How to help your child develop healthy habits for life

How to help your child develop healthy habits for life

After emerging from the annoying binaries, fourths, and thirds of child-rearing, you may find yourself struggling to establish healthy behavior patterns in your child. The school year is fast approaching, they’re stuck indoors in front of a screen at the best of times, but they tirelessly find more “creative” ways to occupy themselves at the worst of times.

Fortunately, you have the power to shape their future in huge, healthy ways. Regular visits to health care professionals, physical activities and interesting hobbies are just a few of the things you may already do to ensure your child is happy and healthy. But when it comes to affecting their health in the long run, you will have to inculcate certain habits early on. Here’s what you need to know:


Why start early?

Babies and young children are programmed to absorb information like a sponge . Thus, even if you yourself are unable to commit to a particular lifestyle change that you know will be beneficial to your health and wellness in the long run, it is within your rights as a parent to raise your children with this habit as second nature.

A very real case of “look as I say, not as I do”!

For example, even if you don’t prioritize an active lifestyle for yourself, personally, you will likely see the value in it for your children. Get them to exercise early to take advantage of their absorbent brains!

Healthy habits and independence

Taking control of your health and longevity is incredibly rewarding and powerful. It will make kids feel more confident and assured of being in control and up to speed on the routine that keeps the family going (and maybe one day!).

Dental health affects overall health

Did you know that the health of your teeth plays a big role in your overall health and can even affect your longevity? Wonderful!

(And here I thought all my mouth was good for yelling at Jeopardy racers!)

Your dental health can actually be the deciding factor in many serious and chronic conditions. At one point, researchers were even able to make a connection between the amount of lip plaque ingested as a result of not using flossing and a diagnosis of severe heart disease. Yikes!

Before you even think about scheduling an appointment with any fickle kids, consider setting an example by making your own dentist appointment and bringing your (well-behaved!) child with you!

environmental preparedness

In addition to what your child can do at home, there are plenty of things your child can do to ensure safety and health beyond the safety limits of your four walls.

For example, staying up to date with vaccinations and preparing appropriately for outdoor trips are just two ways that parents can help set an example for their children when it comes to being properly prepared for environmental threats.

These are not theoretical threats either. There are a lot of things to warn your child about in the great outdoors. Lyme disease in Mexico, poison ivy in the northeastern United States, drinking water the entire world – it seems that everywhere you turn, there is an environmental hazard to avoid! Children are especially vulnerable to diseases found in nature such as Lyme disease and other natural or environmental factors, so education and prevention are important in keeping them safe.

Dressing in appropriate length, staying up to date on vaccinations, and learning about the local animals and trails are just some of the ways you and your family can stay prepared for everything in the great outdoors.

mental wellness

Bringing the importance of strong mental health to your children is a great foundation for their long-term health. Mental and physical health are often treated as separate entities, which must be treated and treated as such. But wellness researchers have found that this is not the case!

Mental and physical health work hand in hand to keep your business at its absolute best. Giving your child the tools to master both will be integral to later in life, when your children will need to take advantage of their flexibility and discover that you have uniquely set them up long ago!


Strong communication skills are just one set of skills that help report good long-term mental health. What does communication have to do with healthy living, you may ask? Well, emotional intelligence and emotional maturity are two skills that, when mastered in tandem, completely change how productive and constructive every interaction your child engages in.


relationship with food

The way your child interacts with food will make up a huge part of his life. Think about how many hours per week you spend strictly devoted to eating. Now, imagine those hours are gone, spent hungry, binge-watching, or miserable instead. This doesn’t sound like a great picture, does it?

As they grow, your children’s relationships with food will begin to mature, and unfortunately, they will all have their own unique set of challenges to overcome. Later in adolescence, puberty leads to changes in their bodies that may be quite worrying or upsetting for some children.

Give your child healthy language to discuss his body with and refer back to his body. Reinforce the idea that food is fuel, and is meant to make you feel satisfied and perform at its peak with the occasional treat. Food is not something you feel guilty or feel bad about. Encourage them to turn to you for non-judgmental advice or just a friendly ear if they feel weird or nervous about any changes in their relationship with food.

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