Many of us have walked into health and fitness as adults, and for those of us that know the perks of prioritizing movement and clean eating, this is undoubtedly something that we want to share with our kids.
Our kids deserve a healthy insight into what it means to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, from the food that they eat to the level of physical activity that they participate in on a day-today basis.
While sharing this with your kids can positively influence their confidence, personal body-image, how they measure health, and so much more, it is a fine line. You want to stimulate movement and healthy eating behaviors for your children without setting too harsh of standards for them to meet. In other words, you want them to see the brilliant side of a balanced lifestyle.
So, how do you do this as a parent. This will look different from household to household and is heavily dependent on how you define health and fitness as an adult. Nevertheless, check out these 5 ideas for introducing health and fitness as a family affair. Your kids will know the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle in no time, leaving them excited to lead a healthy life as they grow to become adults!
Movement is the foundation of conveying a healthy and active lifestyle to your children. It is important to share with your kids that movement is not synonymous to “working out” everyday. Depending on the age of your little ones, they shouldn’t be “working out” at all. Instead, prioritize going for walks as a family, playing with friends and family outside, and engaging in sports teams and events!
It is important to teach your kids that we do what we do for energy; we eat certain foods over others for energy. We are active and seek out movement when we feel energized. This is the platform you want your kids to become familiar with instead of them growing to believe that they eat and workout to look a certain way. In other words, within your family unit it is essential to convey that health is more than just the physical!
DO NOT CREATE FEAR
When you promote healthy lifestyle choices amongst your kids, it is crucial to consciously steer clear of instilling fear in your children. While encouraging them to eat healthy, don’t punish them for making a not-so-healthy option. While you promote physical activity and movement, don’t look down on them if they aren’t having the best day! And most importantly, the key to making health and fitness a family affair is to establish health and fitness as a holistic and ongoing process!
FOSTER HEALTHY COMPETITIVENESS
Fostering a healthy level of competitiveness, even just amongst your family members, is a fantastic way to make health and fitness a family affair. From combining physical activities with traditional games (i.e. wiffle ball, tag, volleyball, soccer, tennis) to encouraging success (without scrutiny) in athletic development and physical growth, there are plenty of ways you can do this! Allowing your kids to healthily develop this trait can be a game-changer as they grow older, teaching them how to be team players while simultaneously encouraging them to prioritize their performance and physical activity.
RE-THINK FAMILY TIME
Family time doesn’t always have to be exclusive to eating dinner together or hanging out while watching a movie. In fact, family time can be evolved to incorporate key health and fitness models. For example, cook a healthy dinner together and teach your kids to spot protein sources, plant-based ingredients, and carbohydrates!