Parents Should Make These Important Changes Today To Put Kids’ Health First

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that includes helping them establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. But with so much… Alli Anderson - February 22, 2023

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that includes helping them establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. But with so much conflicting information out there, it can be challenging to know where to start. The good news is that making small changes to your child’s routine can have a big impact on their overall health and happiness. In this article, we will discuss important changes that you can make today to help your child establish healthy habits that will serve them well for years to come. From prioritizing sleep to encouraging physical activity, these tips will help you set your child on the path to a happy, healthy life.


Make Mealtime A Sensory Experience

Every parent is all too familiar with mealtime starting to feel like a battle zone. But many dietitians agree that making meal times fun and engaging with a child can have a bigger impact than being stern. It’s important to teach your child that food does not have to be a stressful experience. This will set a solid foundation for your child to grow up to have a healthy relationship with food. If your child is a little hesitant about certain new foods, thinking outside of the box. Encourage your child to use all their senses when eating by describing the colors, smells, textures, and tastes of their food. You can take it a step further and even play games with your picky eater.

A Healthier Michigan.

Take A Walk After Dinner

These days, it seems like we can’t tear ourselves away from screens. And while parents have enough jobs to do, it seems daunting to try to tear your moody child away from their devices. But this could be a simple way to distract from a screen. By encouraging your child to take a walk after dinner, you’re helping them establish a healthy routine that incorporates physical activity into their daily lives. Taking a walk after dinner can be a healthy habit for a few reasons. Firstly, walking after eating can aid digestion by helping to move food through the digestive tract. This can reduce the risk of indigestion, heartburn, and other digestive problems. This can help them develop good habits that they can carry with them throughout their lives. Additionally, walking after dinner can be a great way for families to spend time together, connect, and decompress after a busy day.

National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations

Teach Your Kids To Practice Deep Breathing

We breathe without thinking most of the time. So sometimes it seems odd for mental health gurus to tell us all to be mindful of our breathing. But there’s actually quite a bit of biological sense that goes into deep breathing or “belly breathing.” Belly breathing is a type of deep breathing that involves using your diaphragm muscle to take slow, deep breaths. By doing this, you can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your digestion, enhance your lung function, and promote relaxation. Belly breathing is especially great for kids because it’s an easy and effective way to help them manage their emotions and feel more relaxed. Parents and caregivers can teach kids how to do belly breathing by having them place their hand on their belly and feel it rise and fall as they inhale and exhale deeply.

Promote Good Sleep Habits

When a child does not get enough sleep, it can have several negative effects on their physical and mental health. In the short term, lack of sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating or paying attention. It can also affect a child’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses such as colds and flu. Establishing a healthy bedtime routine for kids is crucial for their physical and emotional well-being, according to the Sleep Foundation’s article “Bedtime Routine for Children.” Consistency is key, with the routine including calming activities such as a bath or reading a book. It is important to maintain a sleep-conducive environment, such as a cool and quiet bedroom without electronic devices. Parents should set and enforce a consistent bedtime and wake-up time to regulate children’s sleep-wake cycles. By following these tips, parents and caregivers can help ensure their children get the sleep they need for optimal health and well-being.


Limit Exposure To Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a serious threat to children’s health, putting them at risk for a range of negative consequences. Not only can it lead to respiratory infections, asthma, and even SIDS, but it can also impact children’s cognitive and behavioral development, leading to lower IQ scores, learning and behavioral problems, and increased risk of ADHD. With their developing lungs and immune systems, children are especially vulnerable to the harmful toxins in cigarette smoke. To protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke, it is important for parents and caregivers to create smoke-free environments, both in the home and in public spaces. By doing so, we can help ensure that our children grow up healthy and strong.


Create A “No Phones At The Table” Rule

In the age of smartphones and social media, it can be tempting to stay plugged in even during meal times, but according to Gabb Wireless’s blog post “Why Dinner Should Be a No Phone Zone,” it is important to establish a phone-free zone during dinner. The article argues that meal times provide valuable opportunities for families to connect and communicate with each other, and that smartphones can disrupt this important bonding time. By putting away phones during dinner, families can focus on building relationships and engaging in meaningful conversations. Additionally, the article suggests that setting boundaries around phone use during meals can help establish healthy habits around screen time and encourage children to be more present and engaged in the world around them.

Today’s Parent.

Don’t Forget To Encourage Emotional Intelligence

When a child is at school, it’s easy to get caught up in grades and extracurriculars. However, something that is often looked at is a child’s emotional intelligence. Teaching a child emotional intelligence is crucial because it helps them develop skills that are essential for their mental and emotional well-being. Emotional intelligence encompasses a range of skills, including the ability to recognize and regulate one’s emotions, as well as the ability to empathize with others and communicate effectively. Children who have high emotional intelligence are better able to manage stress, cope with difficult situations, and form positive relationships with others. They are also more likely to have high self-esteem, be resilient, and have good mental health throughout their lives.

