Healthy habits lead to happier families in many so ways. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM), we’re exploring abuse prevention factors, and there is no doubt that making a commitment to health together can bring families closer. A healthier lifestyle means all-around less stress, depression, and anxiety, along with better sleep and more energy. And what parent doesn’t need that?
Food for Thought
Children learn their future eating habits by example, so it is important to set the stage for a lifetime of good health. The following tips were compiled by childwelfare.gov:*
- During family meals, focus on what your children are saying rather than what they are eating.
- Let go of “clean plate” expectations.
- Reward your children with attention and kind words instead of food. Hugs make better comfort food than sweets.
- Cook more meals at home together. Involve older children in cutting and cooking fruits and vegetables.
- Trail mix, smoothies, and fruit salads are no-fail healthy options that kids can invent and fix themselves.
Children of all ages need at least 60 minutes physical activity each day. Here are a few ways to increase the whole family’s activity level:
- Shoot hoops, dance, or rollerblade – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are moving together.
- Support your children’s participation in sports by attending games and helping them practice.
- Instead of turning on the TV after dinner, take a family walk.
- Local community centers often offer free or low-cost exercise classes, teams, and activities. Many offer sliding-scale memberships.
*This tip sheet was summarized from a chapter in the 2014 Prevention Resource Guide, created with information from experts in national organizations that work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being. You can download this tip sheet and get more parenting tips At https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/promoting/parenting, or call 800.394.3366.