You can’t pick up a paper or cruise through the web today without seeing another story on how unhealthy we are today. Our weight has ballooned out of control, our kids have diabetes at a younger age than ever before and everyone talks about how much they need more sleep. But you and your family don’t have to be the victim of the excesses of our age.
The truth is we can all live healthier and happier lives; we simply have to create smart healthy habits. We know that if we as a family start our kids thinking at a young age of healthy ways to live, it will benefit them the rest of their lives. But how do we do this when we are surrounded by unhealthy options such as fast food with its bounty of fats and sugars and the lure of the screen instead of the outdoors. We can create a healthier alternative without making our family feel like they are missing out on the good things in life. The trick is to learn to do things in moderation.
It Starts with Good Sleeping Habits
I think it is safe to say that when you don’t get enough sleep, everything else just feels harder to accomplish. Kids feel that way at school if you let them stay up at night watching television or playing video games. We know that kids need even more sleep then the regular eight hours that most of us try to get because they are still growing. But getting kids to get into bed on time can be a chore.
Turn this around by making it a part of a routine, and one that they enjoy. Let them know at least a half hour before bedtime that they need to start getting ready for bed. Did we mention that they should have a regular bedtime and not just go to sleep when they get tired? It is important for REM sleep that they go to bed at the same time each night, and that includes weekends. This nightly rhythm helps their body reset its clock for the next day.
Good Dental Hygiene Starts Young
Brushing your teeth after every meal is a habit. It isn’t something most of us do unless we have created that habit when we are young. Get your kids into the habit as soon as possible, especially while they are still small enough to want to do it with you. Follow up this good habit with making sure that they visit the dentist regularly. You can get some great ideas on how to create this fun habit on the website GreatStartHealthySmiles.com.
Don’t forget to follow up with regular visits to your family dentist. By bringing the kids to a dentist on a regular basis when they are small you can reduce the fear they may develop as an adult. No one loves going to the dentist, but having bad teeth for the rest of your life can lead to illness and infections or worse.
Eat Right to Stay Healthy
Finally, start them on the habit of eating smart and healthy by providing them with healthy meals at home. While it is tempting to just pick up something at a fast food joint after a long day at work, dodge that temptation. Healthy food can be made quickly if you plan and there are tons of great websites devoted to the idea of fast healthy eating.