Simple Ways to Create a Healthy Lifestyle with your Family

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July 10, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter

Childhood obesity rates steadily increase and if parents aren’t concerned they can suddenly find their children among that rising population. It may be a struggle to try to emphasize a healthy lifestyle without forcing it and further deterring your child away. Just remember kids will be kids and let them be.

Fortunately, a little goes a long way. Setting a good example for your kids is one of the most influential methods you can use to encourage a healthy lifestyle and it benefits you at the same time! Increasing your physical activity and cutting your tv-watching can benefit your whole family as well. Try making family activities active such as always playing outside when it’s nice out this summer. When children are introduced to such ideas and become familiar with them they will start to think of them on their own without realizing it. However, make sure you aren’t forcing them into such activities because then they may associate them with negative feelings. Just like the hard task of getting them to eat fruits and vegetables. If they throw a tantrum and refuse simply ask them if there are different types they would like better or would be willing to try. Giving your children freedom to choose will make them a lot more comfortable with trying new things. When cooking a healthy meal give your children options allowing them to feel like they made the choice instead of you.  Try and include them in the cooking; they will more likely want to eat something they had a part in making.

This is the age of technology with it constantly growing intriguing children of this generation. Trying to peel your kids away from the TV screen can be a troubling task. For this reason it may feel appropriate to limit their use by limiting it or taking it away when punishing. However such actions treat their beloved technology as a treat….something special. Think of ways you can bond with your child other than watching tv together or playing video games. Those are great and fun things but you can also go on bike rides, play games outside and cook together. Make a healthy lifestyle a family choice.

In short: Start encouraging this choice by being a good influence, including your kids in the cooking, going on bike rides, playing outdoor sports in your backyard  while giving them freedom to decide the whole way through.

Source: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/nutrition-fitness/Pages/Increasing-Physical-Activity-in-Preschool-Years.aspx

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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