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Healthy Habits From Day One

By Donna Stark

"As the twig is bent, so grows the tree." I came across this quote the other day and started to really think about its meaning and how it can apply to healthy habits. Basically, it means that our early influences have a permanent effect on us well into adulthood. Or in other words, as we grow up, we will act the way we were taught as a child. It really isn't rocket science, but it is a good reminder that in order to raise well-rounded, healthy, and fit children, we should establish and encourage a healthy lifestyle while they are young!

Start Them Young

Helping your children develop healthy habits will bring lifelong benefits, and it is really quite easy to do so if started at a young age. You see, children look up to their parents. Their natural tendency is to model the behavior their parents are showing, so if you establish a healthy lifestyle for yourself, your children will be more likely to follow suit. But how do you do that with such a significant age gap? I mean, your children certainly can't run that triathlon with you, right? If you need some ideas on how to get your kids started on a path of optimal wellness, check out the list below!

  • Limit screen time - The electronic devices never stop beckoning your children to the couch, which can lead to a host of health problems, such as weight gain, isolation, and an increased risk for illness. It's important to teach your children how to use their devices in a healthy way.
  • Read - In addition to creating an amazing bond with your child, reading will also help to build language, literacy, and social skills throughout your child's development. Plus, it's a great way to start establishing healthy bedtime routines too!
  • Create healthy meals - Start them young with a rainbow of colors on their plate. At first, your child may only see the colors, but as they age, they will learn to appreciate the health benefits and nutritional value that comes with those deep greens, bright reds, and vibrant blues and purples.
  • Eat breakfast - Speaking of healthy meals, it's a good idea to also teach your children that breakfast is the way to start their day! Choose healthy options so that their body is properly fueled, such as oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, or almond butter on toast.
  • Promote physical activity - Remember that triathlon? Well, your children certainly can't do that with you, but they can play a game of soccer in the backyard, ride their bikes, or go hiking with you any other day of the week. So pull them outside and get moving!

Lifelong Health

Remember, the best gift you can give to your children is a foundation of good health, so don't be afraid to start them young. With your example and encouragement, your children will learn to develop healthy habits that can last well into adulthood!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pooler, Ga.

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