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6 Fantastic Tips for Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Children

There's no arguing the advice that it's best to cultivate good habits in your children at a very young age. This way, as they get older, making smart moves in various aspects of life will be more like an instinct instead of something to decide.

As a parent to tots, you must be extra mindful about the food that goes into every baby food container and make sure you are on top of your children's health at all times. You should also remember that no child is ever too young to take cues from the people around them. Careless decisions on your end may have an impact on them.

For instance, with food, labelling some items as bad for you because you are on a diet is a no-no. The little ones can take a cue from your behaviour, and eventually, you may find your kids doing their own labelling — and not just with food.

Here are six tips to help you with the vital task of promoting a healthy lifestyle for your children.

1. Keep a healthy pantry

You should stock your pantry with healthy options. This is the most practical thing you can do to ensure your little ones eat only what is good for them. Do not bring any sugar-heavy, artificially coloured and highly processed ingredients into your home.

Keeping the food selection at home to natural options will boost your kids’ health and train their palate. Studies reveal that children beyond two years of age who are not exposed to food with added sugar are less likely to develop a sweet tooth and crave candy and other sweet treats often.

2. Make your meals fun

Eating should be a pleasurable activity. Therefore, if you want your children to eat at the right time and eat healthy meals without fussing, make mealtimes fun. You can turn food into a picture – create a pretty owl snack with puffed rice cake, nut butter, apple slices, bananas, and berries.

Another great idea to consider is ensuring the whole family is present for the meal. Engage everyone in conversation while eating, and praise your child when she decides to try a vegetable she hasn’t tried before. It's always beneficial to provide positive reinforcement at the table.

3. Prepare healthier alternatives to popular kids' food

Children share their friends’ food in school, so it may become difficult to keep your young ones on the healthy track. If they start craving the junk food their classmates and friends eat, do not just say no. Find or create healthy substitutes for them instead.

For instance, many children love caramel, which is very sweet. You can make a healthier alternative that is a perfect pair with fruit slices, oatmeal and pancakes. You can combine brown rice syrup and almond butter for a vegan version of caramel's ooey-gooey goodness.

4. Turn the nutritious food your children need into a variety of snacks

Say your children still need milk formula. You can get creative. Measure the amount of formula you need from their milk powder dispenser and turn that into baked treats, popsicles or smoothies.

When you run out of ideas, look for healthy recipes for children online, so your little ones can get the most out of the healthy food they enjoy eating.

5. Make sure that the family gets physically active together

Achieving health for the family is not just about smart eating. It's essential to include exercise as well. However, try not to turn it into a chore. Instead, make it fun or incorporate it into other activities.

For example, instead of driving to local hotspots like the coffee shop, library or the park, you can bike or walk. Once at the park, you can play frisbee, catch, tag, or other games that require everyone to run around.

At home, you can do household work together. The children may not be much help yet, but allowing them to be a part of your home routine can instil in them the idea that physical work can be fun and an opportunity to spend time with people they love.

6. Avoid situations that force your children to settle for junk food

Make sticking to healthy eating easier for your children by giving them packed lunches and snacks. This way, your children won’t have to buy chips, candy or other unhealthy food when they get hungry.

Healthy snacks for children are easy enough to make. You can pack them kale chips, sweet and spicy nuts and seeds or flavoured rice cakes. Every time the little ones get a serious case of a snack attack, they have healthy snacks within reach.

Cultivating a healthy lifestyle for your children is not easy, but it’s easier with the above tips. They help you frame healthy eating as the better and default choice. Do these, and you can help guide your children into choosing better and more nutritious options.