The world has changed so much since I was growing up. Play is disappearing in our schools, communities, and even our homes. At least 70% of moms played outside when they were kids yet only 31% of their kids play outside today.
That is why I’m so proud to be part of the CLIF Kid initiative that is dedicated to reclaiming play. They are encouraging boys and girls everywhere to get outside, push their boundaries and feed their adventures. You can check out their video here.
Of course, it isn’t just about exercise. Nutrition is also critical. Did you know that kids today have a 30 percent chance of developing diabetes during their lifetime? Our kids are the first in U.S. history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, and much of this is because of the food they eat. This isn’t all that surprising when you consider that almost 40 percent of the total calories consumed by two-to-eighteen-year-olds are in the form of empty calories.
Today, I thought I would share with you some of my top tips to instill healthy habits in kids.
4 Tips to Instill Healthy Habits in Kids
1. Educate Your Kids about Nutrition
What happens when you pressure your child to eat something? If your kids are anything like mine, chances are you might win that battle but then it is forever labeled as a “food they hate”.
We used to have epic battles over food, as one of my boys would have lived on junk food if allowed.
This began to shift when we started talking about nutrition and how what we put in our bodies impacts how we feel.
These days, although he still loves his snacks, my junk food boy is the first to read a label and I owe this to the conversations we’ve had about nutrition.
2. Give Them Input Into Snacks
As I’ve mentioned, my kids love their snacks. At one point, I felt like we were doing pretty well with mealtime, but that I was dropping the ball when it came to snacks.
Then, around the same time we started talking more about nutrition, I decided that I would get them involved in picking out their snacks. Since then, I feel so much better about what they are eating.
One of their favorite snacks are CLIF Kid Zbar® which are specially crafted for kids developing taste buds and active lives. They are nutritious and made from organic ingredients. I love that they come in appropriate portions size for kids in flavors that they love. I also love that they are Non-GMO and don’t have high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives.
They are also perfect for snacking on-the-go. Our favorite playground this time of the year is the beach. The crowds have died down making it the perfect location for an afternoon and evening of activity. The boys will spend hours playing in the surf. Of course, hours of swimming works up an appetite. CLIF Kid Zbar® to the rescue! They are easy to take along and perfect to keep my kiddos fueled.
3. Teach Your Kids to Cook
I am far from a perfect parent, but one thing I am so proud of is that both of my boys can prepare a simple meal. I have found that with getting them involved in the cooking, they are much more likely to make healthy choices and try new things.
4. Let Your Kids Help with Meal Planning
There is a lot less conflict at dinner-time when the boys have helped me decide what we are having. We have our go-to healthy meals that I know that they love, but I also let them help me pick two or three new recipes to try out every month. It is a great way to get their buy-in to new things.
What are your top tips to keep your kids healthy?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.