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Blog Post #1 of 2 from our guest author: SPARK

Children learn from the influences around them. Part of growing up is creating the habits that will follow your children throughout their lifetimes and shape them as they mature. Instilling a healthy lifestyle in your children when they are young can help build the framework for an entire lifetime of healthy habits.

Here are 10 ways to lead your children toward a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Eat at least one meal a day as a family – Use this opportunity to teach your children about food choices and healthy portion sizes.
  2. Get your children outside and involved –Teaching your children the joys of sports early can help them find their talents and teach them to appreciate exercise as a form of fun, not something to be abhorred.
  3. Turn off the technology – Getting your children out of their seats and aware of the world around helps them become more self-aware in mind and body. Communicating in-person with other children and adults establishes social skills that can’t be learned online and are essential for a successful future.
  4. Stack on the support – Talking positively, encouraging your children, and rewarding their good behavior helps reinforce healthy habits. This helps build your child’s self-confidence and can help create a strong future leader.
  5. Focus on extracurricular activities – A healthy lifestyle includes socializing, enhancing skills, learning new talents, and achieving goals. Extracurricular activities allow your child to explore these areas of healthy living.
  6. Teach them responsibility – Giving your child responsibilities early teaches them ownership and how to complete tasks required of them, as well as consequences. 
  7. Never use food as a reward – The use of food as a reward is one way to create food motivation, which can be detrimental if your child grows up seeing food as a special reward and was not taught how to limit this reward.
  8. Lead by example – Make sure that you are active, healthy, and also explore activities, socializing, and other interests outside of work.
  9. Expose them to good influences – Exploring  your child to a positive environment with positive role models, healthy food options, outside activities and intriguing mental challenges can help them become more positive individuals, which in turn will help them make choices that perpetuate a healthy outlook and a healthy lifestyle.
  10. Make sure their school offers daily, quality Physical Education – Quality physical education programs are needed to increase the physical competence, health-related fitness, self-responsibility and enjoyment of physical activity for all students so that they can be physically active for a lifetime.

 

SPARK is a research-based organization that disseminates evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students. To learn more about SPARK visit www.sparkpe.org.