As the new year kicks off, many decide on new year's resolutions. Some of those are health and exercise related, while others are aimed at forming healthy habits. For preschool children, it is important to exercise both mind and body as well as to develop positive healthy habits and routines. A healthy diet, a good night’s sleep, and plenty of exercise aren’t just good for your child’s physical health—they're essential to mental health too. Teach your kids to develop healthy habits that will keep their bodies and their minds in good shape.
The following are some ideas to help young children develop strong minds and healthy bodies.
Establish Healthy Bedtime Habits
Pick and stick to a set bedtime. Make sure it allows your child to get the full amount of sleep they need. Establish a nightly routine that includes three or four soothing activities, such as taking a bath, changing into pajamas, and reading stories. Try to keep the bedtime ritual the same every night, so your child can anticipate each activity.
A child who is healthy both physically and mentally needs to play. Truthfully, adults need play, too! Take time to put aside work, chores, and other obligations and focus solely on your child. Doing so shows your child that they are worth your precious minutes.
While playing with your child, you’ll not only strengthen your relationship and bond, but you’ll probably find yourself having fun too. Seeing a parent let go of worries can assure kids that they can do that as well.
Physical activity is important for everyone, but it is critical for a growing child. Preschoolers need lots of opportunities for activity, and when they have the chance to blow off some steam, they tend to have more self-control and are better able to learn and actively engage in calmer activities. Minimizing screen time is one way to encourage more active play.
Get 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Get outside everyday, when possible.
During the preschool years, children’s bodies and brains are developing rapidly and they are laying the foundation for their future growth, development, and even brain pathways! The food toddlers eat now is literally building their body and brain, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Making good, healthy food choices sets children up for success in many areas, including academics, self-control, and emotional well-being. Make a new recipe with your child that includes a fruit or veggie your child likes. It’s a great way to bond and encourage cooking habits in the home. Try a new fruit or vegetable and ask your child to pick some to try. Try new healthy snacks. Choose water over sugary drinks. Provide a variety of healthy foods for breakfast. A healthy breakfast can include foods that aren’t traditional breakfast foods.
Include fruits and vegetables with each meal.
Eat less sugar.
Practice making healthy food choices as a family.
Choose water over sugary drinks.
Help your child form lifelong healthy habits in the new year!