Teaching your healthy children all about healthy habits at a very early age is very important.

According to health/psychology experts, the habits that we learn at a very early age are very difficult to change and they last throughout the life.

So, what is more better than teaching our kids all about good health from a very early age, so that, these healthy habits will be with them throughout their lives. We as parents are always concerned about our children’s fitness and we all try our best to give them a healthy life ahead. If they start their life as healthy kids, they will become a healthy citizen, as positivity and happiness doesn’t come by wealth but by healthy and positive mind. In this article, I will be discussing about three basic healthy habits to start with our toddlers.

Hygiene: Teaching our little ones about about hygiene is the most important approach towards a healthy life, as we must be hygienic 24/7 and it is a part of everyday life. Many people take physical activity as the most important part of a healthy life, though it is really very important but the basic and vital importance is of hygiene.

Babies are never too young to learn about things happening around them.

They always enjoy playing with water during washing and bathing. As soon as your kids started teething, start teaching them how to keep oral cavity clean by giving them a tiny baby brush and show them how to brush their tiny teeth. You can brush your teeth in front of them so that they can see and follow accordingly. When they reach at weaning age, wash their hands before and after meals. As kids follow what they see their parents and elders doing, so teach them by practicing and via books about kid’s hygiene in a pictorial way and by showing them videos. Teach them the importance of using soap before and after meals and after using toilet, importance of regular showers and if playing outside, why should they wash not only their hands but feet too. Teach them about germs and how they can harm and infect our bodies. A hygienic body is a healthy body and a healthy body leads to a positive, happy and healthy life.

Diet: A balanced diet is very important for growing kids. Breast milk before weaning age and soft food and puree afterwards and as they grow they should have a balance of meat, vegetables, fruits, cereals, lentils and pulses. There are following ways to involve kids not only healthy eating but in getting information and knowing about healthy nutrients and why these nutrients help us leading a healthy life:

  1. Involve your little ones with your while you are cooking food. Ask them for help in washing food and in a fun way tell them importance of washing and the important nutrient in the specific food like green leafy vegetables have iron or certain fruits have vitamins and how these are important. This way they will also learn about importance of  helping others and teamwork.
  2. Take them to grocery shopping and let them choose their favourite fruits, vegetables and other healthy options and ask them why they choose the specific food and appreciate their choice. This will boost their confidence and decision-making power.
  3. Obviously, it’s not at all safe for kids to use knife. Ask them to think and tell your idea about salad making. Ask them about which vegetable and fruit they want and in what shape. Cut those fruits and vegetables and give them to decorate according to their thoughts and design their own salad. This activity will boost creativity, thinking power and power to express their thoughts. Ask them or if they don’t know tell them about nutritional importance of fruits and vegetables they use. Appreciate them and share their salad with other family member to applause your child in front of all.
  4. As far as drinks are concerned, give them water in their favourite colour bottle or cup and teach them importance of drinking water and importance of milk and how it makes our bones healthy and help them grow into a happy and healthy person. Most of the kids do love junk food. Well once in a while is OK, if you are out and about but tell them how junk food is not good for health if we have it every day. Try to replace junk snacks from fruits, dried raisins and other home baked snacks like potato chips in the oven fresh at home rather than buying frozen ones. Tell them about the harms of additives that are present in the junk food. Though they are little but they will learn with time.

Physical activity: Physical activity is very important in promoting good health and well-being. Being physically active is very vital for our little ones in the following way:

  • Helps in stronger muscles and bones
  • Helps in physical and mental health and development
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Healthy heart and lungs
  • Healthy mind- leads to healthy relationships with class fellows, friends, colleagues and family.
  • Boost power to focus and concentrate on a specific scenario
  • Boost learning and memorizing ability

As all the above mentioned benefits are the basic building blocks we need for a healthy and successful life ahead, let’s have a look how can we bring back healthy activities in our lives in this era of electronic devices and tablets. Well, as you know kids follow the example we set for them, get involve with them in doing physical activities and teach them the benefits of it and the harms of using electronic devices a lot. In the following way, you can get involve and enjoy with your little ones being physically active:

  1. Scooting, cycling and walking: Instead to driving to the school or park, scoot, cycle or walk with your little ones if you are not in a rush of going to work. If you are busy with your job and can’t walk to the school, then take them to the park along with their scooter and cycles and enjoy with them. You can play football or any outdoor game with a lot of physical activity with them in the park. Talk to them about being physically active and about nature and birds and animals in the park, like you can see squirrels and bird in every park and fishes and ducks in some in the park with pond. Feed animals with them if allowed as per the park’s protocol.
  2. Take your kids to swimming as swimming is a complete exercise for head to toe and helps in maintain good mental and physical health and leads to a healthy heart and lungs.
  3. Play physical games with them in your backyard or park like racing or catching balls. Let them take rides and swings in the park. Best way to encourage playing in the park is to plan play dates and go along with your little one’s friends and parents.
  4. Take your kids to indoor soft play when possible or enroll them to their school’s health club activities like ball games, tennis and other sports. No matter if they get messy in the muddy pit, they can have a shower and bath afterwards but the learning they gain from sports will benefit and help them throughout their life.

Books are not the only medium to boost mental growth and learning, sports and physical activity is equally important.

We should have a proper balance between physical activity, reading books and watching TV. Just sitting and watching something on screen or playing video games, all the time is not at all healthy. So, being a good parent, it is our responsibility to ensure that our kids are getting the best of education and physical activities so that they can lead a happier life as head as healthy kids and a healthy adult afterwards …..

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I love your list and I thank you set the best foundation-being an example. I think by doing these things with your children you will have better results because your children copy you, good and bad, so why not show them good habits. I love your site it is informative and easy to look at. Thanks for the info!

  2. Thank you Melissa for your comments. It is really very important to keep kids busy in physical activities along with academic education in order to have a healthy body and mind.

    • Yes Sarah,
      That is so true. Children need to have the right tools in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. Hygiene, physical activity, and diet are all essential to ensure a long healthy life.

  3. I love all the suggestions you put up there with what to do with your child to keep them happy and healthy. I have found with my son the hardest thing so far is teaching him about “icky” stuff or bacteria like poop. Washing hands is a very important lesson for children as it helps to keep them going strong and not to get sick. We do have the hand washing thing pretty much down.

    Thank you so much for the all the information!

    • Thank you Melissa for your comments. It is very important to introduce healthy habits to our child from a very early age, as things we learn at an early age will remain with us throughout our life. So, healthy habits with lessons about personal hygiene are really very crucial for our kids to know….

    • I agree with you Samreen, swimming is really good for health especially in this era of electric devices, where healthy physical activities has been taken over by tablets and mobile phones, we need to encourage ourselves as well as our kids to take part in Such physical activities in order to stay healthy and fit.

  4. Great post Sarah! My kids are all grown, well one just graduated. But I know that my youngest is probably my child with the best habits. He was a gymnast for 13 years, and had health, fitness and eating habits drilled into his head. That really made me realize how you can influence your kids into good habits. To this day there are foods he will not eat, because he was forbidden from eating them. All the great habits have just stuck with him.

  5. Thank you for sharing a brightening post! I don’t have kids but I did learn more than I already knew. I like that you first stated that what you learn at a young age, will be more difficult habits to change as children get older, a bold statement because a childhood does say a lot about someone one when they are much older. Mentally we have a responsibility to teach them right from wrong, and hygiene is essential. Finding ways to have children participate in activities in creative ways is smart because it enhances learning and fun. And importantly, physically it teaches how to stay active. Thank you!

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