In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many parents are homeschooling their children for the first time. This can be a stressful time for all. Implementing a few healthy habits into your child’s daily regimen can provide structure and fun to help relieve the daily stress.
Many kids already have healthy habits in their school life that can carry over at home, providing some much-needed consistency.
By the same token, a change in environment can also provide the opportunity to introduce new habits into your child’s routine.
Essentials for Healthy Development
Healthy habits are essential to a child’s development, both physically and mentally.
Children who eat well-balanced meals are more likely to perform well academically. And kids who are physically active are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle in their adult years.
Well-balanced meals and daily physical activity also help combat childhood obesity.
Encourage Good Habits During Homeschooling
As parents, the more we can encourage healthy eating, hygiene and exercise, the more kids will make them a part of their lives inside (and outside) of the home.
Make Healthy Food Swaps
Show kids there are healthier ways to enjoy their favorite foods. Bake chicken tenders rather than frying them. Make cookies with unsweetened applesauce instead of butter or sugar. Assemble fruit kebabs for lunch instead of sugary fruit snacks.
Discuss a Weekly Lunch Calendar
Talk to your kids about their lunch options at the beginning of the week. Have them choose their meals from a list of healthy options. Encourage healthy alternatives, such as choosing fruit instead of a cookie for snacking or dessert.
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Let Your Child Have a Say in Meal Planning
When it’s time to get groceries, allow your child to pick out a few healthy snacks and lunch options. If they’re involved in choosing foods when shopping (with some guidance), they’re more likely to choose them when it’s time to eat.
Encourage Movement with Activities They Enjoy
Whether you call it recess at home or just playing outside, teach your children fun and active games that they can enjoy when it’s time for a break. Remind them that they sit for most of the day, and recess is the perfect time to run, jump and play outdoors.
As long as kids do something enjoyable that keeps them active, the type of activity doesn’t matter. Help them choose activities that get them moving and keep them involved.
Handwashing while Homeschooling: More Than a Healthy Habit
Practicing good hygiene, like washing your hands thoroughly, is more important than ever. Pick a fun song to sing while kids wash their hands, so it lasts at least 20 seconds. Buy hand sanitizer featuring their favorite characters, so they’ll want to use it. Remember that handwashing is not only a healthy habit, but a responsible measure that can prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
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