How to Teach Kids About Healthy Habits

July 14, 2022

By Amanda Beyland, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Recently, I’ve been talking to a lot of my parents, kids, and families about developing healthy habits. As mental health clinicians, we specialize in, well, mental health! But keeping ourselves healthy means taking care of our whole selves. Helping our children to develop healthy habits, whether it is taking care of their bodies, minds, or spirits is a significant part of promoting a child’s overall growth and development.

Children are influenced in many ways, but their eyes and ears are almost always on their parents. They are watching to see what they are doing, what kind of choices they are making, or listening to what is said.

Here are a few ideas to help your kids, and the whole family, develop some healthy habits:

  • Make time for family meals. Cook together and eat together a few nights a week. Some kids really enjoy getting to go to the grocery store to help pick out the food that will go into the meal.
  • Get outside! Play together. Go on an adventure! Try having a different member of the family pick the activity each week or make it a goal to try something new once a month.
  • Set up screen free times or spaces to spend time as a family or quiet time on your own. Whether it’s at the dinner table or on Saturday mornings, allow for some time to disconnect from screens.
  • Help your kids set a routine and stick to a schedule. Things will not always go exactly as planned, but this will help with time management and navigating transitions.
  • Make healthy habits a family challenge! It could be centered around staying hydrated, eating fruits and vegetables, spending time outside, or even getting enough sleep!
  • Try new things and encourage your kids to take a chance on things they have never done before! Explore somewhere you have never been or try something new as a family. Maybe there is a new cuisine to try or a cooking class to take.
  • Help your kids develop a sense of gratitude. Encourage them to say thank you, share things you are grateful for, or perform acts of kindness.
  • Communicate! Check in and give opportunities to your kids to check in with you. This doesn’t mean you have to solve all their problems, but they will appreciate knowing you are there to listen.

Enjoying our summer parenting series as much as we are? Stay tuned for more tips and info.!

Until next time, Be Wise!