Raising healthy kids is paramount. Making sure that your child is healthy means that they’re happy, you’re happy and everyone is fit to be their best self. There are so many blogs and posts about the best ways to make sure that everyone in your family is healthy that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming, so here are some just bare-bones, brass tacks ways to make sure that your kids stay as healthy as possible. You don’t have to overload your little one’s schedule with sports practices you don’t need to follow the newest organic fad diet or stress out over every single thing that your children eat, it’s a lot simpler than it may seem.
1. Drink a lot of water!
This one is funny because it seems like a no-brainer but really it’s easy to fall into a routine of giving your children juices or other sugary beverages instead of good old fashioned H20. But make sure that you’re at least interspersing that apple juice with a couple of glasses or sippy cups of water every day, and make sure that you’ve got water on hand to offer to your kiddos if they seem a little parched, cranky or uncomfortable.
If you start giving them water at an early age instead of juices or chocolate milk (which can cause dreaded cavities), they’re more likely to get into a general routine of asking for water before they ask for those other beverages as well. It’s a healthy habit! Stay hydrated!
2. Join the PTA and talk to your child’s school about what they’re getting to eat during lunchtime.
While schools technically have to adhere to specific national standards about calories and nutritional value, sometimes the lunches that schools offer aren’t the greatest options. But of course, you’re the parent and you can have a say in what those lunches are. By getting involved in your school community, you can have a certain degree of influence in ensuring that your child has a well-balanced diet that keeps them healthy and alert while at school. And if you think about it, you’re not just helping your own child but those within the entire school community. It’s a service to other parents as well.
3. Turn off the tablet.
These days kids spend a lot of time in front of the television, computer, smartphone or tablet, and that’s not the greatest for their ability to concentrate or focus. There are plenty of resources for this, like apps that turn off your smartphone after an allotted period of time or other neat tricks like that. I try to limit the time that my kiddos spend as much as possible but sometimes it takes a little extra persuading to get them to not be upset when it’s time to stop playing games. Around Christmas time, I’ll call in extra help from Free Call from Santa, and order a personalized phone call from Santa Claus during a time when I know that they’ll be having some screen time. Having Santa Claus interrupt and remind them that there’s a Nice List and presents at stake is a great way to get my kids to turn off and not be upset about it.
4. Get healthy at home.
I know that you’ve got a lot on your plate as a mom, and sometimes take out is just the best and fastest option at dinnertime, but the importance of a well balanced meal cannot be understated. Trying a packaged meal delivery service can cut down on grocery shopping time, and usually the recipes and instructions for them limit meal prep time to around 30 minutes. Integrating a few easy, healthy recipes into a dinner routine is also simple to do thanks to the countless recipe websites all over the Internet. Cooking at home is the best and easiest way to make sure that your kids are eating healthy, well-rounded meals.
5. Get active.
I’m a jogger, so it was easy for me to instill the idea of routine exercise to my kiddos from a young age when I would take them out on my morning jogs in their stroller. This subconsciously lets them know that routine activity and exercise is normal and important. My oldest one loves jogging just as much as his mom now, and so naturally we signed him up for soccer when he was at the right age. Sports teams are an easy, logical choice for kids and they don’t just keep your kids active, they introduce them to healthy concepts like team activity and participation. But also just getting out and going to the park on a Sunday afternoon is a great way to have a family outing while your kids physically move around. It may seem like a fun time to them, but the monkey bars are a great form of physical activity!
6. Get everyone involved.
One of my favorite memories from my childhood was going outside onto the carport and shooting hoops with my dad, or going out onto the lawn and just playing catch. Girls can play sports too! Making those valuable childhood memories with mom and dad are a lot of fun and a great way to incentivize physical activity. And it’s good for mom and dad to get out and dribble a basketball too!
7. Encourage downtime and reading.
“Here’s something to read! Looks like something came to you from the North Pole!” The letter can be customized to include encouragement from Santa and him sharing how proud he is of their reading minutes!
Helping your kids stay healthy can seem like a challenge. With our busy lives and so many temptations out there, it can feel overwhelming. However, if you start with these basic things, you’ll be able to get your kids on the path to health in no time!