We all want our children to grow up healthy, and that means that they have to have the desire to make healthy choices on their own. And if you’re raising a toddler, there’s good news. Even though it seems like an uphill battle, now is the perfect time to instill healthy tendencies in your child.
When children develop habits as toddlers, they’re more likely to continue them throughout adulthood.
But when it comes to instilling healthy tendencies in your toddler, it’s up to you to figure out which habits are most important.
Here are some tips you may follow, and feel free to adjust them to suit your needs.
Eat healthy meals together
The best way to instill healthy habits upon your child is to lead by example. And if you want your toddler to grow up liking healthy foods, it’s best to start early. Make healthy dinners for your family and give your toddler age-appropriate foods that you’re eating. You can even snack together with great quarantine snacks that satisfy both young and old.
This means that everyone should eat more vegetables. A diet rich in veggies will help guide your child towards a life of healthy eating. We develop a taste for sugary and high-carb foods earlier than you might think, so it’s best to maintain a balance.
Avoid alcohol in excess
As parents, our kids are going to surprise us daily. And one of the things that’s most surprising is a toddler’s ability to pick up on adult habits and conversations. When a child enters early toddlerhood, parents begin to realize that they have to curb their words and actions more than ever. And this includes alcohol consumption.
If you’re having trouble cutting back, you may need to talk to a counselor. And this is especially important if you happen to be pregnant. Pregnancy and addiction are not a good combination.
Exercise with your kids
Kids are naturally full of energy, so we don’t typically worry about toddlers getting enough exercise. It’s usually not until the teenage years that exercise even falls onto a parent’s radar. But, in the meantime, your kids are watching your habits and are likely to follow them later in life.
If they see you making time for exercise throughout their lives, that’s the impression they’ll get of what it’s like to be an adult. On the other hand, if they’re getting exercise and you’re not, they’re likely to think exercise is just a kid thing. And that can lead to some unhealthy tendencies later in life.
So, if you can handle it, go ahead and chase your kids around and play sports together in the backyard. If physical limitations prevent you from doing these things, that’s okay. Your kids can still see that you’re active in other ways.
Healthy habits begin a lot sooner than most of us realize, and so it makes perfect sense to make a conscious effort to instill them in your children at a young age. When your kids are toddlers, they’re old enough to begin figuring out the world around them, and this is when some very early opinions are formed. Since we all learn best by example, do your best to live the lifestyle you’d like to instill upon your toddler. It’s not always going to be easy, but it will be worthwhile. The more you work at it now, the easier it will be later in life.