New-year? Time for resolutions. We all think of starting the year fresh, develop new healthy habits or exercise more. And if you’re a parent, you’re sure to think of how to make your child more active or how to improve your child’s general health. Here are some resolutions that can help you to take charge of your child’s health.
Let the little ones grab enough ZZZZs
Sleep plays a critical role in a child’s growth and development. Moreover, sleep deprivation may lead to reduced concentration, difficulty learning and retaining new information, and may make the child hyper or moody. Make sure to set a strict bedtime to develop a healthy sleep pattern.
Breakfast is the only way to start the day the right way
A hearty nutritious breakfast is the much-needed fuel to restart the engine of the car after a night’s halt-over hence the name ‘break-fast’. It kick-starts the body’s metabolism and refuels the body’s glucose stores. Studies have shown that breakfast improves kids’ attention span, concentration, and memory. It prevents irritability, fatigue, and restlessness.
Be a role model for right eating habits
Eating together as a family is how children learn to make healthy food choices. It also gives you a chance to set an example as children mimic and learn from their parents. When all family members follow a healthy meal pattern (3 meals and 2 snacks) with appropriate meal timings, the child adopts the same.
Make nutrition a part of their life
Children are more open to trying new foods when involved in the cooking process. Give them more ownership – take them with you to the grocery store and let them pick out. It is an opportunity to educate how to differentiate between good and bad food items and to read nutrition labels. You can even ask them to help stock the refrigerator with healthy options.
Have your kids play a role in prepping foods and ask them to choose recipes for meals. Make them in charge of choosing the veggies or fruits based on their favourite colours. Let them know why their choice of food is good for health. How about a kitchen garden? Include the children in planting and maintaining the garden. They will love to learn about the foods grown by them.
Eating in the right way
Eating doesn’t mean gobbling down food nor is it okay for children to push food around their plate. Make sure mealtimes are a family affair. Screen time (like TV, mobile use, video games) during meals must be avoided as they do not concentrate on the food and may end up binge eating. Unplug and create a device-free zone or time where all family members set aside their respective devices.
Sweat it along with the little ninjas
Last but not the least, don’t forget that food and exercise go hand in hand. Encourage more activity by getting the entire family involved. Activity doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym, it can be a game of football, running and catching, or how about some fun family contests?