Instilling healthy habits in children while they are still young is essential. With increased access to sugared drinks and unhealthy meals along with less physical activity, it’s no surprise that 1 in 5 children in the U.S suffers from childhood obesity.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is achievable by adopting a physically active lifestyle. Diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, and asthma, are just a few health problems that can be avoided with regular exercise.

Setting a positive example of a healthy life and practicing what you preach can help children define the ideal they should strive for daily.

Healthy life for children with and without special needs

It’s important to foster healthy habits early on in a child’s life to help them maintain them when they are older.

Living a healthy life is a right of every child – one that significantly impacts the possibilities for their future. And it’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child’s growth and development are not impeded by external circumstances.

Similarly, caring for a child with special needs is challenging due to suffering birth injuries. Children with disabilities are at a higher risk of being obese, typically owing to an inactive routine.

Children suffering from conditions such as cerebral palsy are prone to being underweight as they face immense feeding and swallowing difficulties.

On the other hand, conditions such as down syndrome can contribute to overeating habits in children.

Regardless of your child’s special needs, filing a birth malpractice lawsuit and seeking financial compensation can make it easier for your child to lead a healthier life.

Today we have put together a list of four ways you can ensure a healthy lifestyle for your kids. Continue reading to find out!

Four ways to ensure a healthier lifestyle for your children

1. Encourage physical activity

Children, regardless of their age, are like little packets of energy. They are always active, so encouraging physical activity can help them put that energy to good use.

They can enjoy a good sport while reaping exercise’s health benefits. This applies to all kids, even those with disabilities. 

Today, approximately 40% of children across the U.S suffers from learning or physical disability. In severe cases, children with special needs are even discouraged from physical activity, as caregivers unnecessarily worry about their safety on the playground.

But the importance of physical activity cannot be overstated, especially for children with disabilities.

Involvement in sports is a great way to build and boost self-esteem. It also enables children to hone their relationship-building and teamwork abilities.

In addition, it also helps manage weight as it is a challenge many parents face today. A minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity is a must for children.

Engage your kids in fun exercises. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. You may want to check out the kid-friendly events at your neighborhood community center.

Family outings like bicycling, after-meal walks, or partake in sweat-intensive games like soccer at the park are great ways to get your kids moving.

2. Start your day with a healthy breakfast

A nourishing and healthy meal to start the day is necessary for children to replenish their energy and keep up with their daily routine. They are more prone to binge later in the day if they don’t have breakfast first thing in the morning.

Eating a poor breakfast can have the same effect. There is not enough energy for a whole school day if they only consume pastries and sugary cereal in the morning.

Take your kid’s breakfast to the next level with a delicious breakfast burrito wrap. You can also teach your kids to operate a blender so they can make themselves healthy smoothies. Whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, and unsalted almonds are all great additions.

A healthy breakfast should be balanced in terms of protein (milk-protein or meat-protein) and carbs (whole-grain) and should include plenty of nuts, fruits, and veggies (either fresh or frozen with no sugar additives).

3. Prepare healthy home-cooked meals

Even though dining out occasionally is not inherently a poor choice, making it a habit is wrong as it makes your kids normalize poor eating habits with little to no portion control. According to nutrition experts, kids who eat home-cooked meals are better at eating fruits and veggies than those who eat out frequently.

Furthermore, kids tend to overeat most of the time as junk food can be addicting as it’s often rich in sugar and carbs, making it unhealthy to consume.

When it comes to feeling satiated, kids who consume a lot of simple carbs may overindulge in junk food to compensate for the lack of fiber in their diet.

Home cooking doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Planning out your meals in advance can help you save on both time and effort. Learn how to make fast, nutritious dinners with these tips. When you do go out to eat, always choose healthier options.

4. Get them to eat their fruits and veggies

Fruit and vegetables should make up one-third of the daily food intake for most children over four. You should serve a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack.

All fruits and veggies, whether fresh, canned, or frozen, benefit one’s health as they offer the same calories. Frozen grapes, veggie skewers, and fruity frozen yogurt are enjoyable ways to include vegetables into your kid’s diet.

Serve steamed broccoli or cauliflower if your child has an aversion to bitter or strong-flavored vegetables. This will allow you to serve a variety of fresh vegetables and dips, including steamed vegetables such as beans and squash.

According to experts, fruits are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making children feel fuller. Many children consume more calories drinking fruits as opposed to eating them.

Most nutrition experts advise against kids consuming more than one 4-ounce portion of juice each day. The best option is to provide plain, flavored, or sparkling water.

Final thoughts

Being a parent is undoubtedly challenging. When it comes to raising children, there is no one-size-fits-all guidebook, and you can only learn what’s right for your family by trial and error.

However, following our tips can make the process a tad bit easier. You have to change your behaviors to teach your kids what’s healthy and what’s not, and doing so isn’t as easy as it looks.

The health and well-being of one’s children is a top priority for every caring parent, and it is essential to instill healthy habits in children at a young age to carry them forward into adulthood.

Good behaviors learned in childhood are more likely to be maintained into adulthood. For example, chronic diseases could be avoided if they adopt healthy lifestyle practices.