Everyone wants their kids to be healthy. It’s an easy thing to say, but it takes planning and behavior modeling to actually reduce the likelihood of your children becoming at risk for many health issues that go along with being overweight.
The number one factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents, according to a new study by medical school researchers.
Modifying your family’s diet, exercise, and sleep are 3 practical ways you can teach your kids to live a healthier lifestyle.
Show your kids what it looks like to eat a balanced diet. Make sure that you are serving your family at least 3 servings of vegetables each day. Figure out what fruit your kids like and keep it around the house! Offer fruit as a dessert instead of cookies or ice cream.
Try to buy more whole grain carbohydrates. Most places offer whole grain options for bread, pasta, and crackers.
Model to your kids that it is important to carve time out of your schedule to exercise. It is easy to be active when you are involved in sports, but what will happen when your child is no longer involved in their sporting activities? They will do what you do! Do you make the time to be active as an adult? Make time to get outside and “PLAY” with your kids. Invite them to workout with you.
Don’t spend too much time in front of your TV or on your phone.
Get your kids (and yourself) on a good sleep schedule, at least 8 hours/night. Studies show that kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6–12 regularly sleep 9–12 hours/day and teenagers ages 13–18 should sleep 8–10 hours/ day. Limit the use of technology in the evenings to improve sleep quality.
You don’t have to change everything all at once. Try tackling one of these tips at a time.
Your kids don’t do as you say when it comes to healthy living; they do as you do. Model to your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle and invite them to do it with you!