As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to keep your kids healthy and happy. It can be difficult to know where to start, but luckily, we have compiled a list of 10 ways to get started.
From making sure they get enough exercise to ensuring they are eating healthy food, these tips will help you create a foundation of wellness for your family.
1. Make Them Feel Comfortable Seeing a Doctor
Many parents skip their children’s wellness checks because the little ones can be skittish in front of the doctor. They can throw tantrums anytime, and this can make your visits to the doctor more challenging.
However, a growing child needs regular urgent care checkups to ensure that they’re developing well. Visiting a doctor regularly can also help you catch early signs of illnesses or infections that may have gone undetected.
Experts suggest bringing them at least once a year if they’re two years old and above and more often when they’re younger.
To encourage them to see their doctor, be cheerful and positive when going for checkups. Encourage communication between your child and the physician during these visits so that they know it is okay to ask questions or share any concerns with the medical team.
2. Create Activities for Exercise
Kids need to stay active and burn off extra energy. If you are not sure how much exercise your child needs, ask the doctor for recommendations.
You can create a schedule that includes different activities for exercise each day of the week, such as playing catch or taking them swimming at a local pool. This is also an excellent way to bond with your child while spending quality time together.
If you live in an area that has cold winters, try to find indoor activities that will keep them active, such as skating or playing in the park with a Frisbee.
You can also turn everyday tasks into exercises. For example, offer incentives for your kids to do chores like vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or raking leaves outside on weekends.
There are also many fun ways to exercise at home, such as dancing in front of the TV or playing ping pong (which is an excellent way for them to develop hand-eye coordination).
When you create activities that your child enjoys doing at home and outside the home, they are more likely to stick with a routine of exercise.
3. Balance Nutrition and Fun
It can be hard to get kids to eat healthy foods, but it’s important that they do. A balanced diet helps them grow and stay healthy.
You can make eating nutritious food more fun for them by serving meals on colorful plates or making funny faces with their food. Try hiding vegetables in dishes your child already enjoys, so they get the nutrients without knowing it.
You can also take the family to a farmers’ market or local grocery store, so your kids can pick out fruits and vegetables they like best. This will make them feel more in control of their diet, which is an important step toward healthy eating habits as adults.
If you find that your child isn’t getting enough calories during the day, you can give them a nutritious snack such as yogurt or an apple.
Limit unhealthy foods and drinks like sugary sodas, candy, and processed snacks. These should only be occasional treats, not something they eat every day.
To learn more about how much food you should be giving them depending on their weight range, check out this guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
4. Make the Environment Conducive for Sleeping
The sleep environment is an essential part of getting a good night’s rest. A comfortable bed, quiet surroundings, and dark room can help your child fall asleep faster.
Set up their bedroom to be conducive for sleeping. You may have noticed that kids who are hyperactive during the day often struggle at bedtime because they can’t relax or stop thinking about all the things they did earlier.
Make their space as comfortable and inviting as possible, so it will be easier for them to fall asleep at night. Set up a reading corner with bookshelves, pillows, lamps, and other items that encourage quiet time before bed.
Limit the use of electronics in their bedroom, such as TVs, laptops, and cell phones. The blue light from these devices can disrupt sleep patterns. If your child has a hard time falling asleep, you can try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization exercises.
As a parent, you can do many things to help keep your kids healthy and happy. By following these tips, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of good health habits.