Everyone wants the best for their children. We hope that they’re happy, healthy, and have a bright future. Of course, how you actually achieve these goals is a different matter. There are no shortcuts when it comes to these things; you have to put the time in. Let’s think about your children’s’ health, for instance. While it’d be nice if we could just give them a pill that’d make them invincible, this isn’t possible. Instead, if they’re going to be at their healthiest best, then we need to work on making sure that it’s the case. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the most effective ways to push their health in the right direction.
The Basics of Food
If there’s one thing that parents know, it’s that getting children to eat the foods that we know is good for them is something of an impossible task. Their young brains just get drawn to sugar and other unhealthy foods. You know better! The food they eat will be the foundation of your kids’ health, so make sure that they have a varied and healthy diet. It can be difficult to get children to eat, say, broccoli, but there are ways to make it more interesting to them. Try out this recipe.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Children are different from adults in many ways, but there are also many similarities — we’re all humans, after all. One of the things that’s important for both children and adults alike is getting a good night sleep. Aside from everything else, it’ll just be impossible for them to be at their best if they’re continually falling asleep during the day. If you find that your child is struggling to reach the land of Nod, then look at changing some of their behaviors. Many children fail to fall asleep because they’re too active in the evening. It’s important to create a calming environment for your kids before they go to sleep. In extreme cases, it’s recommended that you speak with a health professional.
Remember when you were young, and you’d spend so much of your time playing outside? Good times. Of course, we played outside because there was little else to do. If you can’t receive stimulation from other sources, then it’s important to make the entertainment yourself. These days, kids have no problem with this — there’s arguably too much stimulation for them. The rise of personal devices for kids has caused many to turn their back on playing outdoors. Aside from simply being a little sad, it’s also having a negative impact on their health. Why? Because they’re getting much less exercise than they used to. While PlayStations and other tech can be entertaining, they’re also sedentary experiences. So look at finding ways to ensure that your kids get more exercise into their life. If it’s required, then simply blocking out a period of time as “tech-free” will do it, but ideally, it’ll be better to encourage a love for playing, rather than forcing them to do it.
Reduce Screen Time
It’s also important to manage the amount of time that your kids spend staring at a screen. Too much time spent with a smartphone in their hand will deplete the amount of time (and interest) they spend playing in the outdoors, but they can also cause other, more serious problems. Studies have shown that screen time is associated with an increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, and attention problems. If you want motivation to yank that device out of your child’s hands, just remember the executives who unleashed these devices on the world (including Steve Jobs) wouldn’t give their own children the devices they sold to others.
Learn About Common Issues
You can do a lot to push your kids’ health in the right direction, but it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make it to teenage life without experiencing some sort of problem. Schools are magnets for diseases, after all. Of course, the vast, vast majority of these conditions are more inconvenient than actually harmless. But there are some that could cause problems, if they’re not properly handled. So it’s important that you’re reading up about these issues, so you know what you’re looking for. So learn more about peanut allergy symptoms and other common problems in children. These types of allergies often just cause mild symptoms, but they can also be life-threatening, so it’s important to take a proactive approach to management.
Encourage Healthy Habits
They say if you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime. When it comes to your kids, it’s important that you’re encouraging healthy habits from an early age. Of course, you’ll be the one who’s doing most of the work, but you can always talk to your kids while you’re looking after their health. It’ll slowly sink in what they need to do. This is especially recommended when it comes to things like food. Most of our food habits are formed during the early part of our life. If you’re encouraging your children to eat well, then make sure that they know why.
Vaccines and Other Milestones
People can become pretty negative about the modern world, but the truth is that there are some reasons why we should give a lot of thanks that we live in this age, rather than any other. For example, vaccinations. We now have vaccines that have eradicated diseases that were once life-threatening. Of course, this is only the case if you’re on top of your child’s vaccinations. When and where you have to go to get these vaccinations are usually pretty clear, but it’s also worthwhile printing out the schedule so you don’t miss anything.
We tend to think of kids as having a never-ending happy existence, but this isn’t the case. They may not experience stress on the same level as adults do, but it’s still real — and it can be scary. They also experience depression and other mental health issues. In fact, the increase in depression rates among children is one of the WHO’s biggest concerns. While you can’t always combat these things, you can give your children the tools that’ll help them to handle stress and anxiety. There’s never been a generation that was raised with practicing meditation and yoga, but that doesn’t mean the younger generation can’t be the first. It’s not a perfect tool, but it can do a lot of good. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little skeptical, or don’t do it yourself. Trust that it works, and pay attention to the positive impact that it has on your kids.
The Power of Good Posture
Left to his or her own devices, your child could end up developing some bad habits that take years to present themselves. Let’s think about posture, for example. Poor posture won’t have a terrible effect on your child when they’re young, but if it’s never corrected, then eventually it’ll cause problems. This is one of those things that is easy to instill in your child when they’re young, and if you don’t, then they’ll only have to correct it themselves later on down the line.
Into the Outdoors
Everyone should spend more time in the outdoors, in our opinion! There are, after all, many benefits that it can bring. For example, it can get us fitter, and it has also been shown to decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. You’ll find that if you spend time in the outdoors, then you feel good — and the same will apply to your kids too. Your child likely spends a lot of time doing things that they don’t really want to do, such as going to school and so on. Imagine how excited they’ll be to go on a long adventure in nature. As with other things in the list, this will help to develop a positive long-term association with the outdoors, which will reward them again and again. In the future, when they’re feeling the weight of the city or whatever else, they’ll know that there’s a place on earth that allows them to detach and have fun.
Trips to the Doctor
A proactive approach is, well, the recommended approach. In fact, it’s the only approach. All humans are different. If you’re going to raise a healthy child, then it’s important that you’re working with healthcare professionals. They’ll be able to flag up any potential problems before they become issues. If you have healthcare coverage, then there’s no reason to hold back — if something could be wrong, then visit the doctor.
As we’ve seen, raising a healthy child isn’t entirely complicated. It’s not easy, but it’s also not too challenging. It’s just about doing a lot of little things, rather than one big thing! If you take all the tips we’ve outlined above, then you’ll find that you’re well on your way to raising a happy and healthy boy or girl.
In what ways do you keep your kids fit and healthy? Let me know in the comments below!