If your child hasn’t already been through this phase, the chances are they will do one day soon. We’re talking about the ‘why’ phase of course! Why is the sky blue? Why can’t I wear my bathing suit to school? Why can I not have another birthday party this week?
This phase (let’s be honest), can be kind of annoying after a while! But you can also harness it and use it to your power. One day, your kid will start asking questions about food, and exercise and their health. Why can’t I have candy for every meal? Why do we have to walk to school? When these questions occur, celebrate! This is a perfect opportunity to make your children more actively involved in their own health and wellbeing.
So, first of all, let’s talk about exercise questions. First up, you need to set a good example. If they see you driving to work every single day, they will think this is acceptable. Demonstrate that you do a form of exercise to get there once or twice a week. Take your bike, or set off a little earlier and go on foot. By showing that you are actively involved in your own health, you are encouraging them to do the same.
Increase their involvement by allowing them to pick their own favorite form of exercise. Just because you love to swim, for example, doesn’t mean they are such a natural water baby themselves! Instead, take them to a range of different sports and activities over a few weeks. At the end, let them pick their favorite one! Try karate for preschoolers to build their strength and confidence. Try boxing for teenage boys who want to let out some of their hormonal frustration! Try a field sport, like hockey or soccer. Each of these sports allows them to improve their fitness levels. However, at the same time, they will make new friends, learn new skills and have fun. When kids are having fun, they don’t even realize how healthy they are making themselves!
Next, food, and their diet. How can you get them involved in their what they eat? By getting them involved in the kitchen! Children who are taught how to cook and bake from youth learn these skills from such an early age, they become second nature. Start with the basics, like bread making, or putting together a good salad. These will become foundations for the rest of the skills they learn.
Also, teach them about where food comes from. Take them to a farm and show them how chickens lay eggs! This kind of thing increases their knowledge and understanding. If viable, you could even keep your own chickens! Out in the garden, curate and grow your own vegetable patch! Have you kids come with you to the garden center to pick out which herbs and veggies you will grow. Get them even more actively involved by giving them their own patch to look after! Finally, of course, once the produce is grown, enjoy it together in your own kitchen, on your own plates. Far more fun than another plate of frozen chicken nuggets!
What are some ways that you get your children involved with their own health and making healthy choices? Share your tips in the comments below.