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Children on swings

26 June . 2018

Developing Healthy Habits for Kids

The summer months in Arizona can mean more hours spent inside and maybe more screen time for your kids than you’d like to admit. Regardless of the time of year, parents everywhere want to make sure they’re doing what they can to build healthy habits their kids will use well into their adult life. Try some of these tips to get your kids on the right track to creating a healthy lifestyle.

Daily Physical Activity
The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day for kids two years of age and older. Read that again…EVERY DAY. While 60 minutes may seem like a daunting task, just remember that you can break up that activity throughout the day. The important thing is to make sure it’s fun, so play into the interests of your child – try activities like dancing, swimming, riding a bike, playing basketball, etc. If they’re enjoying what they’re doing, they’ll want to do it more. For those who live in the Estrella master-planned community in Goodyear, there are numerous parks and hiking trails to choose from right in your backyard. If you need a few more ideas, check out this blog with fun activities for a day at Estrella’s signature parks and trails.

Eat the Rainbow
Every parent has been frustrated by the fact that their seven year old only wants to eat macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. You give in because, well, you want them to eat something. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eliminate those items completely but try to fill in the gaps as best you can with other options. These rainbow fruit skewers are a great option to go with any meal or as an afternoon snack. They look fun and taste great. Looking for a fun dinner option? Try this pizza recipe with a rainbow of vegetables. By adopting the “eat the rainbow” mentality, you can feel better that your kids are getting the vital vitamins and nutrients they need.

Make Sleep A Priority
Whether you have a newborn infant or a college student, sleep is crucial to your child’s development. Sleep is a time for your brain to process memories, information, and data. Think of all the skills children learn each day – language, social, and motor. Without proper sleep, this information is not getting the adequate processing time it needs to aid in your child’s growth. The National Sleep Foundation provides this chart outlining the recommended hours of sleep your family needs each day based on each person’s age. If you have concerns about your child’s sleep cycles, be sure to speak with a medical professional.

Promote Positive Attitudes
In today’s society, children are being thrown negative messaging from a multitude of sources – television shows, social media, news, friends and even family. While the negativity may not be intentional, it is important to make a conscious effort to promote positive mental and emotional health with your children. Studies have shown that children whose parents have a positive outlook will have a better understanding of the benefits of positive thinking. Simple tasks like daily affirmations (telling your children that they are smart, valued, loved, etc.) and showing them how to have a positive outlook even when they find themselves in difficult situations can have a profound effect on their ability to cope with “negative” events later in life.

Try implementing one or two of these tips to start your family on the journey to instilling healthy habits in your kids. Before you know it, all of them may become a part of your daily life.