Parenting is a challenge. If only every child was born with a set of detailed instructions attached to his/her leg! Maybe something like:
I will stop crying if you put me in a car seat and run the washer. My pacifier CANNOT get lost so buy in bulk. Sippy cups are overrated; I like straw cups. I love the color blue so any effort to implore me to eat green veggies will be challenging.
With seasonal change often comes seasonal health issues, so today we’re exploring 9 simple ways to help your children stay healthy, whether they enjoy green veggies or not. Some of the points may seem obvious, but perhaps have taken a back seat over the summer or may be forgotten if not implemented in the routine.
1. Wash hands frequently, especially remember to wash before eating.
The American Pediatric Association recommends lathering hands for 20 seconds when washing. This is the perfect time to sing a short song or recite the alphabet or memory verses. You can find a simple list to use to create your child’s name from Bible verses here. Hand washing time would be a natural time to practice their name in Bible verses.
2. Enjoy the outdoors for a little while each day.
Fresh air is exhilarating and rejuvenates the mind and spirit, not to mention the benefits of physical exercise. Taking a short walk each day is a healthy habit easy to instill.
3. Remember to pray for those who are sick and be thankful for God’s blessing of good health.
Praying for others who are sick is a great way to assist children in understanding the benefits of good health. Praying in thankfulness for good health is a wonderful way to emphasize the gift it is.
4. Allow children to choose a new fruit or veggie to try.
This summer our children enjoyed being chosen as the one to pick a few veggies from our small suburban garden. Holding the vegetables in their hands promotes their desires to taste them. When gardening season is over, giving children an opportunity to choose something different in the produce department or even the canned goods shelves can have the same result.
5. Be sure used tissues go in the trash immediately.
This little habit prevents spreading germs and keeping things tidy.
6. Have a list of personal items that should not be shared.
Teaching children to keep personal items to themselves can be challenging when we are teaching the importance of sharing as well. In order to assist your children in understanding items that should not be shared, such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, hats, etc, talk about those items as they are used to help them understand why they shouldn’t be shared.
7. Be sure to emphasize healthy toileting habits.
“The bathroom is not a place to hang out or to eat food.”
Yep, just another one of those parenting phrases I never dreamed of saying.
8. Drink water.
Be the example in this area- teach your children to love drinking water. I’ve found if there aren’t many other choices, they will drink water and enjoy it. It’s a little easier to pack water bottles around all summer; don’t let the change in the weather change the benefits of the habit of drinking water.
9. Enjoy regular media-free times of the day.
Asking your children questions about media to stimulate conversations and set up family frameworks for media usage is a wonderful way to include them in this decision. Here is a list of 14 questions to discuss with your children about media and technology. Tackle one question at dinner for the next two weeks and discover how your children view media usage.
I’d love to hear your simple tips on keeping your children healthy.
What additional topics would you include on this list?