Parenting comes with a full spectrum of challenges. One of the biggest ones is trying to teach your child all about healthy eating habits and the importance of the physical activity to their development. With a big negative impact from social media, tv and the internet in general, you may think that instilling healthy lifestyle habits in your teenager will be another impossible mission. Fortunately, we have a few suggestions that will help you on the way to making your teenager more aware of the benefits that a healthy lifestyle brings.
Teenagers are soon going to become adults, which means you cannot trick them as easily as toddlers. So, if you tell them that one food group is healthier than the one they’d prefer, you need to be prepared to present evidence and clarify why your option is better for them. Have them read through authority references, medical research, and feel free to show them lectures that you watched and learned from. Kids will find it interesting and potentially inspirational. Treating them like adults will show them that you don’t mean to baby them, but that you want them to live a healthier life.
Presenting facts won’t be enough. Just because you told your teenager they need more calcium in their diet, won’t necessarily make them believe your word. That’s why you should take your advice and do what you claim is right. Eat more calcium-rich foods such as cheese, milk, and other dairy products.
Show them how to develop healthy lifestyle habits and tell them why you love living healthy. Does it make you feel more energised? Does your skin look better? What about your hair and nails? If you have a beauty-loving teenager, just introduce them to all the benefits of fruits and vegetables to their hair and nails, and they’ll do it instantly.
The internet is a great place to ask for parenting support. You will find various groups with parents worldwide sharing their experiences and advice about parenthood. One of the helpful online platforms that can offer guidance is the Mumli motherhood application. Connect with mums worldwide and ask for help or offer yours. From tips and tricks regarding first diaper change to handling teenagers, online platforms will offer more help than you initially expected.
One of the ways to instil good lifestyle habits into your teenager is to make them accustomed to eating homecooked meals. Make dinner a mandatory meal that you’ll have as a family, in which you’ll include more orange, red and green vegetables, soups, stews, red meat and lean proteins. Prepare salads casseroles, lentils, peas, and beans.
Have them make their breakfast before school and eat warm meals at home because you’ll know that they’re eating fresh, healthy produce. Fish is also a good example of healthy food you should have at home, including light tuna, shrimp and salmon. Offer them more whole grains, eggs, milk, yoghurt, and freshly squeezed orange juice. They will love the taste of a homemade meal, which will make them have food at home more often.
Spending more quality time together as a family is beneficial for children’s development but for your family bond too. Therefore, it’s vital to look for recreational activities that you can do together. Have you considered golfing during the weekend? How about bowling on a Sunday evening? Having a picnic at the beach or in the park, cycling in the morning every weekend or hiking during your day off will make the kids more active and have them experience first-hand all the benefits of an active holiday and active pastime.
Once homework is done, many teenagers will either lounge in front of the tv or in front of their computers and smartphones. While they can have an hour or two of passive entertainment, it will be detrimental for their development to spend multiple hours indoors without any physical activity. So, encourage outdoor activities or more sports activities. From basketball to swimming, dancing and aerobics, teenagers can do anything that piques their interest. All you need to do is motivate them to do it.
Teaching your children about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices is vital. However, telling them about all the benefits they’ll get from eating and living healthy won’t suffice. You’ll need to prove to them why they should listen to you, and do your best to be the role model that they will proudly look up to. So, be prepared to invest plenty of time and effort into teaching your kids all about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.