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Finding Happiness
Healthy Lifestyle
Helping Your Kids Make Better Choices Now Can Keep Them Healthy for Life.

Aug 10th, 2019

Category: Body

Helping Your Kids Make Better Choices Now Can Keep Them Healthy for Life.

Image courtesy of Pixabay


Jennifer McGregor



As a parent, you have a tremendous influence on your child’s health both now and in the future.  Eating nutritious foods and participating in physical activities may seem like behaviors for current health, but they are much more than that.  By encouraging healthy patterns during youth, you can help your child grow up to be a healthy adult.  What’s more, you can lead your child down a healthier path without going over budget.


Childhood obesity is an epidemic.

Since the 1970s, the number of children in America suffering from obesity has more than tripled, and some statistics indicate that one child out of every six is obese.  Being obese leaves children open to a range of health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint and bone issues, and chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes and asthma.  Children who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults, putting them at risk for the various health conditions associated with adult obesity.  Fortunately, sticking to a healthy diet isn’t as costly as some might believe; a healthy diet costs roughly $1.50 more per day and an unhealthy one.


Mental health concerns.

Children who are obese are more likely to be targeted by bullies and suffer from depression.  Healthy levels of physical activity and a healthy diet are linked with better mental health for children, and the reverse is also true.  If your child suffers from stress or other mental health issues, design a stress-free home environment.  Create a peaceful oasis with plants, which purify the air and bring nature in from the outdoors.  Add an oil diffuser and essential oils (Walmart has a great selection to choose from that won’t cost you very much) in scents such as lavender or lemon to lift your home’s atmosphere.  You’ll find the whole family can feel more calm and positive with a few simple changes.


Good eating habits.

As a parent, your child looks to you for how to live.  It’s vital to be a healthy role model and to make good choices for yourself and your kids.  You can begin by providing nutritious meals and reducing junk food in your family’s diet.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Dairy products should be low-fat or nonfat, and sources of protein should be lean, so opt for beans, fish, poultry, and lentils.  Encourage portion control as well.  Changes won’t come overnight.  Remember it’s healthier to fill up on fruits and vegetables than junk food.  Instead of providing sugary, fat-laden snacks, choose bananas, carrot sticks, or apples.  Budget Bytes has a wonderful list of healthy recipes designed for those who need to keep an eye on their bank accounts.


Adding activity.

Physical activity is another aspect of good health for life.  Sports and play are fun for children but also offer important health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, managing weight, and improving self-esteem.  Your kids will follow your example, so become more active yourself to help them be more healthy.  Children need an hour of moderate activity every day.  Activities such as brisk walking, hiking, dancing, playing tag, or swimming all count.  Participate yourself and invite your youngsters to play along.  Also, make it a point to reduce sedentary time.  Limit the use of electronic devices, such as video games and phones to encourage your kids to be more active.


Teach them about safety.

It goes without saying that you want your children to remain safe at all times.  When they reach the age when they can stay at home by themselves, it might be time to install or update a home security system.  Modern systems allow parents to access security cameras — including those inside doorbells — to give them a little peace of mind when the kids are home alone.  Although it might be difficult to fit the more expensive systems into your budget, you can begin installing security piece by piece until it all finally comes together.


When it comes time for your teen to learn to drive, it’s crucial to teach them about all the elements of driving safely and responsibly.  An oft-overlooked aspect of driving education is fully understanding auto insurance.  Carve out time to go over their policy, touching on every aspect including cost, coverage, and penalties for driving without insurance.  Use an auto insurance 101 checklist like this one to be sure they have a thorough understanding.  Combined with driver’s education and behind-the-wheel sessions, a thorough understanding of car insurance will enhance your child’s awareness and practice of being safe and responsible both as a driver and as a passenger in another teen driver’s car.


By encouraging good habits in childhood, you set them up for a healthier future.  Provide a peaceful home, embrace a nutritious diet, live an active lifestyle, and utilize safety measures.  Both you and your children — and your budget — will benefit from your healthy choices.