A healthy lifestyle for kids is 90% example
Have you thought about how your health plan and weight-loss journey might impact your children? Perhaps your children are your inspiration.
“I want to stay healthy, so I’ll be around for them later.”
“I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with them.”
“I want to play with them without getting winded.”
Yes, your children watch everything you do. Did you know that what you do as a parent influences your children more than what you say? Be a good role model, and include them in your healthy lifestyle journey as much as you can! This will equip them with healthy habits and knowledge of good nutrition and exercise.
Obesity rates among children and adolescents continue to climb. One in five children and teens in the US meet the definition of obesity. Additionally, a staggering two-thirds of obese children will also become overweight adults. These stats have prompted growing attention to this epidemic and the launch of initiatives like the We Can! program and Kid’s Health from Nemours. These sites provide excellent community tools for teaching kids the importance of nutrition and exercise. But did you realize that parents are the #1 role models for children?
Your family can also be the best support team for your weight-loss journey, and there are several exciting ways to get them involved. Check out what you can do with your kids, so they can be part of your success.
How to get your children involved in your healthy lifestyle plan
Take them grocery shopping with you
Let your kids help make the grocery list, selecting some of their favorite healthy foods in each section. Empower them to get creative in the store, perhaps even letting them plan a menu once a week. You can turn a shopping trip into a scavenger hunt. Give them clues to what nutritional value, like calcium-rich or high-protein, you are looking for in a food and see what they bring back to match it. Keep them involved in shopping by crossing off list items or reading the next item on the list.
Involve the kids in meal preparation
- Depending on age, children can wash, cut, mix, cook, and set the table. Turn on some music, and make it a fun experience.
- Ask them to plan out one meal for the week.
- Prepare lunches together, trying to include one food item from each food group.
- Keep a running grocery list that they can help fill out when items run low.
- Discover the enjoyable child-friendly cookbooks out there to pique their interest in cooking. Browse your local library or bookstore or dive online to find those suited to your kids.
- Kid-friendly recipes sites:
Rachel Ray’s Yum-O
Enjoy exercise as a family
- Jog alongside as your kids ride their bicycles.
- Take a family bicycle ride.
- Make walking the dog a family event.
- Turn up the music and dance.
- Take turns timing sets of jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, etc.
- Work out to an exercise video together.
- Create a family-friendly, Olympics-themed picnic one Saturday, with each family member creating an active, competitive game.
- Enjoy a nature hike together.
- Play tag, jump rope, or hula-hoop.
- Get the kids involved in yard work and gardening.
A positive attitude about a healthy lifestyle is contagious
A positive attitude rubs off on those around us, including our children. Embracing a healthy lifestyle as parents provides a model for our kids to take with them throughout their lives.