MANILA, Philippines – A parent’s role in their child’s life is one filled with responsibility, duty and love. They must care for their child’s needs while instilling in them positive values that will guide them throughout their lives. It’s one thing to tell a child what to do and how to behave. Yet as most parent would know, a child is more inclined to emulate what they see. As such, parents also have to practice what they preach.
In addition to their mindset, a child’s physical wellbeing is equally important. Obesity is an alarming trend worldwide and in the Philippines. Statistics from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute show that about 5 out of 10 Filipino children aged 0-5 years old are overweight. A good role model doesn’t simply set an example. They also inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Here are a few ways that you can get your child involved in maintaining a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.
A healthy start
It’s no secret that one of the keys to a healthy life is an equally healthy diet. And as the old saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With busy schedules, however, breakfast can also become the most-skipped meal of the day. Done right, a good breakfast can provide the essential nutrients needed to jump start the day. A resource from Columbia University indicates that a balanced breakfast should consist of a complex carbohydrate, protein, fat and a fruit or vegetable. A good example would be a vegetable omelet on whole wheat toast and a piece of banana.
Another mainstay of a healthy breakfast is milk. In addition to being a good source of calcium, milk also contains Vitamins A, B-12 and D. Sitting down with your child to have breakfast not only teaches him its importance but is also a good way to spend quality time before the day begins. It’s a practice that is also emotionally healthy and brings the family closer together.
Go out and play
In addition to a balanced diet, physical activity is also integral to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that children should get about one hour of exercise per day. A few years ago, children playing out of the house and in the streets were the norm. Now in the age of the Internet and smartphones, more and more children are finding their entertainment indoors. This can lead to a sedentary, and thus unhealthy, way of living.
Going outside to play doesn’t have to be a chore for your child. While enrolling them in team sports is an option, they can also get their fill of physical activity at home right alongside you. Encourage them to join you in a walk around the neighborhood with the dog, get them involved in simple chores such as watering the plants or even just run around at your favorite park. It’s a fun workout that you can both enjoy.
A winning mentality
A positive mental attitude is a great quality for children to develop from an early age. The right mindset can equip a child with the work ethic and determination to be successful when he grows older. In a world where everything is new and interesting to them, maintaining a child’s attention on the task at hand can sometimes be difficult. Their short attention spans require constant guidance.
To maintain their focus, a child needs a helping hand to see the task through. Set a time each day to help them through their schoolwork and encourage them to keep going when they face a difficult situation. Your child won’t always need to be rewarded for doing the right thing. A job well done is its own reward and your child may enjoy this satisfaction. This will teach your child that hard work, discipline and determination pays off.
Development for all
While the tips listed here are intended for parents to help their kids, by joining in these activities together it can benefit the grown-ups as well. Choosing to live a healthier lifestyle is beneficial for every member of the family, young and old. In the game of life, success doesn’t always mean winning. It can simply mean getting involved and giving it your best according to Rappler.com