Verywell Family.

Make Exercise Fun

Keeping kids active and healthy can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. In the blog post “How to Make Exercise Fun for Kids,” Spokester suggests several creative ways to get kids moving and engaged in physical activity. For example, turning exercise into a game or competition can be a fun way to motivate kids and encourage them to stay active. Incorporating dance parties, outdoor adventures, and obstacle courses can also make exercise more exciting and enjoyable for kids. The article also stresses the importance of finding activities that align with children’s interests and skill levels, as well as offering positive reinforcement and praise to help build confidence and self-esteem. By making exercise a fun and enjoyable part of daily life, parents and caregivers can help children establish healthy habits that will benefit them for years to come.

Also Read: 25 At-Home Workouts to Try With the Kids.

Toddler Fun Learning.

Teach Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is not only important for looking poised and confident, it’s also essential for children’s health and well-being. Poor posture can lead to a wide range of negative effects, such as back pain, headaches, and even reduced lung capacity. On the other hand, good posture promotes healthy growth and development, preventing pain and injury. So, what can parents and caregivers do to help children maintain good posture? The article suggests simple changes like encouraging kids to sit up straight and avoid slouching, adjusting furniture and workspaces to support good posture, and incorporating regular exercise and stretching. By promoting good posture habits early on, we can help our kids build strong, pain-free body that supports them for years to come.

Hello Sensible.

Practice Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling is a simple yet powerful way to help children cultivate a positive mindset and foster a sense of appreciation. Parents and caregivers can start a gratitude journal with their kids by providing a special notebook or journal and encouraging them to write down specific things they’re thankful for. Establishing a regular journaling routine can help make gratitude a habit and encourage children to focus on the positive aspects of their lives. By encouraging children to develop a sense of gratitude and appreciation, parents and caregivers can help them build emotional resilience and a positive outlook on life. If you’re not sure how to get started with a gratitude journal for your child, Mindful Little Minds has a great how-to.

The Active Family.

Do A Family Fitness Challenge

According to the American Heart Association, kids aged 6-17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and adults are recommended to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Families can have fun and stay healthy by participating in a 30-day family fitness challenge. Sunny Health & Fitness offers a variety of exercises that can be done at home, regardless of fitness level or experience. The challenge encourages families to set goals, track their progress, and support each other along the way. Not only does it promote physical health, but it also provides an opportunity for quality family time and bonding. By engaging in physical activity together, families can build stronger relationships and establish healthy habits.

Amazing Smiles, Kansas City.

Promote Good Oral Health

As adults, it’s easy to let your oral health slide. Sometimes we forget to floss, dodge dental appointments, and indulge in tooth-decaying treats. But your kids are learning from you. They don’t have the reasoning skills to make these types of heavy health decisions on their own. Neglecting your child’s oral health can lead to serious consequences. Poor oral hygiene practices such as irregular brushing and flossing can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which can be painful and result in tooth loss, bad breath, and difficulty eating healthy foods.

Oral health problems can also impact speech development in young children. Moreover, neglecting oral health in childhood can lead to long-term health risks such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups to ensure your child’s overall health and well-being.

An Off Grid Life.

Encourage Outdoor Exploration

It’s so tough to peel your kids off screens these days. We’d all be lying if it wasn’t tempting to let them entertain themselves with devices and videos. After all, parents already have such a full plate. While it’s okay to use screen time sometimes, we all know life happens outside. Outdoor play in early childhood development has numerous benefits that can help children grow and develop into healthy individuals.

Research has shown that outdoor play can improve children’s physical health, motor skills, and coordination. It can also help enhance cognitive development, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, outdoor play can promote social skills, such as teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution. Furthermore, outdoor play in natural settings has been linked to a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression in children. Outdoor play is an essential component of early childhood development. It’s an excellent way to bond with your child while knowing it’s giving them tools they need for later in life.

Premier Chess.

Promote Self-Care

Self care isn’t just for adults. Humans of every age have different stresses in life we need to learn to cope with. Teaching self-care to children is crucial for promoting their physical and emotional well-being, building resilience and self-esteem, and fostering independence and autonomy. It helps children learn to take care of their bodies and maintain good health, and develop healthy coping mechanisms that they can use throughout their lives.

By teaching children about self-compassion and self-care, they can also build their confidence and self-sufficiency. Additionally, basic self-care skills such as washing hands, brushing teeth, and getting enough sleep can help prevent illness and disease. Teaching self-care to children is an essential life skill that can benefit them throughout their lives.

Scanlon Speech Therapy

Practice Active Listening

The article “5 Ways to Teach Your Child Active Listening Skills” provides helpful tips for parents who want to encourage their children to develop strong listening skills. The first tip is to model active listening by paying attention to your child when they speak and giving them your full attention. The second tip is to use “wait time,” which means waiting a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before responding.

