We want what’s best for our children, right? Of course we do! We love them more than we love ourselves, and when they make poor decisions we tend to feel personally responsible. While this isn’t the case, we do have the unique opportunity to influence our children for good and help them develop healthy habits at a young age, while they live at home and we have at least some say in what they do.
Healthy eating habits
It’s every parent’s dream to have their children eat healthy, well-balanced meals, right? When your children eat healthy, they are able to develop healthy habits and will naturally enjoy eating healthy foods. Those sorts of healthy habits will continue to benefit them for the rest of their life, and they’ll never have to deal with the embarrassment of being the only person in their dorm that won’t eat something besides dinosaur chicken nuggets.
The best way to help your child develop these healthy eating habits? Get them started eating healthy foods at a young age. When you introduce solids, start with vegetables, and hold off on letting them have fruits or any other sweet thing as long as possible. There’s nothing wrong with feeding your babies fruit, but it’s a good idea to wait and introduce them later, after they’ve had a few months to learn to love food that doesn’t have anything sweet added to it. This will give them a good foundation for non picky eating. This also helps ensure that their diet is naturally filled with all of the vitamins and minerals they need to have a healthy body. Their daily doses of vitamins are best when found naturally in the food they’re already eating! Eat foods rich in Vitamin C and folate for immune health, and don’t forget calcium for healthy teeth and bones!
As adults, we know the effect that caffeine has on our bodies. We know the effects and make calculated decisions from there. Children, on the other hand, should steer clear of caffeine. It makes a big impact on everything from their sleep cycles to their oral health, as this article points out. No matter how much they beg, it’s a bad idea to let them have a sip or taste of our coffee, soda, or any other drink we may be consuming that contains caffeine. Not only is it not a very healthy choice, it can wreak havoc on their forming enamel and can cause years of expensive dental problems for them.
Habits are most often made when a child is incredibly young. If you never teach them to wash their hands after they use the bathroom, they won’t naturally pick up on that themselves. It’s your responsibility to teach them to take care of themselves properly. When they’re young, make sure you implement routines that include brushing their teeth twice a day, washing their hands, sneezing into their elbows to prevent them from spreading germs, and how to clean themselves when they bathe.
It may seem weird to think about financial goals when your child is still young. But your children absorb so much information from you about how they should live their lives, and it will shape them into what kind of adult they will be. Not only should you strive to model a healthy relationship with money and finances, but you should try to teach them the right way to manage their money. If money is a stressful topic in your home, chances are that your child will carry some of those same stresses into their relationship with money as they grow up. This doesn’t mean you should not talk about personal finances in front of your child, in fact, it means the opposite. You should just strive to not refer to money as a negative entity, so money and their finances won’t stress them out as much as adults. Whether you give your children an allowance or not, you should set up a bank account for your child when they’re still young. This is where you should put a percentage of any money they receive as gifts, as well as money that you give them over the years. Teaching them to save part of all their earnings as an important skill, and they’ll be grateful for not only the financial skills they’ve gained, but also the padded bank account, when they move out.
It is super important to develop healthy habits and it is great to start developing them while we are young. As parents, we have the opportunity to instill these healthy habits in our kids!