stress
Stress is a part of life, even for children. However, it’s important for parents to teach their children how to manage stress in a healthy way. Yale Stress Center explains that high levels of stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as overeating, not getting enough sleep, and using drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. Parents can help by teaching their children
different stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or exercise.

Of course, it all starts at home. Evaluate your home’s environment to identify any factors that may be contributing to undue stress, like clutter or uncleanliness. Make it a point to declutter and tidy up the living areas, and teach your children how to do the same as clutter can contribute to anxiety. and open up the blinds or curtains to let in more natural light. You can also add a few indoor plants, which also helps to purify the air the family is breathing.

Show Them How to Stay Healthy Financially
Making smart financial choices is another important lesson that will last a lifetime. Sit down with them and explain the importance of knowing how much debt one has and how to drive it down. Go even further and show them how one’s debt plays a factor in future aspirations like getting a mortgage, a car, and anything else that involves the approval of lenders to approve loans.

Encourage Sharing Gratitude
Teaching children the benefits of practicing gratitude is a valuable life lesson that can enhance their emotional wellbeing and help them appreciate the positive aspects of their lives. Encouraging them to express their thankfulness not only fosters a positive mindset but also strengthens their relationships with others.
If they wish to share their gratitude with someone special, they can use a free online card maker to design custom cards. By selecting a template from the array of options available, they can personalize their message of thanks by adding their own choice of fonts, images, photos, and colors. This activity not only allows children to creatively express their gratitude but also teaches them the importance of thoughtful communication.

Promote Regular Physical Activity
Physical activity is essential for overall health and well-being. Encouraging regular exercise can help children maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as
heart disease and diabetes, and improve mental health.
Parents can help their children stay active by enrolling them in sports or other physical activities, encouraging outdoor play, and setting a good example by incorporating physical activity into their own lives. Even emphasizing the importance of walking instead of driving and taking walks around your neighborhood can make a lifelong difference.

Make Sure They Drink More Water
It’s no secret that sugary drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, are bad for health. These drinks are loaded with sugar and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Parents can encourage their children to drink more water, which is essential for overall health. Additionally, parents can set an example for their children by drinking water themselves and limiting their own consumption of sugary drinks.

Avoid Excessive Screen Time
Today’s children are growing up in a digital world where screens are everywhere. While technology has its benefits, Health Matters notes that excessive screen time can be harmful.
Parents can help by setting rules around screen time, encouraging other activities such as reading or playing outside, and setting a good example by limiting their own screen time.

Emphasize the Importance of Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Yet, many children struggle to get enough sleep due to busy schedules and other factors. Parents can help by establishing
a regular bedtime routine, creating a sleep-conducive environment, and encouraging their children to limit screen time before bed.

Discuss the Risks of Drugs and Alcohol
As children get older, they may be exposed to drugs and alcohol. Therefore, it’s important for parents to have open and honest conversations about the dangers of these substances.
Parents can explain the risks, set clear expectations around drug and alcohol use, and provide support and resources if their child is struggling with addiction. Visit the Resources page for helpful information for prevent drug and alcohol abuse in children.

Show the Importance of Wellness Exams

Another healthy choice you can demonstrate is going to your annual wellness exams. Dental hygiene, routine blood work, and a basic physical are cornerstones in gauging health. Check with your insurance provider to see exactly what is covered. If you don’t have insurance because you are self-employed, look into your state’s subsidized programs to find a policy that is affordable for you.

Set Your Kids Up with Healthy Habits
Helping children make healthy choices is an important part of parenting. Parents can teach stress management, encourage time outside, encourage and model drinking more water and less sugary drinks, limit screen time, focus on quality sleep, talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and promote regular physical activity. By doing so, parents can set their children up for a healthy and successful future.

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