Who doesn’t want to set their baby up for success when it comes to a long and healthy life? We all do, right? But being a mom is hectic and hard, and sometimes our best intentions fly out the window. Instilling healthy habits is an important part of our job as parents, and I hope you’ll find some renewed motivation and inspiration in today’s guest post from Zara. Enjoy! -Erin
4 Awesome Ways To Encourage Healthy Habits in Your Babies
We all want our children to stay healthy – but sometimes, it’s so hard to set a good example. In the fast-paced world we live in, we’re prone to fast food, mindfulness seems like a far-fetched scenario, and we’re lucky if we squeeze in one workout session during the week!
Be that as it may, balanced nutrition and physical activity are the cornerstones of healthy habits that need to be incorporated in children’s daily routines from the earliest age. One Swedish study has proven the earlier you start the better. The older we get, the more resistant to change we become. But don’t worry: with four small steps and a little bit of effort, you can show your kids the right path and ensure they stick with healthy habits later in life.
1. Try Yoga for Babies and Toddlers
Have you ever noticed how incredibly flexible babies and toddlers are? Your little one may not be able to walk yet but he or she can do a downward dog pose in no time! Yoga for newborns implies parents gently lifting baby’s arms and legs and it has been a subject to a lot of controversy. However, medical experts say it can be extremely beneficial for the child, if done properly and with precautionary measures. Any type of focused movement can stimulate the development of nerves and muscles.
If you manage to support your child in embracing the healthy habit of yoga practice, he will stay fit for years to come. The positions will vary and become more demanding but the benefits aren’t going anywhere: from effective stress management and developing body awareness to enhancing focus and building strength.
2. Encourage Your Kids to Love Nature
The earlier you introduce your little rascals to nature – the better!
Many parents worry about taking their baby outside for the first time. Is it too early? Has the baby developed a sufficient immune system? Will they be safe? If you’re breastfeeding, there’s absolutely nothing you should be worrying about as mother’s milk keeps the baby protected. Simply put your little one in a baby carrier and go outdoors! This is the basic way to support your child in order for them to develop a healthy attitude towards the world. Soaking in everything from the surroundings (the sights, sounds, and smells) is important for the optimal cognitive development as humans naturally learn by observing.
In today’s world, the sedentary period has prolonged and we stay indoors more than we should. This is why the kids of the 21st century feel more connected to technology and gadgets than to themselves, their peers, and nature. Being exposed to too much screen time can have negative effects: it can disrupt kids’ sleep, make them more anxious, or impact the development of their social skills. Make sure to limit TV and computer time and encourage kids to play outside.
3. Promote an Active Lifestyle
Nurturing a positive attitude towards physical activity is crucial. Gather the whole family and stay active together. One study has has shown there are various benefits to doing so, especially when it comes to mental health, enjoyment, and building character. Make planning family playtime’s fun! Play hide-and-seek in the backyard or come up with some entertaining activities your kids will enjoy. This way, the whole family gets a bit of exercise while bonding! Cycling is also a good choice: your kids might develop a true passion towards exploring on two wheels, which is a cardio workout like no other. Small things also count, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Mind the Nutrition
We all know kids love candy: it’s super tasty and it gives them an instant rush. Although an occasional sweet or two doesn’t hurt, it is a slippery slope as kids can easily develop a sugar addiction. Introduce your kids to healthier alternatives from the earliest age. Our nutrition habits are deeply rooted in the way we are brought up so to prevent obesity and food cravings you must clean up the family menu. Make smarter food choices daily: for example, pick complex carbs instead of simple ones; incorporate more healthy fats and fibers, good protein and less sugary drinks. Let your kids help you around the kitchen and pick up something from your cooking.
Talk with your kids about the importance of treating their bodies and minds with respect. Keep in mind that children don’t typically like explicit life lessons: you need to be clever about it and make them come to certain conclusions on their own.
Zara Lewis is a proud mom of three: two regular kiddos and one fur. She’s a busy designer, freelance writer, and yogi, seeking balance and happiness in her life. She contributes to High Style Life and other blogs she enjoys.
What healthy habits are you passing on to your little ones?