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A Parents' Guide to Helping Kids Make Healthy Life Choices

A Parents' Guide to Helping Kids Make Healthy Life Choices

A Parents' Guide to Helping Kids Make Healthy Life Choices

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As a loving parent, you want your kids to grow up happy and healthy. While you can guide their life up to a certain point, as they get older they will be in charge of their own choices. By giving them the tools they need to make smart decisions, you can ensure they pursue a healthy path as they gain their independence. Here's how to get them off on the right foot.


Instill healthy eating habits at home


By instilling good dietary choices in your little ones, you are paving the path for them to become healthy eaters as adults. Plus, junk foods can have an addictive hold on people, so it's best to limit exposure to it from an early age. Healthline provides a practical guide for healthy eating for the whole family. For example, focus on making good nutrition about wellbeing, not weight—and don't treat any food as "off-limits," which will only up the appeal.


Encourage them to find a fun way to exercise


Regular exercise is another healthy habit you can encourage from a young age. Kids aged 6 to 17 get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Help your children by encouraging them to find an athletic activity they actually enjoy. Karate is a great choice, as it improves balance, coordination, and strength. The Billerica Dojo offers a range of martial arts courses for different ages and abilities.


Find ways to boost their confidence


Giving your kids confidence empowers them to make independent decisions regardless of what others say. When your children are younger, implement confidence-boosting acts into everyday life. For example, you might award them certificates, have them keep a journal of positive goals, and teach them positive mantras. This can help your little one build healthy self-esteem, which will inform smart decision-making when they're older.


Talk openly about the temptation of drugs and alcohol


As children grow up, they may be exposed to opportunities to try alcohol and drugs. Openness is essential if you want them to navigate these issues in a responsible manner. For example, consider establishing a "conditional amnesty" policy—meaning if your child is in a situation and needs help, they can call without the usual repercussions. For example, if they snuck out to go to a party and don't have a safe ride home, they can call without fear.


Connect them with mental health resources


As kids get older, they may also experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Make sure your child knows that the door is open to talk to you if they are struggling. However, many adolescents prefer not to talk to mom and dad about sensitive issues. Therefore, also make sure they know where to access resources. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a portal specifically for young people that can help.


Help them find positive role models


Positive role models like teachers and athletic coaches can inspire kids and encourage them to make savvy decisions. According to Very Well Family, parents can also be role models, so set a positive example for your little ones. For example, teach them to pursue their dreams by pursuing your own. If you're ready for a new job, furthering your education can help you make a change. Western Governors University offers online degrees in business management, accounting, marketing, health information, data analytics, and more.


Watching your children go off into the world without you is tough. However, by following the tips above, you can empower them to make healthy choices when you aren't there to guide them. This is for their own benefit—and will bring you peace of mind.


For more resources for raising happy and healthy kids, check out the Billerica Dojo blog.

Image via Pexels

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