Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Encourage Children to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

As a stay-at-home mom of four kids and a freelance writer, each and every single day tends to be fully packed for me. My kids' health and well-being is a top priority to me, and I make time each day to promote and encourage exercise and healthy eating. I've learned that as a parent, you really need to become creative in order to push your children to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. By encouraging them to adopt such a positive lifestyle at an early age, you really are building a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. Allow me to explain some tricks I've used to get my children to become healthier. Read on, curious parents...

Fun Exercise Ideas

As is the case for many people, exercise can leave children bored, especially if there isn't any variety or competitive element involved. I've learned one interesting thing lately--children love dance parties! Oh my goodness, my kids can dance for hours on end. At our house, we hold competitive dance parties several times a week. I let my kids invite their friends over so they can all dance 'til they drop. Sometimes, I'll even act as a judge for dance off competitions! Dance parties are a fun, creative way to encourage children to exercise.

I've also successfully pushed all my kids to participate in school sports. Not only does participation in school sports encourage children to adopt a healthier, active lifestyle, it teaches them about teamwork and fosters strong relationships with teammates. After each of their games, we all go out for delicious (and healthy) yogurt! All throughout the summertime, you'll see my kids swimming in the pool while I complete my freelance assignments and keep a watch on them. On weekends, when everyone has some downtime, the entire family goes out biking. Find some great biking trails in your area and get to it! Have your children bring their friends along.

Make Delicious Smoothies & Leave the Junk Food at the Grocery Store!

Most any parent knows just how difficult it can be to encourage children to eat healthy. One of the great things about being a parent is that you get to control what foods enter your kitchen and home! I limit the amount of junk food and snacks in my kitchen, and I try to find healthier alternatives to these foods. My kids have learned to love plantain and pita chips, both of which are much healthier than greasy, processed potato chips.

Also, my children have fallen in love with delicious, homemade fruit and veggie smoothies! If your children are like my children, they may enjoy the taste of fruits. Vegetables, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. My kids have gotten hooked on the peachy green smoothie, made with a blend of frozen strawberries, frozen peaches, broccoli florets and orange juice. There are many fruit and veggie combination ideas you can find online!

It's important that you encourage your children to adopt, appreciate and even love maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, this is the most precious gift you could possibly give to them.

This guest post was submitted by Kristina Miles, a proud wife and mother of four, freelance web content provider for Baby Changing Station.com. Kristina enjoys encouraging her children to adopt healthier lifestyles. In the process, it has actually pushed her to have a healthier one.


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