4 Ways You Can Model a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Children

When you are a parent, the habits of your healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyle impact far more than your own decisions. Even if you are making healthy choices on behalf of your children, while still making unhealthy ones for yourself, your kids will see that and want to model your behavior! The habits children form while they are still young are ones that will continue with them throughout the rest of their life. This is why modeling healthy behavior and forming healthy habits are vital from the beginning.

If you are struggling to find the motivation to workout or eat healthy, remember who is watching. Instead of viewing this as a challenge, be proud of the fact that your children look up to you and embrace the idea of being a role model for your children. You get to model their future and help shape who they become — start now!

How can you help create a healthy lifestyle for your children?

  • Model it First – This one is simple: if there is a behavior you would like your children or family to have, model it first. Whether it be getting more exercise or eating healthier foods, your kids will see and notice a difference in your behavior and with time, may have interest in exemplifying the behavior as well.
  • Involve Them – That healthy meal that you are eating for dinner did not just make itself magically (although, we can dream!). Instead, it involved buying healthy, fresh ingredients from the grocery store and careful preparation. Get your children involved in everything from selecting the ingredients to preparing the meal. Being involved in the behind-the-scenes of a healthy lifestyle is one great way to peak their interest in a healthy meal and may even convince them to try some new foods!
  • Make it Fun – This is important, especially when modeling a healthy lifestyle to young children. It should seem fun, because it definitely can be tons of fun! Working out does not need to just be weightlifting or running, it can be a game you invent or even playing a sport outside. And cooking does not just need to be thought of as prep work and dangerous tools, it is full of fun shapes, colors, and textures for your children to enjoy.
  • Substitute – Make substitutions that you can model for your kids. For example, if your family typically watches TV or Netflix together at night, substitute the behavior for a healthier alternative. Maybe you all go for a walk together or play soccer in the backyard. You still get to spend that quality time together, but you are also working towards a healthy lifestyle — a win-win for everyone!

Each of these tips involve not only telling your children to live a healthy lifestyle, but embodying your words by living it with them. This is a great way to embark on this journey as a family and hold each other accountable!

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