Good Habits, Healthy Kids

Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy
Set good examples and be a role model. If you’re eating healthy meals and choosing low-sugar beverages and snacks, your kids will too!

★Turn your next grocery shopping trip into a game! Ask your children to choose a fruit or vegetable from every color of the rainbow. When they are empowered to pick their own produce, they are more likely to try them.

★Research shows it can take up to 15 times for your kids to try a new food. Don’t pressure your children to try something new or to finish their meals. Every kid is different, so wait it out and let them trust their own hunger and satisfaction cues.

★Knowledge is power! Instead of referring to new foods as “healthy,” (which will most likely send your kids running for the hills) share with them how certain foods are beneficial for their health; broccoli and oranges can help fight colds, carrots and squash can improve their eyesight, etc.

★Let your kids get hands-on in the kitchen (with close supervision, of course)! Encouraging participation in meal preparation, like letting them wash produce, apply toppings and mix ingredients, will make them more inclined to eat their own creations.

Inspire Environmentally-Conscious Kids
★Help your child plant a tree! Trees and plants help to absorb the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

★Save the Earth by saving water. Teach your child (and yourself!) to turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, which can save up to 25 gallons of water each month. Also, shortening showers by one minute can save up to 150 gallons of water per month!

★Instead of bringing prepackaged “Lunchables” to school, pack a healthy, homemade lunch in a reusable glass or BPA-free container. This keeps that plastic wrap and packaging out of garbage cans and far away from landfills.

★Learn how to start a compost bin with your kids. This is a simple and beneficial way to reuse fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps (not whole pieces of produce). Compost, which is chock-full of nutrients, can then be used as an amazing fertilizer for your own garden! For more information on composting, see Make Your Own Compost at Home!

★Help your kids plan a clean-up events at their favorite places to hang out. Inviting family and friends to participate in a garbage pick-up is a great way to inspire younger generations to take care of their planet and helps strengthen relationships in your community.

Motivate Your Kids to Stay Active
★Staying physically active can be a chore if it’s not fun! Find an activity that resonates with your child. If field sports aren’t your child’s idea of a good time, try something else such as swimming, dancing, or martial arts.

★Lead by example. Find something you enjoy and let your children see you having fun and keeping fit!

★Establish a routine. Make regular activity a habit and remember to keep things fun and not something kids are required to do.

★Limit screen time. School work, social interaction, and physical activities are crucial for a child’s proper brain development and should take priority. If there is any time left, then you can consider a limited amount of screen time.

★Use exercise as a reward! Instead of forcing your child to run laps or do push-ups as punishment, which is sure to increase resentment and resistance towards physical activity, your child might be happy to play kickball for 20 minutes if it’s a chance to take a break from homework.