Have you seen the movie Inside Out? This film features a girl named Riley. As a toddler, she was playful and imaginative, creating an invisible friend named Bing Bong. She also enjoyed stomping her feet in the puddle while raining. Growing up, she played hockey with her father and eventually joined the school’s hockey team. She’s happy, healthy and tough.
Parents want nothing more than to see their kids become smart, strong, healthy, resilient, and full of energy. So here are five fun and safe ways to do that. And in the process, you’ll also be helping them form healthy lifestyle habits.
Serve Go, Grow, Glow Foods
Give your children a balanced diet to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions. Add supplements for daily intake too. If you have ‘trained’ your kids to eat fruits and vegetables the moment they can chew solid food, making them eat healthy meals as they grow up is likely to be easier.
Otherwise, convincing them to replace their go-to junk food and candies with veggies can be difficult. Of course, you don’t have to completely eliminate processed meals. The key is giving them a balanced diet by limiting the unhealthy ones and introducing more of the healthier snacks.
When preparing a meal for your kids, consider the following portions:
- 40-50% fruits and veggies
- 20-25% proteins, including eggs, poultry, fish, and soy products
- 25-30% whole grain foods such as whole grain rice, oatmeal, and bread
- Only 5-10% fats (seeds, nuts, and unrefined oils)
You can also consult a nutritionist for a more detailed and comprehensive insight into preparing a balanced meal. Additionally, a dietitian can provide a customised diet for children with special needs or health conditions.
Teach Them Proper Handwashing
Teach your kids to wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. An effective and fun way is by demonstrating the routine while singing a song such as “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen.
As many kids touch their pets, play in the backyard, blow their noses and put whatever their hands can get into their mouths, handwashing, especially before meals, is crucial for eliminating germs and avoiding diseases. Also, always take hand sanitiser when you have picnics or dine at the food court and there’s no hand washing area nearby.
Speaking of sanitation, your children’s bags are like their hands touching many surfaces throughout the day. They get placed on school bus seats, campus lockers, cafeteria floors, and the earthy ground when they have fun in the playground or field. This makes bags a mode of transportation for pesky hitchhikers. If left unchecked, these bugs can transfer to your kids’ beds or on your couch, and you may end up needing to get a bed bug treatment.
Limit Their Screen Time
Excessive screen time, especially for youngsters, is extremely detrimental to their growth and development. Too much time spent watching on televisions, phones or tablets has been linked to disrupted sleeping patterns, mental health issues, and obesity.
Some parents intentionally don’t have TVs in their homes because they don’t want their tots exposed to electromagnetic radiation. Instead, they have a piano, guitar, books, and traditional toys for education and entertainment. What about pc or mobile games? Although online gaming may help children develop problem-solving skills, it’s still important to limit their play time.
This quick guide is easy to remember:
- Under 2 years old: zero screen time
- 3-5 years old: less than an hour a day and must be co-viewed with a parent or guardian
- 6-7 years old: ideally no more than 2 hours per day
Make Them Play Outdoors
How do you transform their digital digits into soil-dirt hands? Tell them to play under the sun. Children need at least an hour a day of physical activity. Active children are at less risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases as they age. So while they’re young, encourage them to play sports such as basketball, volleyball, or soccer. They can also do gymnastics, dancing, or any other pursuit that gets their heart pumping.
For younger kids, physical activity only means one thing – play. At home, it’s good to have a dedicated playroom or entertainment room. You’re assured of their safety and they can play regardless of the weather. Whenever possible, take them outdoors. Go to the park so they can breathe fresh air and see the blue skies.
Outdoor experiences teach children to appreciate, respect and care for nature. It also fuels their imagination and creativity. One great way is to go on a family camping trip. Kids playing in nature are happy and excited yet calm and relaxed. They can climb trees, catch fish and discover wildlife and insects. Just check your camping gear when you pack up, as insects and bed bugs can enter your tents.
Tuck Them to Bed for a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is important regardless of age. For children, getting a good night’s rest improves their focus, immune system and restores energy. It also boosts their academic performance and social skills. Naps are beneficial as well for healthy, growing bodies. Just don’t let them doze too late in the afternoon, or they’ll have a hard time sleeping at night.
To ensure your kids get enough sleep, follow these tips:
- Set a sleeping schedule to condition kids for bed, making them slumber faster.
- Provide a calming bedtime routine. Give them a warm bath, read their favourite storybook, or play mellow music.
- Keep the room dark and cool to induce sleep.
Every responsible parent wants their children to grow up strong and healthy. To achieve this, prepare them a balanced diet, teach them handwashing, limit their exposure to electronic devices, let them play outdoors and ensure they get adequate sleep.
About the Author
Luqman has been a pest control technician for over 20 years. He is passionate about solving people’s pest and wildlife control problems through innovative, eco-friendly and humane methods. Luqman currently works for Pestend Pest Control. He believes that pest control is a science and feels that his function in his community is very important since he helps people live in peace without causing unnecessary harm to animals.