Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
We place strong emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles by helping children to understand all that they can do but, of course, with very young children parents and carers have the most critical role of all in keeping children healthy.
Together we can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. We can encourage children to begin to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. We know that you are already doing a great job but hope that the tips below are a helpful reminder.
Be a good role model
You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if children see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is important to your family.
Keep things positive
Children don’t like to hear what they can’t do, tell them what they can do instead. For example, “You can have an apple”. Keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children develop a good self-image.
Get the whole family moving
Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
Setting realistic goals and limits are key to adopting any new behaviour. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time, so start small and build up.
Limit TV, video game and computer time
These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and heart disease.
Encourage physical activities that they’ll really enjoy
Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it.
Pick truly rewarding rewards
Don’t reward children with tv, computer games, sweets or snacks for a job well done. Find other ways to celebrate good behaviour.
Make dinnertime a family time
When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much. Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
Make a game of reading food labels
The whole family will learn what’s good for their health and be more conscious of what they eat. It’s a habit that helps change behaviour for a lifetime.
Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on ‘good food’ options and an emphasis on outdoor physical activities at care settings, pre-school and then school. Make your voice heard!
We have chosen to place emphasis on healthy lifestyles, so as to work in partnership with a big children’s centre programme. The Hertfordshire Healthy Children’s Centre Programme 2015-18 aims to improve health outcomes for children pre-birth to five and their families. You can find out more about what they offer by visiting our children’s centre website (www.welwynknebworthcc.org.uk.)