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Friday, January 17, 2014

Keeping your child healthy: Health Changes Headed into the New Year

(CREDIT: Tony Crider)

It's the New Year, and if you're like my family and I, then you've certainly already put some New Year's Resolutions in place for 2014. Can you believe we're already into the New Year? In my family, while one of the New Year's Resolutions that we're targeting isn't necessarily doing something new, it's more of setting a goal to keep up with things that we're doing. I try for myself, and for my children, to keep us healthy and active, so for 2014, we're shooting for continued success on that front.

Whatever you may have chosen as a New Year's Resolution, stick with it! It's important, but it's also vital that we all improve our health as we head into 2014, especially the health of our children, because there is always room for improvement. We're living in a time when obesity is a prevalent problem, but it can be combated by proper health and lifestyle choices for your child.

Here are some ways that you can reach this goal for your children as 2014 continues on.

Continue to Stay Active

Being physically active is instrumental in improving the health of your children. Not only does it promote healthy growth and development, but other benefits that your child will see include developing stronger bones and muscles, improved flexibility, and better balance skills.

Eat Healthy

While this one may seem self-explanatory, it's so vital in both improving and maintaining, in some cases, your child's health. One thing that I've found to be key over the years with my children, is having them become involved with the meal preparation. I've found that by getting them involved and letting them help out a bit, they become more interested, and can understand the importance of food. Also, it's so important to limit portion sizes. Portion control is a necessity, because it's very important to eat in moderation.

Get Enough Sleep

As adults, we aren't the only ones that have busy days. Our children are busy too, as they can have school, homework, extracurricular activities, and more, so it's important they get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Sleep isn't just important for their bodies, either – it's important for their brains. When your child doesn't get enough sleep, their mood can be lowered, and they can become cranky, so make sure your child gets enough sleep this year! They may want to stay up and watch something on television, but that's what digital recording on your television is for! They can watch it tomorrow after they've done their homework.

Become Involved with Extracurricular Activities

Activities such as sports or clubs after school are great, and if your child isn't involved in either, it's never too late to start, making 2014 a prime starting point. One of the greatest benefits of extracurricular activities, and something that is key for your child to learn in 2014, is that of time management. With everything going on, including school, playing with friends, doing their homework, and sleeping, among other things, your child will grow up real fast when it comes to balancing their time and truly understanding time management. Not only that, but it will help them to learn about commitments. Make 2014 a strong year!

Improve Both Mental and Emotional Health

By having more of a focus on the above elements in 2014, your child's mental and emotional health will definitely improve. They'll have increased self-esteem, which will put opportunities in front of them to make friends, have the drive to get involved in things like extracurricular activities, and most important of all, perhaps, to relax their minds.

Get the New Year off to a great start by focusing on your goals for 2014, one of which for all of us should be based around not only improving the health of our own lives, but for our children as well. What ideas do you have for improving your child's health in 2014? And do you have any other great New Year's Resolutions that you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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