As a parent, you want your children to be as happy and active as possible, but maintaining and encouraging a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Simplify your approach, and make fun changes to your lifestyle that include healthy eating, physical activities and creativity from an early age-
Eat Healthy by Planning Meals
Getting your children to eat healthily can be difficult when healthier options do not seem as exciting and tasty as the sweet treats that are marketed towards children. With young children having no proper understanding of why eating well is important, deterring them from junk food is not as simple as explaining why large quantities of certain food is bad for them.
Creating a nutritional, balanced meal plan that makes healthy food appealing does take some organising but is often the only way to encourage your child’s healthy love of food. Get your children involved by letting them help throughout the whole process. Create a menu of healthy meal options, and let your child pick their own lunch and dinner. When doing the weekly grocery shop, let them pick the fruit and vegetables that you need, and give them jobs during the meal preparation, including stirring the food, or laying the dinner table. Experimenting with different healthy meal plans should become a project that continues to grow as you add variety to your menus.
Encourage their Creativity with Art and Music Lessons
Helping your children develop their creative side is a simple way to help them mature their emotional understanding. Emotional well being is as essential to health as physical well being, so it is just as important to encourage your children’s creative activities. Tasks such as painting, collaging, crafts, or learning a musical instrument can help your child access their creativity and being to understand their complex emotions.
At home, encourage your children to get creative with paints, particularly when they are feeling extremely happy or sad, and always reward their artistic efforts with gentle praise. Enrolling your child in professional music lessons, or a musical activity class, can help improve your child’s memory as well as cultivating their emotional understanding.
Get Active through Sports Classes
It is a well-known fact that partaking in sports can help in multiple areas of your child’s life. Along with creating a healthy approach to exercise and fitness, introducing your child to team sports from a young age also helps them build their confidence, and allows them to make new friends.
Where art and music lessons work well as a solo activity, when looking for a sporting activity for your child, it is often best to look for team games or classes. Classes that offer ball games, like rugby, netball, or football coaching are great to be started from an early age, as they can help improve a child’s hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills. Group classes that aim to teach your child the sport’s technical skills alongside showing how fun sport can be, will help develop your child’s ability to interact with others and help improve their general focus.
Beth Stubbings works for Sports 4 Kids, who offer fun football classes for children. She thinks that participating in group sports and creative activities can help improve your children’s well being and happiness.