Children are not born knowing how to stay healthy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn. Children in preschool or grade school may not understand the reasons why they should brush their teeth and eat fruits and vegetables every day, and this is where your role as a parent comes in. 

Parents play an important role when it comes to educating their kids and teaching them the importance of healthy habits. Keep in mind that just telling children how to take good care of their bodies and their health isn’t enough. They need to actually understand why these habits are vital. This will help reduce their risk of illness and help them develop healthy life skills instead of poor habits.   

Here are some of the best parenting tips for how you can teach your child healthy habits.

Practice proper and regular handwashing

Proper handwashing is the first line of defense against germs, bacteria, and viruses that can cause sickness. It’s so important for us to teach our children about the benefits of handwashing, as this simple act can have lasting health effects for your child in the long run.

Introducing this healthy habit to your kids is easier than you think. Start by helping your child understand the importance of handwashing. Take time to explain to your little one why this habit is so important. Use simple terms young children can easily understand. You can tell them that handwashing can help get rid of the germs that can make them sick. Next, talk about the times when we need to wash our hands, such as before and after meals, after playing outside, when returning home from school, and so on. 

Finally, demonstrate the proper handwashing techniques for your child. Show children the proper way to wash their hands thoroughly, using soap and water, followed by rinsing off and drying. 

Don’t skip breakfast

For a healthy start to the day, it’s important for children to eat breakfast daily. In addition to needing food for energy and nourishment, skipping meals can also leave children feeling tired and irritable. Breakfast is important because it helps give kids more energy throughout the day, which will help them remain focused in school and on their homework.

Additionally, your kids’ breakfast should be healthy and rich in fiber. Pay close attention to sugar content to reduce your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes. 

Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your family’s meals

Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that help kids stay healthy. However, incorporating more greens into your child’s diet may seem easier said than done. The good news is that by injecting a little creativity, you can make healthy eating more enjoyable for your picky eater.

For example, you can cut colorful veggies into fun shapes and sizes. Arrange them on the plate in a creative fashion so that your child will be more inclined to eat them. 

Reduce your family’s sugar consumption

Young children are at high risk for obesity and diabetes if they ingest too much sugar. High sugar intake can also lead to children’s behavior problems and chronic diseases. Reducing your child’s sugar intake may feel like an uphill battle at times, but it’s important to limit junk food, especially when it comes to snacking. Whenever possible, give your little one healthy low-sugar options for snacks, such as yogurt, nuts, and cottage cheese. 

Make sleep a priority

Adequate sleep is so important, especially for children It’s a critical component to helping your child stay healthy.

Experts recommend that families establish a consistent bedtime routine in order for kids to get enough sleep. Children need at least nine hours of sleep every night. It’s so important for us as parents to make sure our kids are getting their ZZZs so they can grow up healthy and happy! Start by establishing a reasonable bedtime, and stick to it nightly. This includes weekends. It’s also important to enforce a bedtime routine that limits screen time at least one hour before lights out.

Engage in physical activities

Kids who live a sedentary lifestyle are known to be at risk for a number of health problems. See to it that your child doesn’t spend excessive time glued to the TV or other electronic devices. Instead, provide children with ample opportunities to engage in physical activities. Encourage your kids to play outside, get involved in sports, run around at the park, and any other activities that can get their bodies moving. 

As parents, one of our most important goals is to make sure our kids grow up healthy and happy. To help make that happen, developing healthy habits needs to start at home. Follow these tips to help your kids learn and develop positive habits for their own health and well-being!

Here at The Pillars Christian Learning Center, our focus is every child’s overall development and wellness. Find out more about us by visiting our website.