Your most fundamental duty as a parent is to make sure that your children grow up leading a healthy lifestyle. Even with increased access to information on health, it is still increasingly difficult for parents to provide kids with healthy diets and healthy environments–perhaps since there are so many opinions on the matter.
Here are a couple of key principles you should implement to make sure that your kids grow properly.
Make Sure They’re Getting Sleep
Sleep is critical for everyone. Lots of adults fail to get a solid eight hours of sleep for numerous reasons but feel like they can handle it. This may or may not be true–and if you’re struggling with fatigue, focus, or mood, you will want to keep your sleep habits in mind.
But sleep is especially vital for children and adolescents. Ensure your children always have at least eight hours of sleep every night. Make sure that electronics are put away well before bedtime so they aren’t affected by the blue light.
Provide Them with Key Nutrients
The highly processed nature of a lot of American foods means that it’s easy to consistently feed your children unhealthy food. When you factor in the popularity of fast food and junk food, it’s really hard to get your kids the nutrients they need. The common nature of picky children certainly does not help.
Kids like what they’re used to–so you should make a habit out of feeding them with fresh ingredients. Use foods with plenty of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin D (among other things). Milk offers 30% of the calcium your kids need. If your child is refusing to eat certain healthy foods, you may want to consider vitamin supplements.
Make Sure They Exercise
Kids also tend to love entertainment more than anything else. For a lot of them that comes in the form of screen time. Television, video games, smartphones, and social media are some of the most popular ways for them to have fun. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of kids are spending hours on end inside. They are not getting the exercise that they need. Work with your children to find a sport that they enjoy. At the very least, devoting time specifically to playing outside with them is a good first step.
Every kid is different. Some will enjoy sports, some will not. Some will be open to trying new foods–but many will not be. Do your best to keep looking for alternative options that will help your children thrive.
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