When it comes to hygiene and healthy living, kids can definitely “go against the grain”, but as most of us
can recall from our own childhoods, that’s not the result of being “bad” or even negligent. Dirt, messes, and
creative ways of keeping a bathroom, they all simply come with being a kid.
However, there is a wonderful flip side to this coin and that’s while children may not be the tidiest, they do
tend to be the most receptive to change and growth—in other words, they’re teachable and so if you want
them to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s usually simply a matter of showing them what to do.
Are you ready to get serious about imparting some healthy habits on your kids? Here are five ways.
Wash Those Hands
It’s a tried and true rule that should never go out of style. When your child comes inside from outdoors,
when s/he finishes using the bathroom and before every meal, they should definitely wash their hands.
Now, here’s the thing: When you’re teaching them, it’s a good idea to supervise. You can make it fun by
getting their hands full of suds and singing a song (or at least 30 seconds worth of one) along with them
until they are done. Make sure it’s in warm water because a cold temperature won’t do a lot for killing
Watch the Snacking
A great way to curb constant snacking is to have your children only eat in the kitchen and only during
designated times. For instance, other than the three main meals of the day, there is certainly room for a
couple of treats between meals, but if they can do it while watching television or playing video games, that
doesn’t leave a lot of room for moderation. Snack time should be in the room where most eating takes place
as well and make sure that it’s healthy things like fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, popcorn and dark chocolate.
Does that mean they can’t have anything sweet? Of course not, but that’s what dessert it is for, right? Right.
We’re made up of mostly water and that alone should inspire us to want to drink more of it. However,
another thing to keep in mind is that even if soda is not readily available in your home, juice that’s not
consumed in moderation can present its own kinds of problems. Mostly because when you’re drinking
juice, sure you’re getting some vitamins and minerals, but you’re also consuming quite a bit of calories.
Just think about it, many juice labels say that you’re drinking between 110-140 calories per serving, which
can add up pretty quickly. If your children are not drinking it all of the time, they won’t want it so much,
either. Make water the most “I’m thirsty” solution and if they’d like something with a bit more flavor, make
fruit (grapes and watermelon are made up of mostly water) the second choice with a glass of juice being a
Remember when we were told to go out and play to keep ourselves amused? Sure, we didn’t have the
options of having so much cable television and definitely not the Internet and all of the options that come
with it, but if we really think about it, in many ways, we were far better off. We got more exercise while
enjoying clean, fresh air. All children need health insurance, but sometimes we’re using it due to the fact
that Wiis, tablets and Android phones have encouraged a sedentary lifestyle, one that’s often filled with
unhealthy snacking that can bring about obesity and other health issues. Not to mention the fact that sitting
around reading/watching small screens all day can do a number on the eyes. Limit the time that children
can use technology and encourage them to play in a way that will keep them active and exercising.
Be Careful What You Share with Others
Sharing is a wonderful thing, but a lot of us have learned the hard way that when we share without instilling
healthy boundaries, that can prove to be detrimental. While encouraging your child to share their toys
is fine, do let them know that they should consult with you before they decide to share clothing, hair
accessories, eating utensils or food. You certainly don’t want them to be afraid of other people’s germs,
but they do need to be conscious of the fact that they do exist and the best way to keep from getting a sore
throat or itchy scalp is to ask you if they can use something of someone else’s…first.