No longer are diabetes and obesity a problem just for grown-ups. More and more children are being affected by these life changing conditions as well. As parents there is a ton that we can do to help our children learn how to be healthy and LOVE doing it. Following are some tips on how to do just that.
1. Start young. Just because they are little, don’t be afraid to introduce healthy moving and eating. It is way easier to make these kinds of habits when they are young. As they get older it gets harder. It isn’t impossible to help teenagers form good habits, but it definitely takes a lot more work, education, patience and persistence.
2. Turn off the electronics. Limit the exposure to these kinds of activities to no more than an hour a day. It may have been a while, but without the distraction of all of the electronics, kids do learn how to play “kid games” again. It will make a huge difference in the activity level of everyone in the house.
3. Find an activity you like to do as a family. Maybe you like to ski. Take the kids with you. Try a weekly habit of walking a local trail or bike path together. Find kid friendly events to go to together. Our family likes to find a fun run each month to participate in as a family. We like to look for ones that have shorter distances that the younger kids can do as well. It’s a lot of fun!
4. Try new recipes. Expose your children to new recipes frequently. Children, as well as adults, are creatures of habit. We like the same old foods over and over again. It’s comforting. It can be a struggle to get kids to eat new things, but if you offer new things often enough, they will get used to trying new things and won’t fight you as much. I try to find a couple of new recipes each week to serve to my family. It takes patience, but eventually you will find some things that are healthy substitutions for your family’s unhealthy favorites that you kids and spouse will actually eat.
5. Be an example. This is the big one. Your kids watch you and do what you do even if they don’t want to. If you are trying to learn and grow and be healthy, they will see that and it WILL make an impression.
Kelly is a down to earth personal trainer who loves helping her clients catch the fitness bug. She is a busy triathlete who has completed many sprint to Iron distance races. As a mother of 5, she personally understands the challenge of balancing workouts and healthy, but kid friendly meals. Having struggled with her weight and with type II diabetes, she really knows what it is all about. Check out her website at http://www.oneforfitness.com
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