Give Your Kids the Tool To Make Healthy Choices for Life

By: Alyssa Strickland

Parents have a responsibility to their children to prepare them for success. Part of that is
teaching your kids healthy habits. Healthier children may be happier than those who don’t
practice healthy habits. A Wired Family outlines some tips to give your kids a great, healthy

Stage a Stress-Free Home
First, make sure your children have a home that is safe and stress-free. Ensure items that are
dangerous, such as firearms, prescription medication, and hazardous cleaning chemicals are
locked away. Declutter your rooms, use neutral colors, and let in lots of light to improve the
mood. When purchasing products for your home, read reviews to determine if they’re safe and
family friendly.

Model Healthy Eating
According to the World Health Organization, more than 340 million children ages 5 to 19 were
considered overweight or obese in 2016. To combat this alarming statistic, parents need to
show children how to eat healthily. Parents should serve healthy menu options and model

realistic portion sizes to prevent their kids from becoming overweight. It’s also important to teach
them to go for healthy options when snacking; learning to avoid sugary snacks and junk food at
an early age can help them develop habits they’ll keep as adults.

Set Screen Time Limits
Screen time is also something parents can help their kids with. Limit your child’s screen time
with television, computers, smartphones, or tablets. Strong4Life notes to focus on being
consistent with your screen time limits and offer alternative activities for kids to do, such as play
outside, go for a hike, or ride a bike.
The best way to be sure time is appropriated correctly is to set a schedule and stick to it. Get
the kids involved and use their input as you create a schedule. You can make it fun by going
online and using your own free schedule maker. Then you can download it to all your household
mobile devices as well as print it out for all to see, such as hanging it on the fridge.

Encourage Healthy Communication
Healthy communication is also a big part of successful relationships with friends and family in
the future. Encourage your kids to talk to you about anything that bothers them. Model open
communication and be honest with your kids so they feel comfortable coming to you with touchy

Discuss Drug and Alcohol Avoidance Strategies
Adolescents may be curious about drugs and alcohol. Parents can help their children navigate
this curiosity by teaching them about the dangers of substances and substance abuse.
American Addiction Centers suggests bringing up the subject and roleplay different scenarios to
prepare your kids to help avoid the peer pressure associated with drugs and alcohol.

Exercise as a Family
Parents should also instill healthy habits about movement and exercise into their kids. Schedule
weekly time for you and your family to exercise together. Invest in a set of bikes for the whole
family to ride, go on group hikes together and challenge each other to stay active each day with
informal competitions.

Avoid Caffeine and Energy Drinks
Additionally, make sure your kids aren’t consuming too much caffeine on a regular basis. Avoid
buying popular energy drinks for your kids. These drinks typically have too much sugar and are
loaded with caffeine. Too much caffeine can impact your child’s sleeping habits and
cardiovascular health.

Participate in Counseling
Families can also participate in regular therapy with a licensed and experienced counselor to
help maintain positive mental wellness. Promote the idea that therapy is a good thing instead of
something only used for problems so your kids can be equipped with the right tools for their
mental health.

Be the Ideal Role Model
Most of all, parents have to be an example of health to their kids. Parents should also maintain
a healthy diet and follow an exercise routine that their kids can see. They should show the
benefits of living a healthy lifestyle so their children can see the results.
If you want your kids to live a healthy and happy life, you have to teach them the basics. Give
your kids the lessons and tools that are needed to make good choices for their future.

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