May 15th marks the International Day of the Family and we want to take advantage of this date to highlight the fundamental role that the family plays when it comes to instilling good life habits. Teaching them by example, from an early age, is very important and will affect the physical and emotional well-being of our children throughout their lives.
The family is the best and most effective learning environment for children. It has been shown that children easily adopt the habits that are fostered at home, so teaching them to follow and value customs that take care of our health and well-being, from an early age, will have positive effects for life and can prevent them from developing in the future . risk factors that can lead to diseases , such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle…
What are the main healthy habits that we should encourage in the family?
In order to enjoy a healthy life, both physically and mentally and socially, the habits that we must instill in the family are:
1. Eat a balanced diet
Food is the basis for good health in general. A heart-healthy and varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is essential to obtain the nutrients that our body needs.
Eating a good breakfast, which includes dairy products, fruit and cereals, is very important to start the day with energy.
2. Exercise regularly
31% of the child population is overweight. Practicing physical activity on a regular basis is good for your physical and mental development.
3. Drink water
70% of the body is water and maintaining good hydration is essential for the health of the whole family. Drinking water or juices is much healthier than abusing carbonated drinks or drinks with a high sugar content, which can negatively affect our health.
4. Rest properly
Sleeping the necessary hours, both children and adults, is essential for the recovery of daily wear and tear and the proper physical and intellectual functioning of the whole family.
5. Maintain good hygiene
Many of the common illnesses could be avoided just by paying a little more attention to hygiene. Washing your hands when you get home, before eating and after going to the bathroom, carrying out proper oral hygiene, washing food before consuming it… these are simple habits that we must instill in the family to gain health.
6. Get away from harmful habits such as tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
From a young age at home, it is beneficial for the family to foster an attitude of rejection of customs that can lead to risk factors for health, such as tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs. The good example of parents and relatives is essential in this regard.
How can we integrate healthy habits at home?
Educating in healthy habits is a task that must be carried out throughout childhood and adolescence. The example of parents is the best way to encourage any habit in children , so it is necessary for children to experience them at home in order to integrate them naturally, but consciously, throughout their lives. For this, it is important not to force them, so that they do not perceive it as an obligation. It is better to integrate them in a natural, and even fun way, so that they result in positive family experiences that they want to maintain throughout their lives. For example:
We can involve the whole family in the habit of healthy eating : choose the menu in advance, go shopping together, have the children help prepare the dishes as a fun activity, encourage them to eat a variety of foods, playing with color food, set the table, clean it up…
It is also very good to eat at least one meal a day together . Enjoying eating all the same and as a family, without rushing and without distractions like TV to encourage conversation, is a good habit that will make us discover and value food.
Going for a walk together, hiking, taking the dog, going swimming, cycling, etc., becomes more fun and more appealing if done as a family. Children need to move and to avoid the sedentary lifestyle that for years has been promoting excessive hours in front of the TV or with video games, it is necessary to replace these activities with more sporting ones. If they have a good experience exercising as a family , they will see it as something fun and rewarding and it will be easy for them to integrate it into their habits.
Finally, remember that positive reinforcement is much more effective than negative correction . The child will feel much more stimulated if we use phrases like “how delicious are these oranges” or “what a good meal you ate”, than with words like “don’t eat cookies because you’re going to get fat” or “don’t eat sweets because they’re going to make you fat”. teeth fall out”, that what they are going to produce is anxiety.
If you want to take care of your health and that of your loved ones, now is a good time to consider all the benefits that integrating healthy lifestyle habits can have for your family. Your children will thank you in the future