Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids about Healthy Living

Obesity in America is rising at a rapid rate. According to NIDKK, “More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.”
Additionally, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011.
If you are a parent and you want to teach your kids about healthy living, there are easy ways to go about this without force-feeding them only veggies for the remainder of their days under your roof.
Join a gym or fitness program
Many gyms or athletic centers offer family packages. Make this your new family tradition a few nights a week and promote healthy from within each other. Even if you have younger kids, some will even have onsite daycare centers so you can workout worry free. If your kids are old enough to partake in some of the activity, find a center that has alternatives to traditional weight lifting (it’s actually not good for kids under a certain age to lift weights). For example, find a place that has a pool or basketball courts so they can remain active in a healthy way.
Practice what you preach
It’s easy to tell your kids to eat their veggies, but if they see you eat a frozen pizza or handful of sugary cereal on your way out the door, it won’t stick as much as it should. Promote healthy eating from within in your own home and let it become second nature to you and your family.
Remember you are a team
As a parent, your kids see everything we do. We need to be the reason they want to be healthier, so encourage them as often as you can, invite them to share some of their ideas regarding health and wellness, and use this as a time to reconnect as a family. We need to be the reason they want to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe they will even be the catalyst for their friends to start living a similar way.
Offer healthy alternatives
Even if you push for cleaner eating and more exercise, in the end your kids will eat what is accessible to them, so make sure you have healthy options in your pantry at all times. If you give them the choice between donuts and apples, chances are they will go the donut route more times than not. I’m not saying you have to do away with sweets altogether, but maybe have dessert night so it acts as a treat instead of a habit.