So, you started on the road to better health, huh? You’re feeling good, you’re looking good. But, now you want to learn ways to get your kids on board to a healthier lifestyle?
Well, it’s very simple, let me tell you. A no brainer if I say so myself. Even if you have different personalities and tastes you can still find ways to get them excited about health.
1. Get them involved with some type of activity
Whether it’s the chess club, the newspaper club, field hockey, dance, or gymnastics, they need to get involved in something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a sport. Let’s face it, some kids won’t be athletically inclined. The point is to get their mind occupied and keep them off the couch.
2. Make them healthier alternatives
Half the time when I cook I substitute the normal for something different and my kids don’t even notice. When I made them alternative macaroni and cheese they didn’t even bat an eye.
3. Tell them the truth
Kids are smart. And you got to learn to give them the benefit of the doubt. I have flat out told my kids on quite a few occasions that “we’re trying X because it’s healthier”. For the most part they know they don’t have a choice because they have to eat whatever gets put in front of them anyway. But, it gets them excited to try new things sometimes. For example, when we went from store brand pancake mix to making pancakes from scratch, then tried an organic whole wheat pancake mix, then tried a gluten free pancake mix – every time we made the switch they would become little food critics and it made the whole experience fun. And they liked all of the end products!
4. Be a role model
You need to practice what you preach. Mind you our house is not 100% all health all the time. I mean geez, where’s the fun in that? But, your kids do need to see you doing healthy things, whether it’s buying healthier groceries, eating fruit, making a smoothie, or even exercising/stretching. I notice the more I do these things it tends to peak their interest and sometimes they may even ask for some or ask to join in. I know when my husband exercises my youngest son will try to imitate him. Also, when the TV doesn’t get turned on I may sit there reading one of my textbooks. My kids will see that and go grab a book, too. I even have my oldest son asking to look at my natural health textbooks.
5. Just say no
Like I said, our house is not 100% all health all the time, however, I still do set my limits on having certain foods in the house. For instance, my two sons love ice cream, but I don’t buy it every time I go to the store, even if they do beg for it.
What do you do to get your kids healthier?