As a parent, you have the responsibility to educate your children and teach them the skills they will need as adults. But more than anything, you want your kids to be happy and healthy. Good health and the ability to enjoy life don’t happen by accident; you can guide your children in developing these qualities.
Get Out and Play With Them
It’s not a cliché: you really are your child’s first and best teacher. Playing alongside your kids fosters their development physically, intellectually, and emotionally. If your play takes place outdoors, you can help your child learn healthy activity habits that can last a lifetime.
Outdoors, away from electronics and distractions, your kids can learn about nature and let their curiosity and imagination roam free. Running, climbing, jumping, and other physical activities help strengthen muscles and improve balance. Sports like bicycling and swimming are fun for the whole family.
Feed Them Healthy Foods
Kids’ eating habits form in infancy, so it’s vital for their future health that you feed them a balanced, healthy diet and model good eating habits. Diets focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, such as the Mediterranean diet, are the healthiest. Mediterranean diets are great for heart health and brain function.
Kids will sometimes balk at eating vegetables, but you can encourage their intake by making them fun. Raw veggies in a yogurt dip make a great snack or addition to their school lunch. You can also add vegetables to their favorite dishes, such as pasta or soup.
Let them Explore
In preschool and school, and even if afterschool programs, your kids are probably getting structured play. They play games or do activities that are under the close direction of an adult. That’s great, but kids also need time by themselves to explore the world and their own interests. In supervised free play, whether indoors or outdoors, kids can try out new skills and learn problem-solving strategies. While playing with other kids, they develop social skills, empathy, and conflict resolution.
Childhood sets the stage for the rest of your child’s life, so you want them to have a happy and healthy foundation that stays with them as they grow and face challenges in the future. It’s also a time when kids develop interests, hobbies, and habits that last. You can help them and have fun at the same time.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read: What Teens Need from Parents to Thrive