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Tips For Teaching Your Children To Live A Healthy Lifestyle!

Teaching your children to live a healthy lifestyle and instilling positive habits from a young age is important to help them have a healthy relationship with food, exercise and their body growing up. That’s why we’re here to introduce some tips for teaching your children to live a healthy lifestyle, from exercising as a family to reducing sugar and visiting your dentist in Wakefield or Wellington to make oral health a priority. We’ve got it all covered and these things won’t cost much, if anything, but can help you to keep your family happy and healthy. 

Encourage Exercise As A Family

The first thing that you should do to teach your children to live a healthy lifestyle is to encourage exercise as a family. This definitely shouldn’t be made to feel like a chore as it can really put your little ones off, but instead, you should make being active a regular part of your routine. This could be getting up slightly earlier and walking to school in the morning rather than driving to get those extra steps in. Perhaps on the weekend you go for a nice long walk with the dog, or go for a run around in the park. Even a few hours playing in the garden will make a difference!


You should also allow your children to try out a range of sports. They will get the opportunity to do this at school, however they usually won’t get the extra support they need if they have potential. So, maybe take them to 1 or 2 sports clubs a week and allow them to try out different after school clubs, so they remain active at school. 


Exercising doesn’t have to be boring, but ensuring your children get around 30 minutes of physical activity per day will help to make it a normal part of their life, and it helps to tire them out so you could get a good night’s sleep! 

Eat A Variety of Fruit and Veg

We understand that it’s difficult to control how good of an eater your child will become, as some kids are simply just fussier eaters. However, encouraging your family to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables from a young age will encourage healthy habits as they get older. If you do have fussier eaters, then try blending vegetables up into pasta sauces or blending fruits up to make frozen fruity ice lollies. Along with fruit and veg, try to introduce your children to lots of different foods and cuisines, as this can help them to grow up as more adventurous and confident eaters! Buy a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables in your weekly shop and then incorporate them into meals and snacks throughout the week, so you know your family are eating a wide variety of nutrients. 


Reduce Intake Of Sugar

Another thing you can do to teach your children to live a healthy lifestyle is to reduce your family’s intake of sugar. One thing we are absolutely not saying is to restrict or ban any foods from your family’s meals, as this can put the foods on a pedestal and potentially result in damaging eating habits long term. So, instead, the message should be that everything is healthy in moderation. 


A good rule to follow is instead of having lots of snacks that are high in sugars or fats, aim to have healthy snacks in the house and then save a sweet treat for after dinner. So, throughout the day your kids could snack on things like chicken skewers, yoghurt covered strawberries, hummus and veg sticks, light crisps and so on. Then, after dinner, they can enjoy something sweet like a chocolate bar or homemade pudding. This will help to teach them to eat a balanced diet filled with nutrients, but still allowing them to eat the foods that they love. 


Also, you could introduce a takeaway night once every week or two weeks, where your kids could pick their favourite meal to have as a treat. Then, throughout the week, try to incorporate some “Fakeaway” meals too, to show them that healthy food can be delicious. 

Eating too much sugar can be dangerous long term, so instilling the idea early that you can eat sugar, but in moderation, is important to help teach your children to live a healthy lifestyle. 


Make Oral Health A Priority

Something that is often overlooked but so important is your family’s oral health and personal hygiene. It’s often pushed back in people’s priority list, however if you don’t make it an important part of family life from an early age, they could face serious issues with their oral health later in life, reducing the lifespan of their natural smile. So, book an appointment for your family at the dentist every 6 months, so your dentist can identify any issues. You should start going as early as possible so that a visit to the dentist is a norm, for example if it’s your first child, get an appointment booked at the same time you go when they get their first teeth. This will make the transition seamless as they get older so they’ll have no issue visiting the dentist every 6 months. They can also spot where there are any weaknesses, such as where there is a build up of tartar and therefore where they need to focus on when brushing. Getting them used to visiting the dentist early will help them to realise it’s not a scary place, and it can also reduce the chance of them needing invasive procedures in the future. Your dentist can also answer any questions your little ones have to help develop a lifelong interest, as well as providing ideas for your at-home oral hygiene routine as a family. 


When you do get home, focusing on oral health as a family is key. You should all be brushing twice a day, and when your kids are old enough, also flossing once a day and using mouthwash. Until they know what they are doing, make sure you monitor your little ones brushing so that they are targeting the majority of their teeth, rather than just the ones near the front. There are plenty of songs out there that provide a fun way of timing tooth brushing time, lasting 2 minutes so your kids get used to brushing thoroughly and knowing how long they should brush without thinking too much about it. This is really simple, but so effective in helping your family, and especially little ones, understand the importance of tooth brushing and oral hygiene in general!

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