The third tip is to ask open-ended questions that encourage your child to think and respond in their own words. The fourth tip is to summarize what your child has said to show that you are actively listening and understanding what they are saying. Finally, the fifth tip is to practice active listening in everyday situations such as reading books or going for walks. By implementing these tips, parents can help their children develop strong active listening skills that will benefit them in all areas of their lives.


Play “Food Group Bingo”

Even the pickiest eaters are tempted with a game of “Food Group Bingo“. The game is a fun and interactive activity that parents can do with their children at home, and it involves creating bingo cards with different food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Parents can use pictures or words to represent each food group, and then have their children match various foods to the corresponding group on their bingo cards.

By playing Food Group Bingo, children can learn about the importance of a balanced and healthy diet. They can learn that different foods provide different nutrients and that eating a variety of foods from each food group is essential for good health. The game can also help children develop their memory and matching skills while learning about nutrition in a fun way.

Hollis Montessori School

Encourage Independence Through The Montessori Method

Montessori education is an approach to teaching that prioritizes children’s independence, individuality, and natural development. In order to foster independence, Montessori educators utilize a variety of methods, including giving children choices, providing hands-on learning opportunities, emphasizing practical life skills, allowing for child-led learning, and encouraging collaborative learning.

By using these methods, children develop skills such as decision-making, problem-solving, and social skills, while also building their self-esteem and sense of responsibility. Ultimately, this emphasis on independence is crucial in preparing children for adulthood by helping them become self-sufficient, confident, and capable of contributing positively to their communities. Montessori education is a unique approach to teaching independence that emphasizes children’s natural development and encourages them to take an active role in their own learning.

Tai Chi for Kids.

Mindful Movement

Practicing mindful movement activities help kids develop body awareness and promote relaxation. Mindful movement practices like tai chi offer many benefits for children. They can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve physical health, enhance cognitive abilities such as memory and focus, develop self-awareness, promote social connection, and foster emotional regulation. Tai chi is a low-impact exercise that improves flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination.

These practices encourage children to be aware of their bodies and surroundings, which is an essential skill for emotional and social development. Mindful movement practices can be practiced alone or in groups, providing a sense of community and connection with others. Incorporating mindful movement practices into children’s routines can help them develop lifelong skills for managing stress, enhancing their physical and emotional health, and regulating their emotions.

Reader’s Digest.

Random Acts Of Kindness Leads To Positive Cycles In Life

Reading, writing, math. Those are the typical things you think of teaching your child. But there are so many human traits you teach them as well. Kindness, compassion, and empathy are essential for a happy life. Teaching random acts of kindness to children is essential because it helps to develop empathy, social responsibility, and self-esteem in them. Children learn to recognize the needs of others, and it promotes a sense of caring and thoughtfulness that encourages positive relationships.

Random acts of kindness also improve children’s confidence and self-worth, leading to a positive cycle of kindness and support in schools and communities. Kind acts can make a positive difference in the world and create a more positive and supportive environment where children feel valued, respected, and empowered to make a difference.

Mrs. Winter’s Bliss.

Goal-Setting Is An Important Skill For Children To Learn

Teaching goal-setting to kids is a fun and essential way to help them develop life skills that will serve them well into adulthood. Goal setting is committing to achieve a target result in an activity. According to the goal-setting theory, a goal is the aim of an action. Conscious goals can affect one’s action, motivation and ultimately their performance. By setting achievable and measurable goals, kids can learn to focus their energy, stay motivated, and build confidence in their abilities.

Goal-setting also helps kids develop problem-solving skills and teaches them the value of persistence and hard work. With the right guidance and support, kids can learn to set goals that align with their passions and interests, paving the way for a successful and fulfilling future.

Parent Map.

Teach Your Kids About Sun Protection

Kids running around outside all day is obviously the ideal childhood. But there do come with some risks even for outside time. Sun protection is crucial for children because their skin is delicate and more susceptible to damage from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV radiation can cause skin damage, sunburn, and increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. Children’s skin is also more sensitive than adults, and sunburns can be particularly painful and cause discomfort. Therefore, it is essential to protect children from the sun by applying sunscreen with a high SPF, covering their skin with protective clothing and hats, seeking shade during peak sun hours, and educating them about sun safety practices from an early age.


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Feeding Plus – 25 Sensory Play Ideas to Help with Picky Eating

CDC – Health Problems Caused by Secondhand Smoke

GABB – Why Dinner Should Be A No Phone Zone

Activif – 15 Benefits of Tai Chi for Children! (Focus, Inner Calm …)

Spokester – How to Make Exercise Fun for Kids

Natural Beach Living – 30 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids

CDC – Children’s Oral Health

A Girl Worth Saving – Teaching Kids The Fundamentals of Nutrition With Food Group Bingo!

Community Access Network – How to Teach Your Children About Self-Care?

Mommy Bites – The Importance of Good Posture for Kids and How to Correct It