Stimulating healthy habits from an early age is one of the main wishes of parents and caregivers. The problem is that these stimuli are not always easy. The daily rush and the convenience of processed foods are some of the obstacles to putting this desire into practice.
A child who eats well, plays, and has a well-structured routine, has not only physical benefits throughout his life. It also grows with more confidence, autonomy, and a willingness to explore the world.
It doesn't have to be overwhelming, If you want to improve your kid's health, you can teach them to live a healthy lifestyle in the following ways:
Have at least one meal of the day with the kids
With a busy life, it is not easy to gather the whole family for lunch or dinner during the week, but the meeting is important. At the table, children can observe (and imitate) their parents' eating habits, learn to share and, above all, have a moment of interaction with everyone in the family. "The table is one of the few places where children can watch their parents interact, negotiate, solve problems, and express emotions," says an article published by the American College of Pediatricians.
Food is not a prize (or punishment)
One of the main mistakes that parents make in feeding their children is to transform the act of eating (or not eating) into an event that deserves a prize. Therefore, phrases such as "if you eat everything, you will win a candy" or "if you don't eat, you will be grounded" should be removed from the vocabulary. The ideal is to stimulate the child's curiosity and never force him to eat. The tip is to try to notice the signs of hunger and satiety and the child's taste and respect it.
Eliminate all distractions at mealtimes
Toys on the table or on television should be off the menu at mealtime. The tip is already well known, but it is not always easy to be taken seriously. Half of Brazilians eat something while watching TV, according to data from the 2015 edition of the Brazilian Media Survey. For children, the mealtime needs to be quiet. This helps to avoid distractions and encourages little ones to get to know the taste of food, chew calmly, and value eating.
Be careful what you offer
Ideally, the child should eat only natural, sugar-free, and healthy foods. But getting it every day is complicated. Therefore, experts suggest that exchanges be made whenever possible. If your child is small, for example, try to get them used to not drinking soda, eating sugary foods, and rich in bad fats. It is worth mentioning that the way forward is not to deprive the child of a certain food but to offer healthier alternatives.
Diversify your food
Presenting varied foods or the same food in different ways can prevent children from becoming too selective, especially as they grow up. If possible, prepare colorful meals that fill your eyes. It is even worth choosing children's dishes, which already come with dividers. Also, try to let your child enjoy the aroma of freshly cooked food. All of this will awaken his senses.
The act of playing is very important in childhood and goes beyond simple entertainment. It is through play that children learn, experience the world, develop social relationships, creates autonomy, learns to share, cooperate, lead, etc. When the child is small, any activity in the home will already be stimulating physical and intellectual development. The ideal is that the activities last between 30 and 45 minutes before a rest. This is the ideal time that the child pays attention during play. It is over, it starts to lose focus.
Create a light routine
The predictability of tasks and events throughout the day makes children safer and less anxious. However, establishing a routine does not mean overloading it with activities - idleness and boredom are also important. When there is no set time to wake up, eat, go to school, and play, the child may experience anxiety and insecurity. This is because childhood is a phase with many transformations and the child already feels confused internally.