Parents know it’s essential to teach children to make healthy choices. Sometimes, though, getting kids to cooperate is a challenge. Instructing children on the reasons behind their choices can help them understand how they can benefit from good judgment. Need a good place to start? Covered With Love presents some tips to get you going!
Teach Children About Food Labels
Children who are old enough to read can understand food labels and become your partners in choosing healthy foods. If you have children with food allergies, learning to read labels is especially important. They can learn to check for allergens or cross-contamination.
You can make a game out of reading labels. At the store, challenge your kids to find some packages of food they like — cereal, for example — and compare ingredients.
You can ask questions such as:
- Which has more fiber?
- Which has fewer calories?
- Which has the least amount of sugar?
You can also talk about nutrients and what they do for the body. Fiber, for example, keeps your digestive system moving, and protein can help you sleep.
Talk About Their Future
Children need to understand that making healthy choices affects them both now and later. Eating well, staying safe, and exercising help their bodies and brains grow strong into adulthood. According to Big Life Journal, it’s never too early to ask children about their dreams and future plans and help them learn what they can do now to make their goals happen.
Children can benefit from the example you set when you work on your plans. For example, if you’ve been putting off finishing your bachelor’s degree, you can take courses online, giving you the flexibility to work at your pace while handling other responsibilities. Earning an online degree in accounting, for example, can help you learn about business ethics, marketing, finance, or economics. A degree in education can lead to a career that fits in with your family life while you make an impact on future generations.
Explain How Safety Equipment Prevents Injuries
Children may be reluctant to use a bicycle helmet or life jacket, but parents can help them understand the importance of safety equipment by teaching how it keeps people safe.
If your children resist wearing bike helmets, you can explain that according to safety experts, helmets are very good at protecting against bad injuries if they fall or hit a car or other bicycle.
It can be hard to get kids or teens to wear life vests, especially on a boat when they might not see the danger. Older children may protest if they know how to swim or if they think vests aren’t “cool.” You can help overcome resistance by letting children choose a life vest in a style or color they like. You can also explain that even good swimmers can struggle in a strong current.
Encourage Physical Activity
Most children know it’s healthy to get exercise. You can take it further by telling them what activity does for the body. Look for interesting or unusual facts. Many kids know, for example, that exercise helps muscles get stronger, but did they know it can help their brain grow?
Organized activities can help children get active and meet kids who share their interests. Teenagers can benefit from martial arts in ways that go beyond exercise. Martial arts can teach them self-awareness and how to achieve balance in their lives.
It isn’t always easy to teach children how to make healthy choices, but it can be very satisfying to see the results as they learn to prioritize their health independently.
Covered With Love provides diapers, training pants, and baby hygiene products for families in need or in crisis. Please get in touch with us at (812) 870-2273 to learn more.