My mom has always said if there was one thing she did right in raising the three of us, its was raising kids who would grow to be best friends. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about this, and ask myself how I can give my own kids the same gift.
There’s something else that I value, and spend my days thinking about, planning around, and investing in on behalf of my kids. Health and wellness- it’s not just for adults. I prioritize healthy habits for our family, and encourage our kids to make good decisions about all the different pieces of this puzzle. It’s not green juice and kale chips everyday, but creating an awareness of healthy habits and making the big picture of wellness FUN, is. We all know that it takes work to instill this in our kids. We also know that when we get our kids involved it can be messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. But it’s all an adventure, a learning experience, and most importantly, part of the journey. When they begin to take ownership in their own health, it becomes a part of them, and this too is a life-long gift.
Here are 5 quick tips to grow grounded kids:
Let them choose the healthy snack. Set out a snack platter with fruits, nuts, cheese, or hummus, and vegetables, and let them pick what looks good to them. This allows them to have a healthy and balanced snack, while giving them some freedom to choose. Allowing them to choose is empowering and is a step towards training them to make good choices on their own.
2. Eat the rainbow. As adults, we are drawn to things they are visually appealing. Our kids feel the same! When plates are full of vibrant colors and things are cut into different shapes and sizes, it makes eating healthy look fun.
3. Practice what you preach. The “do as I say, not as I do” approach doesn’t work here. If they see you eating chips and drinking soda, that’s what they are going to want. On the flip side, if they see you snacking healthy and drinking water, they are more likely to do the same. Lead by example!
4. Be active with your kids. We have heard it before, but sometimes it takes committing to it to make it happen. Whether it’s jumping on the trampoline with them, taking them for a bike ride, or playing red light green light while out on a walk, they are more likely to do it when they can do it with us.
5. Make it fun! Whether you are preparing meals together, riding bikes, planning the menu or just taking a breath, don’t forget to enjoy the moment.
It’s never too early to instill these habits in our kids- they are growing every day in so many ways. Let’s work together to give them the gift of wellness.