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There’s an impending epidemic regarding children’s health. It’s time parents proactively raise healthier children for their safer future.

Health is wealth.

This is a universally accepted and acknowledged ideology. Yet, with how society is developing now, health may seem to have become a concept pushed further back in people’s minds.

Additives, flavorful junk foods, and other unhealthy alternatives – choosing healthier food options has become more of a challenge than an ordinary luxury people choose. Technology, surging and prevalent addictive vices, and other risky leisure activities – living a healthy lifestyle has likewise become a taxing endeavor.

Indeed, society has filled its walls with countless temptations that people fail to see and consider a healthier path in life. No matter where people look or choose to live, they’re surrounded with detrimental options. But when health is undeniably wealth, how should people learn to stay clear of these temptations and live healthier

It All Starts in Childhood

If it’s about building healthy lifestyles, it’s best to start making better choices from childhood. During this period, the brain is still most formative, like a sponge absorbing new experiences without judgment or objections.

Children are as malleable as their parents allow them to be. During these ages, they’re open to new situations, allowing them to shape their lifestyle to one that benefits their health.

This is precisely why parents must raise healthier children proactively. They must acknowledge their influence over children’s growth and choices and function as a perfect guide for them to reach healthier standards. What children learn substantially in childhood persists when they mature into adulthood. Hence, there’s no better time to develop lifelong healthier habits than during this time.

However, Children Have Their Preferences

It may sound simple to raise healthier children. Until parents attempt to feed their kids with vegetables or encourage them to play outside, they realize how taxing this task can be. Children prefer chocolates and delicious snacks, not tasteless vegetables. Their eyes are all glued to their devices, preferred games found on screen and not outside.

In today’s society, parents compete not only with their children’s preferences but also against countless unhealthy temptations that satisfy a child’s palate and interests. How parents raise healthier children has become increasingly challenging as decades pass.

But this doesn’t mean it’s become impossible.

How Do Parents Raise Healthier Children?

Every parent would relate to how challenging the endeavor can be. Like everything else in parenthood, teaching children healthier habits is laborious. It’s nearly forcing them to eat what they don’t want to and encouraging them to do things they’re less excited about.

Dr. Theresa Wee understands the incredible burden of this responsibility.

As a mother of four, she knows how troublesome it can be to raise healthier children. Dr. Theresa Wee’s parenting and wellness tips revolve around making better decisions and self-control, things parents can gradually teach and build in their children. Parents need to understand how to lay better foundations for healthier behaviors. It’s about modeling these behaviors and working alongside children to make and commit to better decisions.

Make It a Family Affair and Be Involved

Parents raise healthier children through active involvement. Children become more encouraged to live by these changes because they see their family doing it alongside them. It becomes less of an obligation but something they can do for fun and a means of connection. Their families’ involvement motivates them to be consistent in their behaviors.

A healthier lifestyle may be more taxing for children, given that these decisions typically go against their preferences. But when they’re incorporated into a familial situation (e.g., doing physical activities or preparing healthy meals together), these decisions become more associated with happy memories than bitter vegetables and tiring exercises.

Create a Positive Eating Environment

Often, the environment makes lifestyles more challenging to uphold. Parents should not raise healthier children through strict and frightening methods. This will only make the experience more aversive. Instead, parents should encourage healthier changes in equally encouraging environments.

Similar to the first point, making meals a family experience is also helpful. Families who eat together are found to accept healthier alternatives and stick with them. This experience goes beyond nutrition, for it also incorporates a psychological factor by making it safe and enjoyable.

Avoid Putting Pressure

Using force to make them eat healthier and practice healthier activities will never raise healthier children. Not only does this take their autonomy away from them at an early age, but it will also cause a strong dislike of the experience. While it’s a more challenging route, children should be allowed to make their own decisions and act on their own interests. Parents should only be there to encourage and support them, not to force and impose behaviors on them.

Pressure may be effective, but it won’t last long. Once the fear wears out or the moment children become tired of being forced, these changes will revert to their regular routines.

Parents play a pivotal role in their children’s habits and lifestyles. But to raise healthier children, they shouldn’t use force or pressure. Instead, creating a good environment and leading by behavior are the best ways to make a lasting impact.

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