The long, hot days of summer are coming to an end, and it’s almost time to send your kids back to school. In the summer, it’s easy to keep a watch on what your kids are eating and doing, but when they go back to school, it gets tougher! Here are ten tips to keep your kids happy and healthy this year.
Stay Active Kids love to be outside. So, signing them up for an after school sport or activity could be a great way to keep them happy and healthy. City-league soccer, gymnastics, swim team, or rock climbing are good places to start.
Get Friends Involved The key to keeping your kids active is to help them find a sport that they can do with their friends. If their peers are going to practice with them after school, they’re more likely to enjoy it.
Pack Lunches If your kids are old enough to pack their own lunch, guide them in the process of making healthy choices. If you still pack for them, choose balanced lunches with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Reusable lunch containers make this easy!
Snack Smart When you give your kids healthy food, they’ll eat healthy food. Send them to school and extracurricular activities with healthy snacks like apples and peanut butter, ham and cheese rollups, or carrots with hummus.
Little Changes Encourage your children to do simple activities that will get their heart pumping. Things like hula hooping, walking the dog around the block, or even having their own silent disco dance party are wonderful options!
Model Healthy Choices Parents are their the best examples for their children. If they see you making balanced decisions and eating nutritious foods, they’re far more likely to do it themselves.
Everything in Moderation Of course, kids still need time to be kids! Don’t get so obsessed with them eating healthy and exercising that they don’t have time to have fun. Kids don’t need to know about calories or weight loss. Just model healthy behavior and they’ll follow your example!
Stay Away From Nutrition There is no reason for a young child to know anything about calories or nutrition. Learning about this can trigger eating disorder behaviors if the child has a genetic predisposition to the disease. Up to 20% of eating disorder sufferers die prematurely, so you should definitely stay away from these topics!
Don’t Keep a Scale This is on par with our last two tips. Keeping a scale in the house or actively monitoring your child for small changes in weight can result in some serious consequences. You don’t want them keeping obsessed!
Encourage Fun! Nothing should be off limits. Ice cream, salads, pasta, and fruit can all be part of a balanced diet. Help your kids make healthy choices about food and exercise, but also give them opportunities to enjoy treats and relaxing weekends!
Your kids are going to have a wonderful year, and the excellent example you set will lead them on the way to wellness. Helping them make good choices now can put them on the path towards a lifetime of healthy living!