As a parent, your lifestyle affects your children. They pay attention to almost everything you do, either consciously or unconsciously. How you talk, walk, pray, dress, laugh and even to what you eat, how you eat and when you eat.
So when you want them to imbibe a particular habit, start it yourself and then they would emulate you. It is completely unrealistic for you to tell them to stay away from sugar and they see how your sugar intake is high or when you tell them to stay fit and exercise regularly and they have never seen you go for a morning or evening Jog!
They are a lot of factors that guarantee a healthy lifestyle, and enables one be a member of the Fitfam family and as a parent, it is your duty to train your kids to be healthy from young and only you can make that happen and the time to start is now!
So I have personally tried these steps out and I really do hope they work out for you.
1. Make dinnertime a family time : When everyone sits down together to eat, there is a less chance of the children eating the wrong foods or over-snacking – but the benefits don’t stop there. Research shows that children who regularly eat dinner with their families five or more times a week have better academic performance, better communication skills and emotional adjustment and less trouble with drugs and alcohol, than children who eat dinner with their parents less often.
2. Give them Individual meal responsibilities : Parents’ responsibility at mealtimes is to decide what to serve, when and where; your children’s responsibility is to decide whether to eat and how much. But change it a bit and give them fun individual responsibilities, like dressing the table before meals, cleaning the table after meals, calling each other for dinner and so on. Now they find a sense of responsibility and this makes them feel mature and eager to participate when it’s meal time and also reward them.
3. Limit screen time: Television, video games, cell phones and computers can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which in turn can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Sit down with your children and write a list of fun activities they can do when they get bored. Keep the list on your fridge for easy access!
4. Encourage physical activities your children enjoy : After you have reduced their screen time, you have to make it up for them. Plan time for everyone to get moving together, before breakfast or dinner; take brisk walks, ride bikes, go swimming or just play outside. Let your children experiment with different activities until they find the ones that they truly love. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it! Be careful not to over schedule their activities, however; free time at home allows for creative play to develop. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together. Let everyone leave cells phones behind.
5. Read food labels with your children : This is a habit that can change eating habits for a lifetime. You can learn more about reading nutrition labels and then teach what you learned to your children.
6. Remove calorie-rich temptations : Although everything can be enjoyed in moderation, reducing the calorie-rich temptations of high-fat, high-sugar, and/or salty snacks can help you and your children develop healthy eating habits.
7. Create a happy food time-table: If you want them to switch to a healthier diet, meal planning is especially important to help you stick to it while you all learn the ropes. Meal planning allows you to ensure variety and avoid falling in to the trap of eating the same five meals over and over. It is also easy use spices to mix up a recipe and make it unique. Just ensure that your children play an active role in the meal planning.