Raising Healthy Children
Raising Children to be Vibrantly Healthy: 12 Simple Tips that WORK
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Vegetable Soup/The Fruit Bowl
Hardening of the attitudes is something that many adults succumb to. Yet the children in our lives teach us the importance of relinquishing our rigid outlooks and posturing. Being around young children is one of my favorite pastimes and enriches my life in so many ways; their approach to life is a gentle reminder to me that life is to be celebrated and enjoyed. But it’s difficult to enjoy oneself when the child is unhealthy — as so many children are these days.
When a child is born, a dream is born. What happens as the child grows up to fulfill that dream is dependent upon how the parent nurtures and nourishes that child. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Health is our greatest wealth.” That is certainly true for children as well as teens and adults. While every child is different, I believe there are certain things that parents can do to expose their children to a healthier lifestyle.
Healthy foods and beverages and physical activity ride tandem as essential components to raising healthy children. Parents can easily become overwhelmed with information overload about food choices or overwhelmed with jobs, commuting, and stress-filled lifestyles. Although we as parents understand that good nutrition is important for our children, many children in real life eat a diet high in sugar and fat, low in calcium, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables. How our children eat has a great deal to do with what they learn from the people around them. Similarly, children often duplicate the physical activity level of their parents. These messages are received in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
A Balancing Act
Feeding children becomes a balancing act, and in many homes may turn into a battle zone. The more you force, the less they eat. Battle zones create stress and conflict at the dinner table. But somehow we must get the message across to them about healthy eating and living.
A recent study from the University of Tennessee has shown that eating preferences are established by 3 years old. It is a matter of what you do with them at a very young age. The younger your child is when you start this philosophy of healthy eating and living, the easier it will be later on. But whatever the age, it is better to start now than later. So what can parents do now to help make a positive, healthy difference in the lives of their children? Here are 12 tips that I’ve used for 35 years as a holistic lifestyle coach and health consultant.
12 Tips that Really Work
1. Look at yourself first. It’s essential for you as the parent or caretaker to make the necessary changes in your life since children learn best by example. You can’t expect your children to eat more fruits and vegetables if you never eat them or rarely extol their virtues. Be a shining example to your children.
2. Variety is the spice of life. Always have a variety of colorful fruits and veggies on hand and let the kids help with the selection of produce in the market and the preparation of food at home. Studies show that the children that help create the fresh food meals are most apt to eat the food once prepared. This goes for school lunches, too. Let your child help you create a power lunch to take to school. Baby veggies and easy fruit, such as delicious satsuma tangerines or fresh berries, are easy to eat in a hurry (for a snack) and provide quick energy.
3. Take a fruit & veggie break. Every day have your child take a fruit break. Fresh fruit -- such as apples, oranges, berries, bananas, grapes, kiwi, tangerines, and pears -- contain a plethora of nutrients, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. This high-water content food is sorely missing in the diet of most children who need at least three different fruits daily. If children take one fruit break during the day and add that to the fruit they’ll have with breakfast and lunch, they’ll be well on the way to enhancing their health and fortifying their bodies. In addition, take a daily veggie break -- such as cut-up bell peppers, baby carrots, celery sticks with nut butters in them, cherry tomatoes, string beans, or baby squash. Serve this with healthy dips. Strive for 7 servings of vegetables. That’s not hard to do when you have colorful salads and soups. Find ways to make these health breaks fun and rewarding.
4. Keep your home a junk food-free zone. The saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is certainly true when it comes to junk foods. Keep highly processed, refined foods to the bare minimum at home. Let your child choose from a variety of fresh, whole foods rather than always deciding for them what they should be eating. In other words, give them back the power to choose but make sure you offer them a variety of healthy foods from which to select.
5. Break the food seduction. Processed foods — those high in sugar, white flour, salt, preservatives, and additives -- are very addicting. The more they’re eaten, the more they’re craved. That goes for children, teens and adults. It’s best to begin each meal with a nutrient-dense, high fiber food so children receive nutrients before consuming any empty calorie foods (those with high calories and little to no nutritional value).
If you or your children are addicted to processed, junky, refined foods, I have the perfect solution for you. Start drinking alkaline water from the stellar device — Ionizer Plus. I have had this ultraviolet, electrolyzer, water filtration system for almost 20 years and it still works perfectly. Along with the Thermal Life Infrared Sauna and this salubrious water fron the Ionizer Plus, these products have kept me vibrantly healthy and always in the pink. Click HERE to read one of my articles entitled Alkalize & Revitalize and scroll down to #6 where you'll find out how junk foods will no longer be appealing to you on this water and how, when you alkalize the body with this water daily, you actually start to crave healthy foods. For children and adults, if you want to be in the best of health day in, day out, you must start drinking this water daily.
