Most people have a number of things in common: We want to feel happy, healthy and fulfilled. We want to have financial security. What most PARENTS have in common is that we would give up any of those things if it ensured that our children would be healthy. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to give up your happiness, your retirement fund to raise a healthy child. Here are my top five things to focus on:
1.) EATING RIGHT!
If you Google “Eating healthy” you will get four hundred and eighty-five MILLION hits. There is no limit to how much you can learn about nutrition and the foods that build strong bodies. You may decide to add flaxseed to your kid’s waffles or avocados to their smoothies. You may go Paleo or gluten-free. You may make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping yogurt, peanut butter and cheese in the fridge. You may serve good sources of protein such as lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Now your kid may not care that fruits and veggies provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber and lower their risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, but if you prepare a fresh fruit salad, they’re going to eat it up. If you really want to keep it simple, simply cut out the junk food, the processed food, and the high-sugar food.
Get them moving! Help kids and teens be active for at least one hour a day every day of the week. Playing Minecraft does not raise their breathing and heart rates and therefore does not count! American Ninja Warrior does not count (unless they are out training for it)! Physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; control weight; build lean muscle; lower fat; and prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure. Research shows that girls who play sports have higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of depression, more positive body image, and higher states of psychological well being than girls and women who do not play sports.
3.) A POTPOURRI OF THE OBVIOUS
Number three is a mishmash of things that I hope you are already doing: seat belts, helmets, sunscreen, teeth brushing, hand washing, layers in the cold, age-appropriate discussions about “body-safety” and their “private parts”, avoiding nitrates in food, and living in a smoke-free environment (with smoke alarms in that smoke-free environment)!
4.) CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Chiropractic can help children not only with typical back and neck pain complaints, but also with issues as varied as asthma, chronic ear infections, nursing difficulties, colic and bedwetting. There are many studies that show dramatic improvements in children’s quality of life, such as the 2012 study of colicky babies which found that daily crying time decreased by 48% in those babies who received chiropractic care compared to 18% in babies who received no chiropractic treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described chiropractic as the most common form of doctor-directed complementary and alternative medicine practice used by children in the U.S. Why is that? Because as Thomas edison said " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
5.) CONNECT WITH YOUR CHILD
Listen to their feelings...yes, even when they're having tantrums. Don't try to fix or stop their feelings....just let them know you are there, hold them, and let them emote. Did you want an easy-going kid but got a challenging one? Accept your child’s temperament. What matters here is how well parents adjust to their children’s personalities...your kids need the safety and security of knowing that you are not going to give up on them even in challenging times! And if all of that seems too daunting then just whittle it down to one thing: Invest in TIME with your children.
If you are any parent, you have heard a thousand times, “It goes by so fast.” . I know your going to give it everything you’ve got to make sure your child is healthy, I hope these tips will give a fresh look at this journey.