8 Health Habits to Teach Your Kids

dental2It’s never too early to learn about the importance of health and making positive lifestyle choices and research shows that children who adopt healthy habits at a young age are less likely to develop health problems later in life. Health is something that should never be taken for granted and while sometimes it’s impossible to avoid illness, there are often steps you can take to improve your chances of staying healthy for as long as possible. Here are 8 healthy habits to teach kids:

  1. Exercise as often as you can: research shows that kids today spend more time sat down, usually in front of a computer or television screen, than ever before and this is undoubtedly contributing to an increased incidence of obesity, as well as behavioural problems. Exercise is not just a means of keeping body weight stable and encouraging normal growth and development, it’s also a way for kids to meet friends, learn about rules and sporting behaviour and foster ambition and make goals and dreams. Regular exercise enables kids to get out and about, enjoy the outdoors, have fun and enjoy a range of health benefits, from improved circulation and muscle tone, to increased flexibility, strength and agility.
  2. Brush your teeth: paying attention to teeth cleaning when you are young will stand you in good stead for when you get older and prevent problems such as cavities. Although the baby teeth are designed to fall out, losing them prematurely can increase the risk of oral health and orthodontic problems. Decay is one of the most common preventable illnesses in children in the UK and this is largely due to poor oral hygiene and a sugar-rich diet. Children should be taught to brush their teeth twice a day from a very early age and parents should take care to limit the amount of sugar young children consume. Signs of decay include toothache and the appearance of small brown or yellow holes on the tooth surface. You can ask your Incognito dentist at Sensu for more information on how to take care of your child’s dental health.
  3. Eat your greens: most of us spent many an hour sat around the kitchen table debating whether or not to follow our parent’s advice and eat our greens as children and once you grow up and read health articles and learn about the importance of a healthy diet, you realise why your parents spent so long trying to get you to embrace vegetables. Vegetables are packed with important nutrients, minerals and vitamins, which aid growth and help to reduce the risk of illnesses. Ideally, you should try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day to boost your health. Kids can often be tricky when it comes to vegetables so try making your meals look fun, getting kids involved in cooking and preparation and hiding vegetables in sauces and soups.
  4. Enjoy bath time: good personal hygiene is really important because it helps to reduce the risk of illness and infection. Children should be taught the importance of washing frequently from an early age. Baths are really good for kids because they can have fun splashing about and playing with toys and research shows that having a bath can help to reduce stress and relax adults and children before they go to sleep. When you have a bath and you get out, the drop in temperature mimics the drop between night and day and this is said to facilitate sleep.water
  5. Drink water: water has an array of essential functions in the body, from helping to transport oxygen around the body and controlling body temperature, to regulating the heartbeat and preventing dehydration, so it’s rally good to get children drinking water from an early age. Many children now drink sports drinks and fizzy pop and these are usually laden with sugar, as well as a host of additives and colourings. Water is natural, it’s sugar free and it doesn’t contain any calories. If your child gets used to drinking water when they are very tiny, they are more likely to drink it when they are older. If your child doesn’t like drinking plain water, add a small amount of sugar-free squash.
  6. Think about your diet: it’s never too early to learn about food and how it affects the body and parents can do their children a massive favour by teaching them about nutrition and showing them how to cook at an early age. If kids have been involved in making something, they will be much more likely to eat it and children who have been exposed to a wide range of foods are much less likely to be fussy eaters when they are older. Teach kids about where food comes from, what it contains and how it can benefit them and encourage them to make healthy food choices.
  7. Be sociable: sociable children are likely to turn into sociable adults and this is hugely beneficial. Children should be encouraged to meet new friends, spend time with family and have lots of fun, so that they learn social and communication skills, develop their speech and learn to feel comfortable and confident when they interact with others. Sociable children tend to be happier and more outgoing and they take to school better than those who have not come into contact with many other children before. Going to nursery or pre-school is a good way for kids to meet other children, learn to have fun and play with other children and build relationships.
  8. Always have breakfast: breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it sets you up and fuels you for the hours ahead. Research shows that children who have breakfast have higher energy levels and better concentration than those who don’t have breakfast. Having breakfast also ensures that children don’t go hungry. The best options for breakfast are low fat, high fibre whole grain cereals, which release energy slowly and prevent peaks in blood sugar levels. Studies also suggest that eating breakfast can help to reduce the risk of obesity, a problem, which is increasingly commonplace among children in the UK and several other countries.

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