Establishing healthy habits for yourself is hard. But it can be even harder to implement those habits in your family’s daily life. Life is busy, kids are picky, and sometimes we just can’t find the time to do everything we would like to.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do every day that will have a lasting impression on your children. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
How To Model Healthy Habits As A Parent
Construct the food plate for each meal
As a mother and homemaker, it’s my job to make sure that my family eats a variety of foods. For years we used the food pyramid when referring to a balanced diet. However, that has been replaced with Choose My Plate. I personally like this better because it’s a good visual representation of how your food should be portioned for each meal. The basis of is that before you put food on your plate, think about these portions and act accordingly. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re eating foods from each of the food groups at every meal. Click here to read more about Choose My Plate.
Encourage physical activity
It doesn’t make much difference whether it’s an organized sport or a spontaneous trip to the park, the point is to get moving. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services recommends children ages 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. (Source) Go for a daily walk with the family after dinner, enroll in a parent-child tumbling or yoga class, take weekly trips to the local pool or arrange neighborhood night games. (I don’t know if people do this anymore, but outdoor games are so much more fun when it’s dark outside!) The point is, get everyone in the family involved.
We live in Minnesota, so it’s cold for 5 or 6 months out of the year. To stay active in the winter I’ve enrolled Zoey in gymnastics. It’s only 45 minutes and it’s a great way to teach her how to listen and follow directions.
Eliminate negative self talk
This is so important. Stop body shaming yourself and others. Just stop. Nothing good comes of it, and you’re better off keeping those thoughts to yourself. Children are sponges and quickly pick up the language. It doesn’t matter what age they are, make the change now. Turn your self talk into positive reinforcement. After all, isn’t that what we’re trying to teach our children? Find out how easily a healthy lifestyle can turn into an eating disorder by clicking here.A healthy outside starts from the inside — Robert Urich Click To Tweet
Model good personal hygiene
It’s amazing that this even has to be said, but it’s so important to teach your children that personal hygiene is crucial not only for better physical health, but mental health as well. Make sure to shower, brush your teeth and hair daily, but also make sure to cut extra time out here and there to do something extra special for yourself too. Get a massage or manicure. Do something you don’t normally do to make yourself feel good. It gives you an extra boost of confidence and sometimes it’s just the kick you need to get you motivated again. You can also try a DIY facial, pedicure or a hot bubble bath.
Make regular visits to your family physician
You should try to visit your doctor at least once a year. (Source) However, if you have a health condition or are pregnant you’ll need to be seen more frequently. Infants also need to be seen more often than older kids, so make sure to talk with your doctor about what kind of health plan is best for you and your family.
Until next time,
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