Creating the incentive for children to make healthier choices begins in the home. Parents and caregivers are on the frontline to wellness for children. Being aware of the impact parents have upon children can help to create a lifelong impression changing habits and influencing their choices into adulthood for better health.
The American Heart Association has provided tips for helping children develop healthy habits early:
– Be a good role model. Setting the example for children is the most powerful influence a parent can have.
– Be realistic with goals set. Making tiny improvements and moving ahead slowly can help little habits develop into life-time change.
– Stay positive. Make a healthy lifestyle fun!
– Include the whole family. It’s always easier to take on new goals with support.
– Set limits. Turning off the TV or computer encourages activity and discourages a sedentary lifestyle.
– Play, play, PLAY! Make physical activity fun. Find something the entire family enjoys doing and set that as a priority.
– Dine with the most important people in life – your family. Keeping dinnertime as family time encourages bonding and places a positive focus on meals. Encouraging children to help with preparations helps to develop quality time and good eating habits.
– Stay involved with your children. Read food labels while shopping together.
Taking time to be conscientious about your family’s wellness helps keep illness, heart disease and the possible 9-1-1 call with pre-hospital response and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) resulting. Being committed as a family to move forward with a healthier lifestyle bonds families and creates a fun environment as healthier habits are developed together.