1. Drink more water. Kids need to drink lots of water and chances are yours aren’t drinking enough. Require your kids to drink 1-2 glasses before drinking any juice at meal times. Keep little bottles of water in the fridge. Kids are more inclined to drink those throughout the day than they are the adult bottles. Be sure to pack water in their lunches so that they are sipping on it at school.
2. Educate them. Give them credit for how smart they are. It is okay to tell your kids about making healthy choices. Let them know that unhealthy living can lead to illnesses as they age. Kids want to be police officers, firefighters, professional athletes, and other professions that require being healthy. Let them know that certain foods make them strong enough to be what they aspire to be.
3. Set the example. If mom and dad are eating healthy and exercising, kids see that as the norm. Be aware that you are modeling proper diet and exercise habits. Kids love to emulate their parents. Just as they want to wear high heels and make up or work boots and hats, they will also want to work out and eat healthy if their parents do.
4. Keep fruits and vegetables visual and accessible. Fruit and vegetable trays on the coffee table are just as appealing to kids as candy trays. If they are visual and accessible, kids will flock to them. Make the choice obvious by limiting the visibility of candy and pastries.
5. Limit tech time. Tech time is time in front of the television, computer, cell phone, and gaming systems. Asking your child to come outside and play a game of basketball before playing a gaming system is a fair trade off. As this becomes consistent you will likely get questions such as, “Mom, if I ride my bike for a while, can I play the Wii for a while?”
These are only a few of many tips. Keep checking back as we will have many other ideas for you to implement at home.