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Thursday, January 18, 2018

10 Clever Ways to Trick Your Child into a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone tried to escape their veggies when they were younger, but these days, the health hazards your children face are far more critical. From endless fast-food chain restaurants which offer popular toys with their meals, to eyes glued to touch screens which exercise nothing but their thumbs, it’s no wonder that the numbers of overweight children only continues to rise.

Parents have the thankless duty of pulling their kids out of these bad habits before they get older and the side effects become more difficult to reverse. But how do you get them off their devices and onto their feet? How do you get them to eat their greens? Simple: make the process seem like fun with a little bit of sneaky magic trickery! And here are 10 ways to do just that:

1. Make Healthy Food More Exciting
If your child has already sworn off broccoli, it’s not going to be easy to change their mind. But what if bits of the vegetable worked as the hair on top of a friendly face? Get artistic, mix colors to create culinary masterpieces, perhaps organizing fruit/veggies into animal shapes, or cookie cut them into various unrecognizable sizes, served like a tasting board of fun.

2. Disguise Healthy Food
If the above fails, why not use camouflage? Bake fruit into a low-calorie cake, or blend veggies into a tasty smoothie “milkshake”. Many parents have sworn by the entertainment value of dipping carrots or peppers into hummus or flavored yogurts, encouraging their kids to experiment and enjoy these foods.

3. Get Them Involved
No matter how old your child is, if they are part of the preparation team, there will be an additional sense of pride towards the final result. Allow them to pick out a few choice ingredients, give them a simple mealtime responsibility, and then enthusiastically educate them about the advantages of each nutritious food group along the way.

4. Select the Right Toys
Promote physical and mental development by researching the healthiest entertainment for kids on the market, such as water paints for creativity, building blocks for cognitive progression, video games which encourage physical activity (like Nickelodeon Fit), or colorful hand exerciser and stretcher products (like therapy putty) for strengthening their growing wrists and fingers. You’ll probably want to get involved with the fun too!

5. Have a Dance
Whenever you find a spare moment in the day, put on your child’s number one song and jump around the living room with them for as long as you can keep up. Dancing is a great way to increase the heartbeat and stretch the body out, not to mention that they will have no idea they are even exercising.

6. Play Outdoor Games with Them
Avoid the word “exercise” and replace it with more thrilling alternatives, such as “tag”, “swimming”, “trampoline jumping”, or “bike riding”. Even taking them to the zoo, the beach, or an amusement park will secretly promote a lot of healthy walking time.

7. Make It Competitive
Nothing will bring out the fire in your children quite like a little bit of a neighborly challenge. Set up a competition around a safe obstacle course or a friendly sporting game, and invite your kids as well as their friends to get involved. If no friends are around, challenge your child yourself, or express doubt that they can beat their previous record time.

8. Reward Them
With any of these suggestions, you are guaranteed success if you offer something concrete for their efforts, which doubles up as a great introduction to the capitalist system anyway. It doesn’t even have to be anything of significant value either, for example: allowing them to stay up 10 minutes past their bedtime, choosing tonight’s dinner, or simply a golden star stuck to their forehead. These prizes should be enough incentive to inspire your children to chase that warm sense of achievement, just like everyone does.

9. Encourage Barefoot Activities
An often overlooked trick is to remove your children’s shoes as often as possible. Considering that their developing feet will be responsible for a lifetime of balance, posture, growth, and functional nerve receptors, it is always recommended to introduce their toes to every different texture available. And, of course, they will adore the free feeling this practice provides.

10. Be a Good Influence
Finally, if you are overweight yourself and plagued by bad habits, it won’t take long until your child mimics these behaviors. Lead by example and use your young ones as motivation, by participating in all of the above suggestions too. And then before you know it, you will have even tricked yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

This is a guest blog post.

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