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There’s no other joy than raising a child. However, as parents know, it does come with challenges. For instance, encouraging your child to be physically, mentally, and socially healthy is tough. It’s hard enough to tell your child to make the better, healthier choice without getting a sigh.
If they had it their way, they’d prefer to eat sweets, play video games all day, and mimic their not-so-perfect celebrity role models. What if you don’t tell them? Yes, you’re still a good parent! Here are 6 easy ways to enhance your child’s health without them knowing.
1) Honest communication
This refers to the day-to-day dialog between you and your child. In your conversations, encourage honesty. Don’t pass judgment and listen to what they have to say. When the going gets tough for your child, they’ll be comfortable to confide in you. Your child will pick up a lot from their peers and social media.
It’s your parental duty to protect your child from harm, keep them safe from misinformation, and prepare them for eventual peer pressure. Be proactive and talk to your child about sensitive topics like drugs and alcohol. With an open and honest line of communication, your child will be wiser and understand the foundation for establishing healthy relationships.
2) Healthy foods
Researchers discovered a child’s craving for sweet and salty foods is correlated with their growth. Unlike salt and sugar, a child’s taste buds would require training to enjoy the taste of healthy foods.
Luckily, we have a variety of healthy foods to select from. At supermarkets and restaurants, you’ll find vegetarian, vegan, low sodium, low-fat, gluten-free, and meat alternative options readily available.
Believe it or not, most of these healthier food choices taste great! Take your child’s favorite recipe and make a slight modification using a healthier ingredient. You’d be amazed how delicious tofu ground meat tastes in a spaghetti recipe. Try adding spinach to a smoothie! Your child won’t taste the difference.
Who knows what you’re eating when you eat out. Before going out to eat, think about what preservatives it may contain, where was the food sourced, and how the food was handled. Not only that, eating out can get expensive especially when feeding a family.
Eat in and cook your meals. Cooking your meals is much healthier for you. You know what it’s made of and you can tweak the recipe to make it healthier. Get your child involved and make cooking a family activity. Once a week, have your child pick a recipe to make. Now replace at least 2 of the ingredients to a healthy alternative.
4) Go out and play
Obesity rates in children today are higher than the children a generation ago. It’s no surprise that this unhealthy trend is associated with the rise of technology. Hand and eye coordination are not good enough. Put the devices down. Go out and play.
Don’t make it obvious by enforcing them to exercise. Invite them to do something fun like play catch, walk the dog, ride a bike, swim at the beach, or do the activity that your child enjoys.
If they’re open to trying something new, do yoga. Your child is sure to have a chuckle at the yoga pose names. If they’re into a sport, sign them up with a team. Not only will they gain physical activity, but their social skills will develop as well!
5) Practice meditation
Teach your child how to manage stress with meditation. This will enhance your child’s mental health plus prevent the onset of stress-related symptoms. When your child is upset, have them take deep breaths and think happy thoughts.
Together with your child, take at least one short break during the day to sit quietly and clear your thoughts. This will take practice. Depending on your child’s age, this may not be possible. In that case, try self-guided meditations.
6) Daily affirmations
Even without the stresses, have your child say daily affirmations to themselves. The power of daily affirmations gives your child a positive outlook on themselves and how they approach life.
Have them write these affirmations in a journal, on their bathroom mirror using a dry-erase marker, or on their bedroom wall by creating a custom wall decal.
Creating an affirmation visual board with pictures is another wonderful way to give your child inspiration and positive daily reminders. Like meditation, daily affirmations promote a healthy mind and body.
Being a parent is hard. Enhancing your child’s health is easy! It does require a bit of time and effort. The key is to be persuasive, not pushy. Don’t forget to make it fun and tasty! Thanks to you, your child won’t realize they’re leading a healthy lifestyle.
Author’s bio: Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer who has a passion for writing. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles for many different websites. In his free time, you can find him running with his dog, playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.