By GreatSchools Staff
Thanks to our many readers who shared their clever ways to teach healthy living habits to their children.
Here are a few of their suggestions:
"We typically buy only organic, natural and whole foods. We have taught our children from day one how to read labels on food. We explain to them what the bad things are in food and how it will affect them now and in the long run. We like to purchase and prepare healthy food together. Now when my kids are at school or at a friend's, they know to ask if the product they are being served has hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup in it."
"I made a collage of healthy food, putting pictures of the good nutritious food on a paper and another collage of pictures with junk food with pictures of unhealthy food. We often talk about these two collages. My children are very curious and they like to see the pictures. The last time we were out, my 2-year-old daughter saw a child drinking Coke. She said, 'Look, mother - junk food!'"
"I have them do a form of exercise every day. We have an exercise schedule. Mondays and Fridays are 'free days' where the kids can pick their own outdoor activity. Tuesdays and Saturdays are yoga. Wednesdays and Sundays, we do Pilates (my own variation for the kids). Thursdays we do sports. In addition, the kids ride their bikes every day. The toddlers also stay very active. They have their own version of all the same activities I do with the older kids. The toddlers also have bikes to ride, but on days when we ride too far for them to keep up (and they are in a bike-attached canopy), I play music with them later and have them dance, jump and play. If you set a good pattern, they will automatically follow it. The same goes for the bad patterns, too."
"I am a licensed massage therapist in Pasadena, Texas. One of our monthly quality family-time themes is 'Spa Night'! Mommy brings out the candles and Daddy puts on the relaxing CD. My kids hop up on my massage table after changing into a robe and get a muscle rubdown. Kids have so much homework, peer pressure and issues at schools these days. This is perfect for tension relief.
"The warmth and connection you bring your kids during Spa Nights is such a great gift for both you and the children! You can also take the time to clip fingernails and toenails (8-year-old boy!). My 14-year-old son loves to relax and be loved. My 13-year-old daughter loves to get free pedicures and manicures, and my 8-year-old son loves to live the good life!"
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