Create a Healthy Lifestyle Right From The Start
Children learn by example. What they see you doing will help to form your child’s lifestyle habits. If your kids see that you’re active, fit and healthy they are likely to mirror the behaviors that got you there. It’s important to create a healthy lifestyle right from the start! The forming of habits, both positive and negative, start for them right at the beginning of their lives and can last throughout their childhood all the way into adulthood. Now is the time to direct them toward healthy living.While your baby is tiny, you directly control every mouthful of food and every single activity right down to naptime. Don’t underestimate them! They are learning a bundle during this time! Include a wide variety of foods for baby once you start them on baby food. You may not be a big fan of creamed spinach, but let baby try it anyway. He may surprise you! If you are transitioning back into the work force, continue healthy food choices by packing a wide variety of foods for lunch and snack time and make sure your childcare provider includes activities that encourage movement. Include your little one in your exercise activities any time you can. Visit local parks for walks with the stroller, enjoy the baby swings and other age appropriate park activities that encourage movement. Take the dog and as your child grows, allow her to hold the leash. If you keep movement part of your daily routine from the beginning, it will become a normal part of your child’s life.Because older children play differently these days, it’s having devastating effects on their overall fitness level. Children are becoming technologically savvy earlier and earlier, but technology, even with all of its wonders, does have a down side. Kids are in-doors much more, sitting in front of computers and televisions, which is increasing the number of kids who are overweight by dramatic numbers. Couple that with our fast-paced eating lifestyle and we have a true childhood obesity problem on our hands! But like I mentioned earlier, if you exhibit an active lifestyle from the beginning and have provided healthy food, you may be able to sidestep some of the problems of this generation.Here are some helpful, “Do This, Not That” tips for staying on the healthy track with your family. Do This Not That Reward good behavior with a favorite outing or activity Don’t reward with food Encourage water as a beverage of choice Limit soda and juice Bake or broil foods Minimize frying Offer wide varieties of foods - offer one new thing at a time to picky eaters Don’t serve the same things at each meal because they are picky Keep fresh fruit available for snacks Leave the candy and cookies back at the store Schedule mealtimes and encourage family conversation Turn off the TV at mealtimes Include your child in meal preparation, they are more likely to eat something they have prepared Don’t exclude little hands in the kitchen Use smaller plates and cups Don’t use big plates, they psychologically make us want to eat more Always have at least one thing a picky eater likes on his plate Don’t force feed or insist on a “clean plate” Use low-fat or non-fat milk Unless your child is under two years old, whole milk isn’t recommended Make fitness a family event Don’t give in to too much TV or computer time or use them as a babysitter Encourage sports your child enjoys Don’t overdo and sign them up for everything Take the long way by using the steps instead of elevators when you can Don’t allow inactivity in your lifestyle Allow your children to witness you making healthy choices for yourself Don’t over-talk fitness or healthy food, let it be natural Picky Eaters Picky eaters make up a large portion of the toddler and elementary school population. They challenge us to get creative in the kitchen and even sneaky if we have to! Here are some tips for helping the picky eater on the road to discovering the joy of variety. Let them plan a menu. Sit down with your little picky one and come up with a menu. With your guidance, you can create a well-balanced meal that has already passed the psychological test with your child. Let them help in the kitchen. Kids who help with the preparation of food are much more likely to try it at mealtime. Allow your child to explore his food. We’ve all heard it. “Don’t play with your food!” The fact is, your child is learning texture and if he’s especially sensitive to smells and tastes, being allowed to “explore” it will open him up to tasting it. Engage in non-food related conversation. Talk during dinner. Talk about the day, school, their play date, your day, anything to distract from the effort of eating or the stress of a new food. Condiments are your friend. Allow your picky one to add ketchup if it encourages eating. When they are small, they may be dealing with texture issues that they’ll grow out of. As long as they aren’t dumping a whole box of salt on their plate, they’re okay. Don’t cook separate meals for the picky ones. You’ll regret it if you do! Make sure there is at least one thing you know your picky one likes on her plate. The rest is for her to discover. If you’ve prepared a meal for the family, then that is the meal. This is a lesson in gratefulness for your children. Puree away! Many veggies can be pureed and added to things with no discernable change to the taste or texture. Puree carrots and add it to meatballs, or pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes. With just one added ingredient, you can boost the nutritional value of many foods. You can keep it a secret or not. Either way, the whole family is getting a vitamin boost while still enjoying their meal. My Fit Mom For Life program will help you fashion healthy meals with meal plans that are affordable and easy. Along with meal plans, I’ll show you workout routines that will fit into any schedule with proven techniques that will get the results you want! Being a leader in your family is serious business. By setting a good example right from the start, your child will learn that healthy eating and fitness are a way of life.
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