10 Back-to-School Habits to Steal from Your Kids
These healthy habits are helpful for kids and grown-ups alike.
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Habits to Keep All Year Long
Heading back to school isn’t just about getting your kids back into the swing of healthy habits. Many of the habits you ask of your kids can be done by you as well. Here are 10 lessons that you probably instill in your children that you can benefit from too.
Don't Skip Breakfast
Mom always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but she may not enjoy a well-balanced breakfast herself. Research shows that skipping breakfast can lead to overdoing your calories later in the day. Even if you choose a quick cup of Greek yogurt topped with berries or a slice of 100% whole wheat bread topped with peanut butter, eating breakfast is a must for mom too.
Get into the Kitchen
From a young age kids are encouraged to get cooking — and this goes for mom, too. Get into the kitchen with your kids to make healthy, well-balanced home-cooked meals.
Eat Your Veggies
How many times has every parent told their kids to eat their veggies? Vegetables provide fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant chemicals to keep you healthy and help prevent disease), which are all benefits parents should reap, too.
Put the Electronics Away
Electronics and media, like cell phones, tablets or YouTube, can get in the way of homework and meal time. Instilling a no-electronics policy for the whole family during meal times can help everyone get some old-fashioned face-time to discuss the happenings of the day and spend quality time together.
Eat the Rainbow
Kids are encouraged to have a variety of colors on their plate like green spinach, red bell peppers and orange apricots. Each color represents different nutrients that are important for the body to grow and stay healthy. The same concept applies to grown-ups — you should have a variety of foods and many colors on your plate at every meal, which are also important for an adult to stay healthy.
Kids are encouraged to go out and play in order to be physically active. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Parents should also participate in activities they enjoy such as Zumba, pilates, running, basketball or anything else that gets them moving.
One of the biggest issues with kids is that they drink too many sugary beverages, including juice drinks and soda. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 10% of total calories come from added sugar — this applies to children over the age of 2 years of age. As such, parents should also stick with good old water, seltzer and low calorie beverages like coffee and tea (with minimal added sugar) instead of sugary beverages.
Enjoy a Family Dinner
Sitting down together as a family is important, even for one meal a day. Whether it’s breakfast or dinner, make it a point to sit down with another grown-up or your kids. It’s a wonderful way to catch up on the day and enjoy a positive environment with family.
Choose to Reuse
Kids are encouraged to recycle materials, such as paper, plastic and aluminum, to help the environment. Mom and dad should listen to their own recommendations and do the same — reduce, reuse, recycle.
Get Your Zzz's
Parents try very hard to get their kids in bed at a reasonable hour. But why should parents burn the midnight oil? When you’re tired, you’re more likely to turn to higher calorie foods which can lead to weight gain. In addition, a 2011 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks trying to shed at least 10 pounds were more likely to achieve their goal if they slept between 6 to 8 hours a night and had lower stress levels.