Wellness Tips for Children and Families - The Basics

Wellness Tips for Children and Families – The Basics

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Parents are constantly thinking about the health and well-being of their children and families in general. Still, it’s hard to focus on the pillars of well-being when juggling house responsibilities, family time, and jobs.

Good health means taking care of nutrition, hydration, sleep patterns, exercise (or physical activity in general), and hygiene. If your children are still at a young age, they need you to build better habits to take good care of their health.

Following a healthy lifestyle at an early age is extremely important because it builds a strong foundation for your children. They grow up used to taking care of their health, and it becomes a no-brainer for them to include these habits in their routines. As we all know, the best way to lead is by example, so here’s a list of easy wellness tips for better health.

1. Make drinking water a habit from an early age:

A huge percentage of our bodies are made up of water. According to Thought Co, the percentage could range from 55% to 70%, depending on age and gender. This means that proper hydration is important for several biological functions in our bodies, and one of them is getting rid of toxins in our bodies.

Drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for our well-being. It’s advised to drink between 2-3 liters of water per day for children who are at a minimum of eight years old. The water needed also depends on the amount of physical activity a person exerts. But as a general rule to teach your child, tell them to grab a glass of water every time they feel like drinking a beverage or feel hungry. Because most of the time, thirst is mistaken for hunger.

2. Don’t give children medication for every reason:

Our bodies are capable of fighting diseases all by themselves, and taking medication whenever a light cold comes along prevents the immune system from becoming stronger and fighting diseases. Also, know when exactly you should give your children antibiotics because they shouldn’t be taken frequently. For instance, some diseases must be treated with antibiotics, like in the PANDAS treatment protocol.

3. Don’t teach them that they need to wipe their plate clean:

One of the biggest mistakes parents teach their children is to wipe their plates clean and force them to eat a certain amount at a young age. Children are different and eat according to their hunger cues and stop according to their sensation of fullness. Forcing your child to finish their plate even if they’re full encourages overeating and, later on, could lead them to have a bad relationship with food because they don’t properly know when they’re hungry or full; they’re used to eating the whole plate.

Instead, you should leave your child to eat at their own pace, and if they’re a picky eater, you can experiment with different recipes or types of foods. However, if your child is underweight or has issues with their development, you should visit a pediatrician or nutritionist.

4. Eating a balanced diet:

All humans need a balanced diet for good health, but children need to eat a balanced diet full of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins for healthy development and growth. To simplify things for you, try to include in their diet a mixture of these food groups: dairy, grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables.

Try to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in all meals, so they receive proper nutrition and get used to eating them as they develop. Also, teach your children to chew their food for some time before swallowing it. This ensures that the food is digested better and strengthens their hunger cues because as you eat slower, you can notice when you’re getting full and prevent overeating.

5. Encourage a stable sleep schedule:

Children need more sleep than adults when they’re in their development age. Children ages 6-12 need from 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night. There are some tips to ensure a good night’s sleep because sleeping for the required amount of hours is not enough; there are some other tips, such as turning off the lights at almost the same time every day, to encourage a healthy circadian rhythm which is their biological clock and avoid screens a few hours before sleep time.

Adequate sleep is important for their mental and physical health and is needed for your child to grow healthily. Therefore, you should make sure your child adopts healthy sleeping habits as they grow.

6. Lead by example:

Children adopt the habits of their parents growing up. No matter how hard you try to hide certain habits that you do, children are smart and will pick up on these habits. They observe and follow the habits they see in the house. That’s why it’s important to set ground rules for all of those living in the house with no exceptions, old or young.

For example, when children see their parents scrolling through their phones before bedtime, they’ll see no reason not to do the same, even if you have set a no-screen before bedtime routine. Leading by example ensures that your children grow up adopting healthy habits because it’s what they grew up observing – it’s what is normal for them.

Encourage physical activity:

The best way to encourage less time in front of screens is to fill your child’s schedule with healthy habits, including physical activity. It’s best if you encourage your child to get at least one hour of physical activity daily, even if it’s something light, such as walking with you to the grocery store or doing some errands.

You can buy some exercise equipment at home that they’ll play with. Usually, kids have a lot of energy that they need to get out, and by giving them a healthy outlet, you ensure that they’re used to physical activity at a young age and also that they run out of energy by the time its night for a good night’s sleep.