To order the Ionizer Plus now or to get more information, call Emily at High Tech Health, their Product Specialist. She is always happy to answer any questions on your mind. For a limited time, you can also get a $300 discount on your purchase when you use the code "Susan Smith Jones." I use the alkaline water to drink daily and also incorporate it any way I would use water in recipes. It's impossible to be vibrantly healthy when your body is overacidic, as you'll read in detail HERE. This Ionizer Plus device will change your life and health in myraid ways and the company guarantees it, too.
6. Make quality sleep, plenty of water, and daily sweating all priorities. Lack of sleep and pure water exacerbates the craving for processed foods. Establish a nightly sleep routine, encourage ample water drinking, and offer a variety of whole foods. Feeling tired and cranky, lacking energy, or becoming moody is often a sign of dehydration and/or lack of sleep. Sleep, water (from the Ionizer Plus), and the consumption of a variety of colorful, healthy foods need to be a non-negotiable daily ritual.
Sweating is not only an important part of our physical well-being, but in these modern times of water and air-borne pollution, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, poor dietary and exercise habits, and sedentary lifestyles, the therapeutic internal cleansing of regular sweating is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind. I recommend the Thermal Life or Transcend Infrared Sauna for children and adults. Families that take saunas together are healthier and happier. In my private practice, I always see children's and adults' health change for the better when they take regular saunas and drink water from the Ionizer Plus. These three products I refer to as the Terrific Trio Healthy Living Products. To read a comprehensive article I wrote on the therapeutic benefits of sweating and taking infrared saunas, please click HERE. To order a Thermal Life Infrared Sauna for your home or office now or to get more information, call Emily at High Tech Health, their Product Specialist. She can answer all of your questions. For a limited time, you can get a $500 discount on your purchase when you use the code "Susan Smith Jones." The Thermal Life Infrared Sauna is an investment, to be sure, and in investment in your health is the best gift you can give yourself. It will change your life for the better and help you create the vitality and high-level wellness you've always desired and deserved. Children and adults, alike, all benefit from the sweating that comes from taking an infrared sauna.
7. Be prepared. Graze throughout the day on whole foods. This goes for children and adults. When the blood sugar level drops too low, you’ll crave eating anything that’s quick and often void of nutrients. Keep plastic storage bags on hand filled with healthy foods so you and the kids don’t become famished. Being very hungry distorts common sense.
8. Make the family dinner table sacred. Barring emergencies, have dinner together as a family and don’t use this time to discuss problems. Stressful meals impede digestion, suppress the immune system, and stifle joy and serenity. Mealtime should nourish body and soul.
9. Join the breakfast club. Children need a healthy breakfast to start the day. “Breakfast” means “breaking the fast.” If you feel rushed in the mornings, get organized the night before with, perhaps, setting the breakfast table, making the lunches, laying out clothes, and organizing the breakfast meal. The first 40 minutes of each day sets the tone for the day. So make your first 40 minutes with your family filled with organization, healthy foods, and fun. Remember, too, that you can have veggies for breakfast and always encourage your children to help you with the food preparation.
10. Exercise as a family. Get involved with your children’s favorite physical activities. Play basketball or soccer with them. Swim together, jog on the beach, hike the trails, or bike around the block. A family that exercises together, stays healthy together and closely connected.
11. Reward healthy choices. Find ways to reward your child when he or she makes choices to be more active physically -- rewards such as extra quality time with you, with friends, a trip to the library or a movie, or, perhaps, a minute of TV time for every minute of exercise.
12. Encourage creativity to exercise. Invite your children to find ways to be more physically active -- such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of a parking lot when shopping, skipping together in the local park or beach before or after the family picnic, or exercising when watching television.
In conclusion, Pythoragus gave us this sage advice almost 2500 years ago and it’s efficacious for children, teens, and adults alike. “Choose what is best; habit will soon render it agreeable and easy.” Know that every healthy choice we make adds up. We are what we eat, how we exercise, and what we think. Happy children are healthy children and healthy children are happy children. Choose to make health a top priority by being pro-active. Let’s love and protect our children and teach them how to live healthfully; they are our future and they’re worth it!
The dreamers are the saviors of the world.
~ James Allen
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
~ George Eliot (aka: Mary Ann Evans)