Raising kids isn’t only about keeping them happy and safe day to day. It also means teaching your children the habits they need to maintain healthy bodies and minds for life. These are seven of the most important healthy habits you can instill in your children.
1. Educate the importance of clean air
The quality of the air you breathe can affect your children’s health. Outdoor air pollution and allergens found indoors, like dust mites and pollen, can contribute to asthma and cardiovascular disease. That’s why it’s important to teach your children how to clean up the air in your home so that they can carry on this habit when they move out. Invest in good quality air filters, and regularly change them when they’re no longer efficient. Also, be on the lookout for mold; it’s best to hire a mold removal service to remove it properly. In Frederick, MD, you can expect to pay an average of $2,345 for this service.
2. Teach good dental hygiene
Healthy teeth start at an early age. Parents should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge and start flossing around age four. Make dental care fun for kids and help them brush until seven or eight, when kids become old enough to manage their own dental care. Like adults, children also need to see the dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups.
3. Model healthy eating
Your child’s diet affects dental health too. Starchy and sugary foods contribute to plaque, the bacteria build-up that causes cavities, while a diet rich in vegetables promotes healthy teeth and gums. A nutritious diet also prevents childhood obesity and promotes proper brain development. Your child’s dietary choices are greatly influenced by your own behavior, so cook healthy meals at home and make dinnertime a positive, low-pressure experience for kids.
4. Take mental health concerns seriously
Stress and anxiety aren’t exclusive to adults. Kids experience mental health issues as well, and early intervention is the key to teaching children how to manage their mental health in a productive manner.
Parents who notice symptoms of mental health problems should talk to a mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment. Professionals may recommend counseling and/or medication for children with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. For mild anxiety issues, consider cannabidiol. A growing body of evidence supports the use of CBD for anxiety, and CBD is generally considered safe. However, parents should talk to their child’s doctor first. If using CBD, opt for gummies, as children often find the taste and texture of CBD oil unpleasant.
5. Practice safe recreation
Sports and recreation are a great way to have fun and stay physically fit, but any outdoor activity has its risks. Practice safe recreation by always wearing helmets when using bikes, scooters, and skateboards, and monitoring children in hot weather. When engaging in water sports, wear lifejackets, and keep a close eye on children. New boats are equipped with safety equipment, but if buying a boat that needs work, inspect its safety equipment, and it update as needed. The safest place on a boat for babies and toddlers is on your lap, so install a boat seat that’s comfortable for both of you.
6. Live an active lifestyle
Did you know that exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress in children and adults? If your child has anxiety, more time playing outside could be the solution. Of course, improved mental health isn’t the only reason to raise active kids: Children who get enough exercise have healthier bodies, longer attention spans, and better behavior than inactive kids. Children learn how to spend their free time from you, so set a healthy example by making physical fitness part of your daily life.
7. Wear your seatbelt
Driving without a seatbelt could cost you more than a ticket. It could cost your life. Always wear your seatbelt and check that children are secured before starting the car. Seatbelt safety protects your kids while they’re young and instills safety habits that last into adulthood.
Keep in mind that children should use rear-facing car seats (available online for $59.99) for as long as possible. After outgrowing rear-facing seats, children should graduate into a front-facing car seat and then a booster seat.
As a parent, you’re the number one role model for your kids. As you guide your children from infancy into adulthood, remember that it’s not enough to tell your kids about healthy living. If you want to raise healthy, happy kids, you have to show them through your own actions what good choices look like.
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