Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Health: How to Help Your Children Stay Fit and Healthy

at 1:25 PM
As a parent, we all know the importance of providing our children with the best possible start in life. But that isn't something that is confined to possessions; giving them a healthy lifestyle that encourages them to stay healthy is of much greater importance. But how is it done? These 10 steps should give you some pointers as to how you can do something productive about your family's health.
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1. If you're children can't name more than three different vegetables, yet have a thorough knowledge of the menu of most takeaway restaurants, you need to make a change. There's nothing wrong with a takeaway once in a while, but keep it as an occasional treat and avoid it becoming a habit.

2. Ready meals aren't much better, so it's best to avoid them. Instead, find the time to prepare home-cooked, healthy meals for your family. Take it in turns with your partner, if possible. And if you don't yet have the culinary skills, why not take a cooking class or ask your relatives for tips and advice.

3. That may also require you to find new recipes to help your little ones stay healthy. There are many books, magazines, TV programmes and online portals that offer healthy family recipes for you to try. By introducing your family to new, healthy foods, you can expand their diet but ensure it doesn't just include fast food.

4. With each meal, why not introduce them to a new vegetable? Many people grow up being dismissive of certain foods without ever having tried them. By instilling a passion in your children for good food and encouraging them to try before deciding, they should grow up with a healthy outlook on what they eat.

5. These days, children can get borderline obsessed with computers and video games, but it can get in the way of more healthy pursuits, like playing football or riding bikes. By limiting the time your children are allowed to play on these technological wonders, you may be empowering them to be fit and healthy.

6. Whatever you do, when your children are young, don't put a TV in their room. Not only does it create anti-social behaviour, but like computers it could be having a negative impact on their health.

7. If you're guilty of living a lifestyle that's far from healthy, you could be setting a very bad example. As the most significant role model in your children's life, it's important that you don't walk in from work, put the TV on and sit down for the rest of the evening. Stay active and your children might just follow.

8. Take part in healthy activities together and it could lead to the whole family getting healthier. Why not take a bat and ball to the park or head to the local tennis courts together? Or, you could invest in bikes for the entire family and head to the local forestry to explore your surroundings.

9. Open up their world to new sports and hobbies and see if something takes their fancy. There are so many interesting pursuits, from popular options such as football and cricket to karate and ballet.

10. If they do find a new hobby or sport, make sure you encourage them but don't get pushy. It's important that your children make their own decisions and do it because they take pleasure from it.

If family health is your number one concern, finding healthy family recipes and identifying new activities for you to enjoy can be the best way of ensuring your children stay fit and healthy.
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