Most parents have the highest of ambitions for keeping their kids happy and healthy – but with the long list of goals many set for themselves, it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be doing everything at once. Below, we’ll take you through five small, but effective ways in which you can start improving your family’s overall health today.
Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
As any new parent will know, losing sleep heavily impacts your ability to function in your daily life. While this is of course a necessary sacrifice to make when you have small kids, getting everyone on consistent sleep schedules as soon as it’s possible will do wonders for your well-being. Getting the kids away from their screens early enough for a reasonable bedtime for their age will help them focus in school and give them more energy for hobbies afterwards – and give the grownups some much-needed, kid-free quality time.
Adjust Meals to Suit Nutritional Needs
In order to make the most of the day, getting the right nutrition should also be high on your list of priorities. Plenty of both kids and adults have deficiencies, which can lead to lower energy levels, aches and pains. To make it easier for you to avoid this, pay the doctor a visit – preferably one with high-quality blood testing equipment as seen on boule.com – and have them determine everyone’s nutritional status. Then, once you know what each of you need to eat more or less of, you can adjust your diets accordingly.
Make Mealtimes Fun
Knowing which nutrients your kids are lacking is one thing, though – getting them to eat them is an entirely different challenge. Kids become picky eaters for a number of reasons, many of which make parents scratch their heads in confusion. Whatever it is, don’t try to force them to eat what they dislike. Instead, sneak it into meals in appealing ways: Cut fruit into fun shapes and mix them in colorful combinations, mix important foods they’re apprehensive about with foods they love – and make sure to eat it yourself to set an example.
Implement Daily Movement
If you’re like most people, the adults of your family are just as guilty of this as the kids: While we all know how important frequent exercise is to our well-being, far too few of us actually get it done as much as we should. So, for everyone’s sake, make movement part of your daily routine: Bike or walk to work or school, take turns walking the family dog, take the stairs – even small activities make a difference in the long run. And, if you can afford it, help your kids find a physical activity they enjoy and sign them up for classes.
Prioritize Mental Health
Lastly, before you get ahead of yourself with all of these health improvement projects, it’s important to make sure you’re not stressing your kids out. Taking it slow and implementing one thing at a time will make them feel less overwhelmed – and also make them less likely to see what you’re doing as a silly obsession that’ll pass once you get tired of restricting. Be patient and allow both them and yourself to slip up occasionally. Kids copy their parents, and by accidentally teaching them obsessive eating habits, body dysmorphia, etc., you risk negatively impacting their mental health in the long run. So, instead, teach gentleness and forgiveness – and aim to implement realistic, lasting lifestyle changes, not hardcore regimens.