6 Ways to Help Your Kids Become Healthier and Fitter

If you are concerned that your children are picking up unhealthy habits, here are some things to do as a family to help your children develop healthier habits. 

Being a good parent has probably never been an easy thing to accomplish, but modern-day life has made it even more difficult. Gadgets are everywhere, processed food lines the aisles of our grocery stores, and kids are growing up far more quickly than they used to.

Not only do these things make parenting harder, but they also contribute to the rising cases of obesity and ill-health in children.

If you, like millions of other parents across the globe, feel that your child isn’t as healthy or as fit as they perhaps could be, then it's time to do something about it.

Here are 6 ways to help your kids become healthier and fitter.

A healthy start to the day

Breakfast sets us up for the day and provides us with lots of much-needed energy, but we must consider the breakfast options we are providing to our kids. Although many kinds of cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, most if not all of them contain added sugar, preservatives, and other nasties that won’t do your kids any favors.

Instead of cereal, why not offer them oatmeal with a delicious topping of honey, seeds, or nuts. Not only is it healthy, but it will keep them fuller for a lot longer too. If toast is their usual preference, then switch to no added sugar wholegrain bread, and instead of jelly or butter, use a light spreading of maple syrup or almond butter. They are high in calories but are healthy and perfectly fine in moderation. The healthier the breakfast choices you make, the better your kids will feel.

Walk to school

If your morning typically consists of you bundling the kids in the car for the school run, consider if there are better alternatives. If the school isn’t too far away, why not walk instead? You may, of course, need to be a little more organized and leave a bit earlier, but once you get into a routine, you will think nothing of it.

Fresh air is great for your kid’s health, and walking encourages good heart health and is a great way to get the blood pumping around your body. It’s also a lovely chance to chat as a family and make them feel good about the day ahead.

Cut refined sugar

Refined sugar is one of the worst things that we can consume, but you will find it in most of the foods that we eat today. Natural sugar from the likes of fruit is fine, of course, but the heavily processed refined variety is terrible for our health. For one, it can be detrimental to our dental health according to this dentist who does dental crowns in Harrisburg NC.

You may think that it’s impossible to get away from it, but there is an abundance of natural and minimally processed alternatives that will provide your kids with the sweetness they love but with fewer health risks. If recipes call for sugar, switch it out with monk fruit products, date syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia instead - all of which are so much better for their health.

Check the ingredients and nutritional values of every product you buy, and if they contain a lot of sugar - don't buy them. The longer you do this, the easier it will become, and you may even notice a change in your child’s behavior when they no longer have blood sugar spikes at regular intervals throughout the day.

Encourage your children to exercise

One of the best ways to get fit and healthy is to be active every day, so if you don't feel your kids are doing enough, then it's time to start encouraging them. If you have a local park nearby, why not make a habit of visiting after school and letting them play with friends. Kicking a ball around is another great idea and is a fabulous way to promote family bonding time and get their heart rates up.

Find out what activities they might be interested in and then establish if there are any clubs nearby or activities and sports run by the school that they could get involved in. Kids adapt to new routines fairly quickly, so although they may not be enthralled initially, after a few weeks they should be keen and eager to continue with their new hobbies.

Reduce gadget time

The majority of youngsters these days have a tablet or mobile phone (or in some cases both), and although they come in handy once in a while when you need a reprieve, they are not good for your children’s health.

If you feel your kids are spending too much time online, implement daily or weekly restrictions that they must stick by. It’s important to explain why you are doing this, or they may feel that they are being punished for no reason.

Not only is blue light bad for their eyesight, but too much gadget time can also be detrimental in terms of focus, sleep, and concentration, so if it's currently out of control, there’s no time like the present.

Have fun in the kitchen

Many children have a preconceived notion that healthy food tastes horrible, so it's your job to prove them wrong. Instead of phoning your local pizza delivery place, why not buy lots of beautifully fresh ingredients and make your own. Get the kids involved, and they will have loads of fun choosing their favorite toppings and creating their own meals. They are also far more inclined to eat something they have made themselves, so it's no wonder that it's such a popular choice for many families.

Another great one to try is making your own smoothies. Many shop-bought brands may profess to be healthy but typically have lots of things added to give them a decent shelf life and enhance their flavor. All you need is a blender, lots of fruit and veg and a bit of patience. It’s also an opportunity for your children to try loads of different and exciting new flavor combinations while having fun at the same time, so you can’t go wrong.

If you are looking for inspiration, there are hundreds of healthy smoothie recipes online that the family is sure to enjoy.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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