It is possible to turn 5 unhealthy habits our kids love into healthy habits without them feeling they are being punished or unfairly treated. For instance, how can you get your kids to sit at the dinner table without preaching for 15 minutes? How can you substitute your kids’ love for junk food for healthier alternatives without getting the ‘shrug’ treatment? How can you woo your kids to eat healthily without the eye rolls and drama? How can you lure them to bed without the ‘It’s too early for bed Mum’? And finally, how can you get your kids to exercise?
The motive behind 5 unhealthy habits our kids love is how to get parents to pull their kids away from unhealthy norms into healthier options. The great news here is that top experts have developed various good habits for kids that would not bring the roof down. In other words, the magic ingredient is to disguise the changes as fun for parents to apply.
Dinner On Settee, In front of TV
A study shows that more than 3 in 5 parents wish that their families spent more time dining together. For the reason that teens who eat with family five nights a week are less likely to use drugs, according to the study. In this case, the experts suggest 2 solutions:
Have a meaningful discussion
When you are all the family table, it is better to make your time together more meaningful. So you can start a conversation with your children at dinner with “Sweetheart, what interesting things happened to you today?” Such an entree gives room to all concerned to think positively about events of the day. Moreover, children are always eager to tell you about the latest experiences and to praise them where they scored high marks. Definitely, as time goes on you will discover they will be the one that prompts the ‘discussion’.
Have a healthy beverage
After dinner, you can all relax with hot cups of favourite beverage. The fact is when children are irritated by homework or chores; a soothing drink together creates a relaxing atmosphere and break. And before you know it, this habit soon becomes a family tradition.
Junk Food Is Healthy and Delicious
According to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics, children get almost 500 calories a day from candy, cookies, and snacks. These unhealthy snacks may be the foundation for diabetes later in life. Find below 2 better strategies:
One indulgence day
Try to give your children fruit dessert after dinner. However, it will also be helpful if once a week (perhaps Saturday or Sunday) you take the family out for a creamy cup of ice cream, or any other rich dessert like chocolate gateau, cheesecake, or pie. By doing it this way, the children would not feel deprived since they will be looking forward to the weekend.
Establish the 10% rule
Serving a dessert is a nightly ritual in some homes. Particularly in homes where there are kids between the ages of 6 to 12. Notwithstanding your kids’ love for junk foods, it is possible to establish the 10% rule. This means that 90% of what they eat has to be healthy, and 10% is left for fun. If they use their 10% for fried plantain or French fries at dinner, they get fruit for dessert. Alternatively, they are allowed to save the 10% for a slice of cake or cookies.
Like To Eat Same Foods
Children are fussy when it comes to food, and very likely to stick to the same foods most times. For instance, some kids would not eat anything green. Others like only fried egg and bread, or, just French fries and tomato ketchup. But experts agree that growing bodies need a varied diet. In several studies, findings show it can take up to 15 tries for a child to accept a new food. If you have kids in a similar situation, try these alternatives:
Prepare other countries’ cuisine
Once in a while, you and your family can prepare cuisine from a different country. Take a look at the recipe and prepare the food as a family. The kids’ sense of ownership would make them eager to try Chinese fried rice, Indian curry, and Ghana version of ‘Jollof’ rice.
Encourage an adventure
You can play a dinner game called ‘Around the World’ with your children. Thereafter ask your six-year-old to take spoonfuls from various “geographic locations” around his plate. For instance, you can direct him to Europe, America, and then Africa’, until he tries everything on his plates, including the dreaded vegetables or beans.
I Don’t Like Exercise
The reluctance to exercise is one of the major unhealthy habits our kids love. The hard truth is that many children are lazy beans. One study found that a whopping 75% of kids fail to get 1 hour of daily exercise. This failure to exercise increases their risk of obesity and disease. Give these tips a try:
Start family dance party
So, get the party started on Friday nights. Start by rolling up the living room rug and have family dance parties. Let everyone take a turn as a DJ. The benefit of the dance gets your heart pumping, fun, and blows off tension.
Invent a game
You may also want to invent a game that will make everyone sweat. Hence, gently ease everyone into the outdoor. Hold a piece of fruit and make your children run to get it. Whoever gets to it first gets the prize. Another fun way is to rotate with different prizes. Although, you can be flexible with the rules to allow the younger ones to experience the sensation of winning. Know what I mean? This game will definitely get you sweaty and help the family learn to work together.
Bedtime? It’s Too Early Mum!
According to the National Sleep Foundation study, most kids fall 1-2 hours short of the amount of sleep recommended for their age group. Studies show that sleep deprivation can cause behavior problems, poor grades, and obesity. So how about giving these options a shot?
Do a quiz show
Instead of the usual bedtime story, you can quiz your kids about science, geography, or history. And before you know it, they soon begin to look forward to bedtime because they can show off their knowledge.
Say goodnight with style
Make your children feel special every day with a unique goodnight signal for each of your children. It can be two kisses on the head and one on the nose for one child. The other can get a double bear hug. And another a hi five shake.
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