Health starts in the home, and when it comes to the nutrition and exercise habits of your children, you should expect them to follow your example. Parents are a direct influence on their children, and a healthy home will always have a positive impact on the behavior of the children who live there.
“The job of a parent is to not only physically take care of them, but to teach them, and to give them the tools they need to make sound decisions,” said Kristi King, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Having open communication and discussion regarding healthy lifestyle behaviors is essential in helping children to develop a foundation for the future. This ensures they have the knowledge and ability to take care of themselves once they are no longer in the home.”
The best thing you can do is to educate your kids — whether youngsters or teenagers — in easy ways to stay healthy, such as eating balanced meals, avoiding excess sugar, and staying active. We spoke with KIng about healthy lessons kids of all ages should learn about staying healthy now and throughout the rest of their lives.
Do Things That Work For You
When it comes to physical and mental health, you cannot compare yourself; do what is best for you. “Everybody is different and what works for your friend or even your sibling may not work for you,” King said. “Focus on you and your body’s needs so that you can be healthy and strong.”
Fill Half Your Plate With Vegetables
“Check out Choose My Plate for more guidance, but by making sure half your plate is vegetables you will get vitamins and minerals which are essential in making your body function,” King said. “You will also get fiber which we need for heart health, gut health, and to make us feel full.”