When you become a parent, the health of your child jumps to the top of your priority list.
How in the world are you supposed to take care of this delicate being that knows nothing about the world? Then, as they get older, how do you ensure that they are living a healthy and happy life that is setting them up to have a bright future?
These are just a few of the many worries that you experience as a parent.
You must be intentional as you raise your child by incorporating smart practices that will support their development.
Children have high levels of physical and emotional needs, and if these needs are not met, they could struggle emotionally, mentally, and physically as they get older.
Investing in the health of your child is one of your most important responsibilities, but it can be difficult to understand how.
Here are a few ways that you can support your children’s health to prepare them for a brighter future.
Get Them Outside
Before the invention of cell phones and tablets, children had to be much more creative with how they were entertained. Though there is certainly a place for using new technologies to keep your kids busy, the value of spending time outside cannot be overstated.
Sunlight helps their skin develop vitamin D, a crucial nutrient that their cells need to function. Fresh air can be better for their lungs than filtered or processed air that is inside.
The outdoors can also encourage physical activity and curiosity about the natural world, both things that are crucial for their development.
Check out this list of warm weather activities that will engage the minds and bodies of your children and support their health.
Focus on Building Familial Relationships
A healthy family is one of the most important indicators of the emotional and mental well-being of a child. Homes where relationships are strained or even non-existent can slow the child’s development and contribute to mental health issues later in life.
If you can invest heavily in building strong relationships within the family, your child will benefit. Take care of your spouse. Have regular family game nights or movie nights where you come together and enjoy each other’s company.
If you have fostered a loving home, your child will have the support that they need for a healthier lifestyle and bright future.
Incorporate Healthy Eating Early
Children grow very quickly. As a result, they need a balanced supply of vitamins and minerals through the food they consume. You can engrain the concept of a healthy diet in them at a very young age.
Invest in healthy snacks that avoid too many sugars and unhealthy fats. Provide meals that hit on the main food groups with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and non-fat dairy.
Now they are kids, so do not completely cut out some tasty treats from their diets. On top of balanced eating, you can further support vibrant health by allowing them to take vitamin and mineral supplements.
These products provide additional nutrients, though they should never be used as a substitute for a balanced diet.
Give Them Responsibilities
Responsibility is a life skill that children take a while to develop. You can start this process early by giving them responsibilities around the house in the form of chores.
Have them help cook a meal, or wash the dishes, or dust off some furniture. You can also add in some fun activities that teach responsibility, such as caring for a garden by watering and weeding it.
Having your child engage in these activities will teach them the value of responsibility and how to look beyond their own wants and needs. This is a crucial aspect of their development.
If you are a parent, then you know that things can get messy real quick. From playing outside to spilling foods or drinks, your child is not going to be the cleanest person in the house.
Teaching them to clean up after themselves further teaches responsibility while also protecting them from bacteria or other elements. Train them how to properly wash their hands with soap around mealtimes, after using the bathroom, and after being outside.
Coach them through brushing their teeth. Allow them to try cleaning up after they spill something, (even if they do a poor job, it is still teaching them a valuable skill).
If you can show them how to be clean, they will be better protected from diseases and other health issues.
Experiment with Different Methods
Your child is unique, which means that their needs are as well. What other parents may do to support the health of their children may not work for your own.
You know your child best, so when you consider adopting these practices to support their health, make sure they are customized to suit the personality and needs of your little one.
Feel free to experiment with variations of these methods or try entirely new ideas. Your goal is to support them in a way that fosters development and encourages physical, emotional, and mental health.