In today’s day and age, children from a very young age are exposed to erratic schedules, unhealthy eating habits and an inactive lifestyle. With hectic and demanding schedules, parents find it hard to regulate their children’s daily habits, be it dietary or lifestyle. As binge-eating, irregular snacking, prolonged sitting and poor sleeping habits become rampant among children, parents must take measures to restore healthy eating and lifestyle habits in their children. A nutritious diet and an active lifestyle can keep several diseases at bay and even stabilise children’s wavering energy and mood. Below are five tips to manage your child’s nutrition and lifestyle that parents can embed in their child’s day-to-day routine to promote a,
Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
Begin the Day With a Healthy Breakfast
To sustain their tiresome learning schedules, children need the right amount of energy that breakfast can provide. Skipping breakfast or eating an unhealthy breakfast can deplete their energy levels and even lead to overeating. A healthy breakfast should comprise protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Healthy breakfast options include wholegrain cereals, toast or waffles and milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs. If your child isn’t hungry in the mornings, you can offer them a fresh fruit or breakfast bar.
Fix Mealtime and Snack Time
Two years of remote learning and undue freedom have blurred the demarcations between mealtime and snack time for many kids. Eating at odd hours or eating snacks to satiate hunger pangs have become regular for many children. Parents must set fixed mealtimes and snack times and prioritise eating only during those times to reduce unhealthy eating habits in children. Additionally, they should try to provide homecooked meals and snack options.
Encourage Playing Outside Daily
Parents should promote physical activity in their children by encouraging them to play outside regularly. This can include any activity, like cycling, running etc. It is important to ensure that children get at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day. By playing outside, especially with other kids, children learn teamwork, sportsmanship, cooperation and independence. Additionally, daily outdoor activity can help limit children’s screen time and sedentary lifestyle.
Replace Junk Food With Fresh Fruits & Veggies
Choosing suitable meals and snacks for children is essential because eating habits developed early are likely to continue for the rest of their lives. Instead of providing kids with high-calorie and high-sodium processed foods like chips, cookies or chocolates, parents should encourage them to eat fresh fruits whenever they are hungry in between meals. In addition to fruits, parents can also provide kids nutritious veggie snacks that keep them full for a longer duration.
Be Mindful of Bedtime
The sleeping habits, especially the night-time routines of many children, have become unstable as kids moved to online classes. Many kids tend to stay up late watching TV or playing games. Now, as schools reopen, parents must create healthy bedtime routines for their children that allow them to sleep at least 8 hours. Proper rest in the afternoon and a full night’s sleep will help kids stay active and refreshed the following day.
Inculcating healthy eating habits and promoting active lifestyle choices in children from an early age can be beneficial for the rest of their lives. However, the transition from poor to healthy habits will not happen overnight. It is essential for parents to be patient and allow their kids the time to adapt to these changes. All parents should actively take measures to redirect the course of their children’s nutrition and lifestyle.
Also, Read: Ensuring Healthy Motherhood in Body and Mind