Sure, we all know to brush, floss, wash our hands while singing “Happy Birthday” and to get up off the couch every now and then, but in a world where kids spend more and more time engaged in and on their tech devices, parents are more challenged to ensure their children are leading healthy lifestyles.
Here are six ways parents can help students be a little healthier through simple, easy-to-implement health tips:
- Kids need a combined total of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Get the whole family moving by planning times for everyone to take a walk, ride bikes, go swimming, play chase through the sprinklers in the yard, or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
- Ensure students get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night.
Studies show that students who receive adequate restful sleep perform better in school. Younger should lean towards the goal of 10 hours of sleep per night while pre-teens and teens require at least eight hours of quality sleep for quality cognitive performance.
- Make healthy meals a family effort.
Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals including selection of foods at the grocery store to teach healthy eating habits. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus. Start each day with breakfast and include fruits and/or vegetables as often as possible.
- Find creative ways to celebrate good behavior, academic achievement or family events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Rather than settling on a special dinner, candy or snacks, try celebrating by planning a fun, physically active activity like dancing, hiking or rock climbing.
- Water, water, water.
Though simple, water consumption is one of the most overlooked points of healthy choices for children. Many misconstrue fruit juices, even natural juices, as “healthy.” The sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of these products are counterproductive to creating healthy habits and balanced diets for children. Substitute one sugary drink per day with water and offer water at all meals.
- Be a good role model
Show kids what it means to be healthy. Parents don’t get it right all the time either, but if kids see the adults around them trying to eat right and exercise, they’ll take notice of their efforts, which sends a message that good health is important.