Healthy Habits Start at Home: Creating a Nourishing Environment for Kids

Healthy Habits Start at Home: Creating a Nourishing Environment for Kids

Posted on August 13, 2023

As parents, we have a responsibility to instill and reinforce healthy habits in our children. This includes encouraging them to make healthy choices when it comes to food, physical activity, and self-care habits. By starting at an early age, we can set our children up for a lifetime of good health and well-being. In this article, 360I Gym Fitness will explore some effective tips and resources for helping kids make healthy choices and develop positive habits that will benefit them for years to come.

Encourage Physical Playtime

Encouraging physical activity is a key component of living a healthy lifestyle. Ensuring that children are getting ample playtime and physical activity can improve their overall health, build cognitive skills, and improve self-esteem. It's important to encourage activities that involve more physical movement than just sitting down.

Going for a family hike or bike ride, playing tag or catch, and even dancing to music together are all great ways to get kids moving. Or have your child take a class at 360I Gym Fitness to see if they enjoy gymnastics, trampoline, acrobatics, or tumbling! They are great ways to be active and have fun!

Listen and Communicate

Communication with children is key to understanding their needs, feelings, and experiences. Keeping communication open and actively listening to their feelings is important for creating a safe and supportive environment. Sometimes, children may struggle with expressing their feelings verbally. In these cases, using creative mediums such as drawing or even writing can be a way to get them to express their feelings. Sometimes the act of creativity itself can be therapeutic.

Talking about feelings is not something we are born knowing how to do, so support your entire family’s journey towards healthier communication by making a poster that includes an emotion wheel. You can use this wheel to identify core feelings and begin talking about them together. And you can easily learn how to make a poster by using and customizing a free online poster template. Just choose one that fits your focus, customize it, print it, and proudly display it as a helpful tool in your home.

Empower Them to Take Initiative

Encouraging children to take initiative can help build their self-confidence and decision-making abilities. Engage them in decision-making for activities that they enjoy, like choosing what game to play or what food to eat. For instance, when you cook together as a family, let your kids pick out at least one item on the menu. Then, have them help you in the kitchen so they feel engaged. Plus, they’ll start learning a valuable life skill: cooking!

Providing choices also allows a sense of independence and autonomy, as well as encourages leadership. This can be done by offering healthy snack options or allowing them to determine what time they want to start a certain activity.

Actively Discuss Health

Discussing key health topics like nutrition, exercise, and sleep hygiene in a proactive manner can help children understand the importance of these habits. Teaching children about the benefits of a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help them make informed decisions about their health.

Talk About Mental Health

Understanding and prioritizing mental health is crucial for overall well-being. This is especially true for children whose emotional and cognitive development is directly impacted by their mental health.

Making it a habit to check in with children about their emotions and coping mechanisms can go a long way in promoting healthy habits early on. By encouraging open conversations about mental health and teaching children healthy ways to manage their emotions, parents, and caregivers can equip them with lifelong tools for maintaining good mental health.

Support Your Kids Holistically

Helping kids make healthy choices requires a holistic approach. Encouraging physical activity, keeping lines of communication open, and discussing key health topics are all crucial in creating an environment that fosters healthy habits. It's important to remember that good mental health is important for overall wellness, and regular conversations about mental health can help children develop healthy emotional regulation strategies. Remember that healthy habits start early and can set children up for a lifetime of good health.

Photo Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

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