As parents you want the best for your children, this includes a long and healthy life. In reality things are looking grim for their future. Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, now affecting 1 in 6 children and teens in the U.S. More kids than ever are developing Type 2 diabetes and the numbers are rising. Gum disease – which can lead to serious and life-threatening health issues – is also on the rise for young people.
As parents, you have the power to prevent your child from becoming one of these statistics by making positive changes to your whole family’s lifestyle by setting a healthy example.
Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle and you won’t inspire your children to do it unless you get off the couch yourself. Most kids like to run around and play, but if yours is spending too much time indoors playing video games, she needs some encouragement.
There are loads of fun ways for the family to stay fit together: throw a ball, play tag, swim, dance to music, skip rope, or walk the dog. The important thing is to make physical activity a fun part of your family’s routine.
Redefine your Diet
You can keep your family healthy and boost their immune systems by serving daily meals with fruits, vegetables and whole foods which have not been processed or refined. Don’t make something different for the kids, set them a healthy example. Ditch the dashboard dinners. Not only is fast food unhealthy, meals shouldn’t be eaten on the run.
Sit down and have meals together as a family at least three or four times each week. Not only is this better for your kid’s health, it’s a great bonding time for the whole family.
Brush Up your Oral Hygiene
Good oral health is important for growing children because it can affect their health now and in the future. Gum disease is caused by a build-up of food and bacteria on the gums. This in turn creates plaque, which causes the gums to swell and become sensitive. It’s important to take your teeth seriously because gum disease can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses, pneumonia and heart disease.
Protect your family from gum disease by brushing your teeth together each morning, after dinner and before bedtime. If you have younger kids who are reluctant to brush, make it fun, play some brushing tunes. Provide your family with a gum strengthening toothpaste, an alcohol-free mouthwash and Oral B 5000 toothbrushes.
Talk to your kids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis. Explain how important it is to take care of their health while they are growing, so they will develop into strong adults. Always keep a positive attitude towards exercise and make it fun. Let your kids choose their own healthy foods and get them to help with meal preparation. In these ways you will encourage them to take pride in their health.
Ruby Leonard is a receptionist for a dental clinic by day. Keeping healthy and active plays an important part in family life, otherwise she’s just an ordinary Mom; sorting out homework, squabbles and nagging the boys to keep their room tidy, and writing articles whenever she can!