Many people would agree with the statement that raising kids is both tough but rewarding. One of the top reasons is that as a parent, you have to coach your little one of anything and everything as they grow and mature into adults.
In this endeavor, it is natural to feel a little overwhelmed. This is why we have compiled the ultimate guide of the things you need to consider when raising your kids to become healthy individuals.
Ensure Healthy Nutrition
One of the most important elements of ensuring that your kids are healthy is adopting the right child and toddler nutrition. The food you give your kids should cover all the basic nutrients including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. However, you need to be mindful that the food contains the least amounts of sodium, added sugar, and saturated and trans fat since they are not healthy for your children.
As a parent, it is important that you emphasize the need to eat healthy and organic food by highlighting the negative consequences of processed or junk food. This will allow your kids to take ownership of their dietary choices from an early age and automatically motivate them to make healthy eating choices.
Additionally, since it is natural for your child to explore other options, try encouraging healthy alternatives such as oatmeal cookies, chocolate stuffed dates, or flavored yogurt. This is a good way to allow them to indulge and eat healthy at the same time.
Help Your Child’s Cognitive Development
As a parent, it is critical that you pay close attention to your child’s cognitive development and find ways to encourage them to think, explore, and figure things out on their own.
For toddlers, this means speaking to them in your usual parlance rather than using baby talk excessively. You may even want to read to them and make them hear music to help stimulate their brain, enabling sensory processing and language comprehension.
For developing children, such as those aged one to five, it is a good idea to slowly introduce games that stimulate their problem-solving skills. Using colored blocks or custom jigsaw puzzles with stimulating pictures like the ones found at Pixels is just one way to go about it. This will allow your child to start thinking critically from an early age, spark their imagination, and allow them to develop superior spatial abilities.
Additionally, you should encourage your child to make their own decisions by asking them if they want to do something or eat something. This will help them develop reasoning skills and foster their agency as individual beings.
Generally, it is best to introduce your child to a wide variety of colors, shapes, noises, songs, activities, and places to help them develop a grounded view of the world as they begin to grow. Additionally, it is best to limit screen time and instead, opt for engaging them in real-life experiences to help build their focus in the early ages.
Teach Them Hygiene Habits
We all know that children love to get messy and dirty and don’t have any concept of personal hygiene. Instead of turning a blind eye towards such occurrences, it is a good idea for you to inculcate some baseline habits so that your kids grow up learning the value of good hygiene.
For starters, make sure that your child washes their hands before and after they eat. Teach them how to do so, and repeatedly remind them until they start doing it themselves. You should also teach your children to brush their teeth and wash their face twice a day after waking up and before going to bed. Make sure that you do it with them for the first few months. After a while, you will realize that setting a stool for them in the bathroom is enough to motivate them to do so themselves.
Additionally, it is important to potty train them and make sure they wash their hands after using the toilet. Similarly, the importance of showering every day should be taught as well.
Other ways to practice good hygiene includes teaching them to use disposable tissue to wipe their nose, avoiding sharing utensils, and avoiding touching anything that may be infectious or harmful.
As much as nutrition and cognitive skill development are important for kids, so is physical exercise. Some of the benefits of physical activity include controlled weight, stronger muscles and bones, improvement in cardiorespiratory health, and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It is very important that you encourage your children to play outdoors and mingle with other kids as well. Consider taking them to play dates at a nearby park and encourage them to be friends with other kids. You can instill in them a love of sports such as football, basketball, tennis, and others by buying them equipment and teaching them how to play.
Our advice is to schedule at least one hour of outdoor playtime so that your child not only exercises but connects with nature as well.
Make Them Stick To A Schedule
Raising healthy kids means that they grow up to be balanced individuals who can handle the numerous tasks that come with growing up. A great way to do that is by setting a routine for your kids and hanging it in the kitchen, living room, or any other area where it is easily accessible.
We suggest making a daily routine that is flexible enough for your child to follow. If possible, allow your children to be a part of the decision-making process to build trust and confidence. This routine can include essentials such as showering, washing their hands, unstructured play, outdoor and screen time, breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner, and bedtime.
Depending on your kid’s age and temperament, this schedule will vary for every child. The consistency and dependability of a schedule will allow your child to develop healthy habits and make your job a whole lot easier as well!
Check In With Your Kids
As a parent, it is very important that you raise kids who are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. To this end, it is imperative that you regularly check in with your kids to ask them how they are doing, whether they need to talk about something or just bond with them on a deeper level.
Kids, just like adults, may feel blue for a number of reasons. Since they have a limited capacity of understanding and unpacking those feelings, it is a parent’s job to intervene and talk to their child about anything that is bothering them. This will help develop trust and confidence and will be extremely beneficial in the long run as your kids grow up to feel that they have a deeper connection with their parents.
Raising healthy kids is a full-time job that requires the utmost patience, time, and energy. While it is normal to make a few mistakes, it is a good idea to be constantly mindful of the decisions you make as a parent. This is because your decisions not only have a direct impact on the health and well-being of your child but are also the primary way through which they will learn and grow as individuals. After all, as a parent, you are the first role model for your kids.