Everything changes when you have children.
As a parent, your priorities shift from yourself to your kids. Keeping them happy and healthy will be at the top of the list.But, with so many things to consider when it comes to creating a lifestyle that will give them the best possible life, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.
From making sure they eat healthily to keeping them active and looking after their mental wellbeing, many parents face some difficult choices when trying to do what’s best.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Whether you’re a first-time parent or have a large family, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your kids on the right track, let them enjoy their childhood and help them develop into happy, healthy adults.
HOW TO RAISE A HEALTHY CHILDNo-one said raising children would be easy. Keeping them safe, happy and healthy is a full-time job. Couple that with the stresses and strains of everyday life and it’s easy to see why many people find parenting a challenge.
However, it’s also extremely rewarding. Bringing a new life into the world and watching them develop into a happy, healthy and confident young person is a joyful experience.
While it can be challenging to know if you’re doing the right thing, you can’t really do wrong by putting their best interests at heart. So, the first key to raising a healthy child is to keep things simple. All children want to feel safe, secure and loved, so make sure you create a loving environment at home where they feel happy and comfortable.
Next up is to focus on their diet. It’s no big secret that kids of all ages prefer sweet treats and naughty snacks over things that might be good for them, like fresh fruit and veg.
You don’t want to deny your children chocolate, chips or sweets. So, balance is the key.Try to incorporate lots of fruit and veg, lean protein and whole foods into their diet while they are young. Not only will this help establish healthy eating habits from a young age, it will also ensure they are getting all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to develop properly.
Setting a good example is essential.
If they see you eating the same foods you are offering them, they will be more likely to follow suit.
If, on the other hand, all they see you eat is junk food, they will want the same.
Rewarding your kids for eating all their fruit and veg is an excellent way to keep them on the right track and stop them overindulging on sweets, chocolate and sugar. Having a dedicated treat time every day is much better than letting them graze on sugary snacks all day long.
And, just like adults, exercise and fresh air are vital.
Kids love playing outdoors, climbing, exploring and burning off energy. It not only helps with the normal development of their bodies but can also have an impact on their mental wellbeing.
So, provided they are safe, encourage them to go on childhood adventures, play with friends and spend lots of time being active, as it will give them the best start in life.
Getting proper sleep is also essential. Younger children tend to nap when they feel like it, so let them if they need to.
But, establishing proper bedtime and morning routines, where they go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, will help prepare them for school and also ensure they aren’t getting too much – or too little – rest.
The odd lie-in at weekends won’t do any harm, though.
WHAT ARE HEALTHY EATING HABITS FOR KIDS?When it comes to diet, getting more fresh fruit and veg, lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats into your kids’ diet, from a young age, will start them off on the right track.
As a parent, your role is to set the right example by eating healthily yourself. So, here are a few tips to start you off.
Every day should be started with a healthy breakfast, to refuel the body and provide energy for the day ahead. Breakfast is an excellent opportunity to get some whole grains and calcium-rich milk into your children, as well as fresh fruit.
Wholegrain toast with peanut butter and chopped bananas, porridge with mixed berries or a healthy fruit smoothie are all great ways for your little ones to start the day.
Try to avoid cereals that are high sugar or additives and, if they are old enough, encourage your kids to make their own breakfast.
Eating together as a family is also important. It will help establish good eating patterns and allow you to spend time together talking and checking in with your kids. Incorporating fresh fruit and veg into your diet is also a must.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to get your kids to eat their veg, but you can get around this by disguising it. Grating carrot into spaghetti sauce or adding some chunky vegetables to a stew or curry, for example, is a good way of getting vegetables into your children without them knowing it. Making sure they eat the right amounts is also crucial.
While kids tend to have bags of energy to burn off, overfeeding them from an early age can lead to a host of long-term health problems, including diabetes and obesity. Every child is different and the number of calories they need each day will depend on their age, so keep an eye on what they are eating to make sure they are not consuming too many calories too regularly.
Watch what they drink, too. Ensure they drink often to stay hydrated, but don’t let them overindulge on sugary fizzy drinks or juices. Milk is a great drink for children because it contains lots of nutrients, including calcium, which help develop strong and healthy bones.
Finally, if you are concerned that they may be missing out on vital vitamins and minerals from their diet, we offer a range of daily supplements for children that provide the nutrients they need to naturally support healthy growth and development.
When combined with a healthy diet, they can help your children to develop and maintain strong and healthy bones, teeth, skin, muscle, cartilage and hair. They also support better general health and wellbeing through improved energy and vitality, brain and nervous function and stronger immune systems.
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