The New Year is a great time to make positive changes in your life and for your own and your family’s health.
Many parents know the importance of good health and habits for their children, but with our busy modern lifestyles, our own habits often slip. It’s important for the whole family to practice healthy living and for parents to set a positive example.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast Every Day
Breakfast time can be hectic for families, especially when both parents are working and rushing to get out the door. It’s important for everyone in the family to eat a healthy breakfast. This could be a bowl of oatmeal, a smoothie, eggs or fresh fruit. It’s tempting to give yourself and your children a quick fix breakfast, but try to avoid high sugar cereals, pastries, or fast food breakfasts. Prepping food in advance – such as containers of fresh fruit – or using packets of quick-prep oatmeal can help.
- Get Everyone on a Bedtime Schedule
Disruptions in your sleep patterns can affect you for days, and children are no different. Over the festive season bedtimes are often disrupted as both children and adults stay up for social gatherings, so routines may need to be reinforced come January. Regular bedtimes help children thrive and give you some ‘me’ time so you are less stressed. Set bedtimes for both your children and yourself to ensure everyone is getting a decent and regular amount of sleep.
- Exercise as a Family
It can be hard for parents to fit in regular exercise, but exercise is important for both children and adults. Combine exercise with quality time by going for walks as a family, taking a ball or frisbee to a local park or put on a family aerobic video.
- Take Deep Breaths
The pressures of everyday life take their toll on all of us from time to time, and parents are often under a lot of stress to balance parenting with other commitments. When children are throwing tantrums, it can be easy to snap at them out of frustration. Before reacting, try and take a deep breath. Deep breathing will help you relax and in turn impacts the calmness of your children. It also sets a positive example of how to deal with a difficult situation calmly, instead of reacting with more yelling.
- Take Some ‘Me’ Time
Making sure you take some for yourself will help you be a more relaxed parent. As your children get a little older you can take a step back from managing everything for them and it will allow you more time to yourself, and give them the opportunity to build their own problem-solving skills.
- Get Everyone Washing Their Hands
We all know we should wash our hands after using the restroom, but it’s also important to wash your hands regularly throughout the day and before eating. Germs spread quickly within families and school-aged children are especially susceptible to picking up bugs. Instilling good hand washing habits will help reduce bugs for the whole family.
More information on parenting tips:
With any goal setting remember to set realistic goals that are achievable, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to fulfill all your resolutions all the time.
To learn more about women’s health services call Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com.