Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

Posted by Susan Brown on March 12, 2019 0 Comments

Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

There are a lot of negative influences on young people today when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. It’s hard to commit to a healthy diet when there’s so much junk food on the market, and so much money spent promoting it. But the stakes are high: unhealthy eating habits when you’re young can lead to obesity and other health problems later in life. Exercise and choosing a diet that includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein are building blocks for a lifetime of good health. If your child is in high school, reinforcing the good habits you worked to instill when your child was young is as important now as it was then.

Good Habits

As a parent, you’re in an excellent position to set a good example for your child by developing some good habits that everyone can follow; for example, keep healthy snacks and toss out the old ones. Also, serve well-rounded meals at dinnertime to encourage your son to eat well when he goes away to college. Eliminate or reduce the amount of caffeine in the house and limit your caffeine consumption. Make sure your son sees you getting some exercise, in whatever form you choose. A best-case scenario would be one in which your child chooses to reduce the amount of time he spends playing video games, instead taking the time to get some exercise. Exercise and healthy eating can reduce the temptation of drugs and alcohol. This is another area in which you want your child to make good choices.

One habit that everyone probably needs to improve is getting regular dental check-ups. Considering that poor oral hygiene can often lead to problems such as depression, making sure your teeth stay healthy should remain toward the top of your list. If your child is afraid of the dentist, find one who specializes in nervous children to help decrease that anxiety.

A Healthy Example

Continue setting a good example as your child gets older. The temptations that were there when he was younger are still there. Find ways to exercise together. Purchase some free weights and work out with your son. Try challenging each other to do a certain number of reps each day, and try to exceed that number. Buy a good kitchen scale so you can properly portion your meals to avoid overeating. Avoid using alcohol or smoking in front of your child. In fact, this might be the right time to try and kick the smoking habit. If your child sees you following a healthy daily regimen, he’s that much more likely to follow suit.

 

Temptations

Teenagers and young adults are bombarded with temptations every day, through the media and at school. Drugs and alcohol are facts of life that can’t be ignored, so take the time to talk to your child about the dangers of addictive substances. Make sure he knows the dangers of smoking and what the long-term risks are. Double down and make sure you lock away grown-up items like medications and alcohol so that temptation is never an option.

Instilling good health habits in your child doesn’t stop once he hits high school or begins growing facial hair. Young people are highly impressionable and, as a parent, it’s important to keep reinforcing those good habits you’ve been teaching him since he was old enough to walk. Keep the lines of communication open with your child during the teenage years, but avoid confrontational situations whenever possible. Emphasize the positive as much as possible and continue to encourage him in good times and bad. Finally, trust your child to make good decisions and don’t be unnecessarily strict. Showing trust maintains the strong bond you and your child have established.

 

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