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Nowadays, healthy kids are just as important as smart kids. Time after time, studies have revealed that nutrition and exercise can uplift overall health while also improving academic performance.Gone are the days when mothers used to force feed their kids in a bid to see them plump and chubby.
Check out a detailed low-down on sustainable and measurable health goals when it comes to raising health conscious kids
1) Teach them sports skill:
Introduction to various sports is the first step that any parent needs to instil in their kids. Kids sometimes talk about the sports that they would like to take up but they may not have the right skills for the same. Therefore, exploring various sports would be beneficial. After all, sports are skill based and work for strength, focus, agility, concentration and also double up as a good cardio workout for children.
2) Teach them persistence, creativity and importance of health:
When it comes to children, the mode is always 'follow the leader', therefore to see the change the parents need to change themselves first. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle consisting of mindful eating habits and following a good exercise regime plays a very important role as the child seeing this from the young age will only believe in this and it becomes a part of his/her lifestyle. Persistence is again a reflected quality and children being keen observer, will soon learn it from a parent.
3) Exploring equals to empowering:
Parents should inculcate the habit of individuality in their children and allow them to use their brains instead of constantly spoon feeding them. Getting them to explore and experiment will not only bring upon individuality, but also improves their creative mind. A simple rhyming poem construction, painting, drawing, craft, storytelling related to health are the some of the things that one can start with.
4) Right food for height and growth:
The diet consisting of protein and calcium is essential for their bones and muscles. Additionally, do give them plenty of water, fibre, vitamins and minerals and good carbs, which are required for complete nourishment. Along with this, outdoor activities are recommended as it places a positive stress on the bone density and increases the bone mass. Cycling, basketball and swimming are said to be good exercise options for height gain in children.
5) Right food to build immunity:
They should be given a diet rich in Vitamin C, E and citrus fruits, which are known to boost immunity. Exercise is known to improve the immune system and imparts fewer chances of falling ill. And, it also helps children heal and recover faster in case of any kind of injury.
6) Eat smart as a family:
Practice what you preach. Good eating habits apply to the entire family. And it's good to start early with the kids. If the parents have had an unhealthy lifestyle, then now is the time to correct their ways and start living healthy. The diet should consist of carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamin and minerals at every meal.
Snacking options should be healthy choices like fresh veggies with healthy dips, yoghurt smoothies, fresh fruits, whole grain bread snacks etc. However, it is quite okay to binge moderately once in a way and the child should be educated about harm and ill effects of eating calorie rich sinful food on everyday basis.
7) Never use food as a reward:
As children are smart and very soon they will use it as a tool to even do their homework. The rewards can be a field trip, buying a sports equipment, water sports etc. Show support through positive enforcement of right health habits. Encouraging words would help and connecting the good food habits with their health and energy would further add to motivation levels.
8) Fun exercises for children:
The number one choice would be dance as its music based and children can relate to songs and further enjoy their workout. The other exercises would be family games using props like soft ball, ropes, deck of card and paper games. In the family games, the child should be made the leader, judge or decision maker to build qualities such as individuality, administration and leadership. Apart from this trekking, animal walking, wii fit games, relay etc would be the best way to squeeze in exercises.
9) Don't always nag about unhealthy foods:
Don't nag, just casually educate the child about the importance of eating right and the side effects of unhealthy food. Dramatize the key points of unhealthy lifestyle as it will register in the child's mind. And to support further, do not stock the house with unhealthy food. Peer pressure can havoc your kids training, so it's good to talk to their friends too. `