As parents it’s our role and responsibility to ensure that our children are keeping fit and staying healthy.
Given the amount of high sugar foods and the tendency to sit in front of the TV or computer for hours on end, it can sometimes feel like we are failing at what should be a simple task.
This is only exasperated by the fact that children are less and less interested in getting up and involved. And they love the sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks that are offered so readily.
So here are 18 tips to help you keep your kids healthy in the coming year!
Touching their faces is one of the easiest ways for colds and bacteria to get into their body. Teach them not to touch their face as often and the number of illnesses they have will drop drastically.
5 fruit and veg a day might seem like a lot but some of the portion sizes are so minute they’re easy to sneak into your child’s diet. Give it a go and the whole family will feel the benefits.
It’s a simple task but so many adults don’t follow through with this so why should children? Regular hand washing is a major contributor to reducing the chance of spreading and catching illnesses so they need to get into the habit of washing their hands on a pretty regular basis.
Supplements are largely overrated but fish oil is so incredible at boosting our mental abilities as well as preventing catching colds as easily.
While we’re on the topic of supplements I should really point out that during those long, winter months, Vitamin D is an absolute must. As it’s almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D from the foods we eat and the sun isn’t out for as long or as strong in winter as it is in summer, it can be very easy to fall foul of Vitamin D deficiency. It’s vital to keep it up in order to reduce the chance and effects of colds.
Find a fun activity that your kid loves to do. Football, dancing, climbing, walking, the opportunities are endless and even the most homely of kids can find an activity they enjoy that gets the heart racing!
When you get started on a health kick it can be easy to go too hard too quickly and that stands true for looking after your children. Teach them to listen to their bodies and it will reduce the chance of injury or strain.
It isn’t just about what your child does but what you do with them. Take time to play with them and they will gain a lot from this simple activity.
This is important for all of us and the truth is we just don’t drink enough water. Keep them hydrated and ensure it’s largely water they’re drinking and the benefits will be long lasting.
This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but when possible, open up the windows! Fresh air is beneficial not only to our physical but our mental state and a positive mental attitude keeps you fit and healthy as much as supplements.
Sugar interferes with the immune system and can make fighting off even the weakest colds and flus almost impossible. Less sugar and as little refined sugar as possible will give your kid the best start in life, especially during the winter months.
When you’re making healthy meals try to get them involved. This will hold them well not just for right now but will teach them about the importance of healthy eating for when they’re older. These simple lessons now will be invaluable when they’re old enough to live alone.
It’s easy to just give them some chocolate or crisps as a snack but they’re loaded with things that will make them ill. Fruit and veg make excellent snacks and are a boost to the immune system.
If you’re determined to keep them eating healthy you need to make sure they’re going to school with food instead of buying it there.
Getting your kids out and about and feeding them well is key. But the fact of the matter is something as simple as extra sleep can really give them a boost. Sleeping not only helps their metabolism but also aids growth. And sleep boosts their immune system. So make sure they’re getting plenty!
Steam is actually great for when an illness has hit so before they go into the bath run the shower for a few minutes and get it nice and steamy in there. They’ll have the most comfortable bath while enjoying being able to breath freely for a few minutes.
I know it’s a great distraction for all of you, especially on those days where they’re kicking off and driving you mad but really turning the TV gets you up and out into the fresh air. While it’s good for an hour or two, try limiting the amount of TV you all watch and you’ll see the benefits straight away.
Your kids look up to you. As much as they might fight you and drive you round the bend, they genuinely do adore you and the best way to teach them about being healthy is to be healthy yourself.
Getting and keeping your kids healthy isn’t as hard as you might think and once you’ve started down the route of healthy living the benefits you’ll feel will be the boost to keep it going.
A healthy child is a happy child and you’ll be giving them the best foundation for the future so try out these tips and you’ll all feel much better for it.
If you have any questions, contact your local pediatrician.