Being stuck in the house for months on end is no fun. With past restrictions, many found themselves at the bottom of a potato chip bag and spending more time in front of a screen than usual. Developing healthy habits for kids and parents is important as we bounce back.
Here are some healthy habits for kids and parents that your family can encourage and incorporate in your daily routine:
- Set the Example – As the main influence in a child’s life, it’s important to practice what you preach. This sends a message to Kids that we’re all in this together. Making healthy choices and creating healthy habits will not only improve your quality of life, it will improve your kid’s quality of life as well.
- Family Meal Time– Healthy habits for Kids and Parents isn’t limited to what’s on the dinner table. Spending time together at the dinner table without distractions can really improve the mental health of Kids and Parents. If you draw a blank on what to talk about, grab some index cards and write down 10-15 questions that can act as conversation starters. Take turns drawing cards while everyone gets a chance to ask and answer questions.
- Family Challenges – Getting everyone involved and setting a family goal will help to create healthy habits for kids and parents. Challenges, like drinking the daily recommended amount of water for a month, will help create an accountability system. Decorate a chart with everyone’s name and keep track with stickers. Incentivising results with reward will help motivate kids and parents.
- Turn Exercising into a Game – Playing simple games like ‘I Spy’ while walking around the neighborhood help foster healthy habits for kids and parents. This healthy habit incorporates exercise, play, critical thinking, and awareness of surroundings. You can also play catch and the Categories word game, at the same time; a great way to build vocabulary while burning calories.
- Pull the Ol’ Switch-a-roo – Many of the foods we love boil down to the texture and the taste. Find ways to still satisfy those texture and taste cravings with alternatives. Use taco seasoning on black beans or ground turkey to replace ground beef. Mixing plain greek yogurt with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt makes for a great sour cream substitute that’s packed with protein, you can even add your favorite seasoning to the blend and now you have a chip dip with fewer calories and more health benefits. Add sparkling water to fruit juices when that soda craving is calling.
Forming healthy habits for kids and parents helps strengthen the family bond. According to best-selling author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, a behavioral psychologist, it takes 66 days, on average, to build a new habit. Kids look to parents for guidance; by setting a good example, engaging mentally and physically, and getting the entire family involved, building healthy habits for kids and parents can be achieved.