Every Kid Healthy is a week dedicated to raising awareness about how to improve children’s health. It’s intended to highlight the efforts and achievements of schools and families, with a focus on the links between nutrition, physical activity, mental health, and learning.
You don’t have to be an organization to take part, though. Instead, consider ways to teach your children about healthy living.
Tips for Improving Kids’ Overall Health
Healthy kids begin with healthy families, and it’s never too early ─ or too late ─ to introduce healthy habits to yours.
Teach Them to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
One of the most fundamental ways you can foster healthy kids is to ensure that they have a healthy relationship with food. Here are some dos and don’ts:
- Don’t eat in front of the television, as it can lead to overeating and encourages mindless snacking.
- Don’t reward children with food. It could lay the foundation for unhealthy eating habits later in life.
- Don’t force children to “clean their plates” or eat when they’re not hungry just because it’s dinnertime. It can teach them to ignore their bodies’ hunger and satiety signals, eat when they’re not hungry, or continue eating after they’re full.
- Do let them help in the kitchen ─ Kids should learn about healthy food and healthy meal prep. Working in the kitchen reinforces other skills, too, such as measuring and using fractions. Plus, eating a meal they helped prepare will give children a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem.
- Do let them help you shop. It’s a fantastic opportunity to teach them about making healthy food choices, where food comes from, and more. And like cooking, helping shop lets them practice other skills and makes them feel empowered.
Give Them Ample Opportunity for Physical Play
Exercise, for children, is often indistinguishable from play. Make sure that kids have at least an hour per day when they can run, jump, skip, swing, bicycle, or otherwise use physical energy in play. For kids, exercise is a joy rather than a chore ─ give them space to engage. But be ready for emergencies, both large and small. An excellent first aid kit and first aid supplies are a must for any environment where kids play.
Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep
Good quality sleep is also an essential component of kids’ health, so helping them develop good sleep habits is crucial. While a solid eight hours may be adequate for adults, children need anywhere from 10 to 16 hours of sleep per night, depending on their age. In addition, a consistent bedtime and routine will promote better sleep.
Good health begins early, and parents, grandparents, and caregivers are the teachers from whom kids most readily take their cues. In addition, modeling healthy behavior and habits is something you can do year-round, not just during Every Kid Healthy Week.
Visit SimplyMedical for the tools and supplies you need to keep kids healthy.