Being a parent is tough work. After a long day at work, parents still have to make dinner, help with homework, clean the house, attend sporting events, do crafts, play with molding clay, clean up Lego and maybe even squeeze in an episode of Power Rangers before bed.
With all the fun activities that parents and children get to do together, sometimes the thought of even trying to help your child stay healthy can seem overwhelming. After all, as a parent, you already have so much to worry about. Fortunately, taking charge of your child’s health doesn’t have to be overwhelming or scary. In fact, there are many simple ways you can help make sure your child stays as healthy, happy and energetic as possible.
First off, make sure your child eats healthy foods. While no parent wants to bore their children with asparagus and peas, it is important to make sure your child has a healthy, well-rounded diet. This means that instead of giving your child soda and juice with dinner, maybe opt for milk or water. Instead of cookies for dessert, consider having fruit with low-calorie whipped cream. Simple swaps to choose fruit, veggies and fresh meats will go a long way in helping your child get the nutrients that he needs to grow up strong and healthy.
Secondly, play with your child outside. While there will certainly be rainy days where outside play isn’t possible, it’s important for kids of all ages to explore, burn up energy and get active outdoors. You can take your child on a nature walk, go play at the park or even strike up a game of “Tag” with some neighborhood kids. Just make sure that you choose an activity that gets you moving and your heart pumping. Exercise is good for everyone and helping your child become active at an early age will promote good health and physical habits.
Take care of mental health
Finally, make sure you don’t forget to keep your kids mentally healthy. Bullying, anxiety, stress and even depression are becoming more and more common. If something seems amiss, make sure you take the time to ask your child in a loving and non-confrontational way if everything is okay. Counseling or therapy often helps reduce childhood depression and anxiety, either individually or as a family. If your family is going through something stressful, such as the death of a loved one or even a divorce, make sure you talk with your child about it and keep the doors of communication open. This will help your child better handle the anxiety and stress that accompanies such an experience.