Parenting is tough. And it’s easy to get caught up in the details of “Is my son far enough along in his reading skills?” “Is my daughter on track in math?” The questions are endless and can keep you up at night. While it’s important for you to be aware of performance indicators for your child’s particular age range, we encourage you to think big picture when it comes to your kiddos. Are they healthy, happy, and active? If so, then you’re probably doing most things right. Focus on the positive as you check in with your kids’ overall health and wellness. And give yourself credit for all the hard work you’re putting in! 👏
Encourage colorful eating.
It’s normal for kids to be picky eaters as they roll their eyes at vegetables and request the same bland foods day after day—but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying! Look to add a rainbow of colors to your child’s plate as you continue to offer them the same nutritious fruits and vegetables, but in unique ways.
As you decide on what foods to introduce, think about what type of nutrition a growing body needs. Teenagers grow fast—both mentally and physically. Find healthy teen-friendly recipes here. As you’re sitting down to dinner, let your children know the benefits of the foods on their plate.
- Fats, for instance, help with brain development, so encourage avocado, nuts, and dairy.
- Protein helps your child stay full (especially important before bedtime) and supports muscle development. Think meat, beans, eggs, and seeds.
- Carbohydrates help give your child energy throughout their day. Yogurt, fruit, whole grains, and vegetables are excellent (and delicious) sources.
Look here for more tips on how to get your kiddo to eat a rainbow of nutritious foods. At the end of the day, you just want your child to be healthy. If your playful fruit and veggie options don’t work, find something that does. We love this super convenient Nutrilite™ Kids Superfood Smoothie, which is made from eight fruit and vegetable whole-food purees from five colorful food groups. Up the nutrition ante by also adding a Nutrilite™ Kids Multivitamin gummy into the mix, too.
What’s in and on their body?
Other areas to consider when gauging your child’s overall health is the amount of exercise they get each day (shoot for 60 minutes of fun, aerobic play!). Many kids love running around the park, skipping rope, bicycling, swimming, and dancing! As they exercise more, make sure you’re upping their water intake, too. And if they’re playing outside, always slather on the sunscreen.
Monitor what they read and watch.
As a parent, you have a big say in what your child reads in books and watches on screens. We understand that you’re not going to be there all the time, but the healthy habits you set for your child while they’re young puts them on the right path as they head into adulthood. OSF Healthcare™ recommends zero screentime for kids ages two and under, except for when using chat applications to connect with friends and family. After that, kids are encouraged to keep their usage under an hour or two until they’re 17, unless they’re using a computer or tablet for homework. Instead, focus on building relationships with your child and getting them to bed on time.
Sleep is such an important component of a child’s health. Turning off the TV early will help with the transition into bedtime, as well as a calming bath, soothing story, and a routine they can count on. Look here for sleep recommendations for your child’s age range.
That’s it! Those are the BIG items to keep at the top of your list as you think about your child’s overall health. With good food in their tummies and plenty of rest, your child will wake up smiling. 😊 There’s nothing better than a content kiddo, and we hope these tips help you achieve a happy, healthy little one for years to come.
As you continue finding ways for your child to thrive and grow, consider focusing on fostering a growth mindset, too. Read all about it, here!