6 Healthy Habits for a New Year
It’s never too late to start prioritizing a healthier you. If you’re wondering how you can teach your kids (or yourself) healthy habits for a New Year, there’s no time like the present to get started and to begin creating new habits that will last a lifetime. Psychologists report it takes around two months to create a habit. Truly, all it takes is a commitment to change your behaviors and the focus to make a switch that makes those behavior changes more feasible. If you’re committed to improving your child’s habits, the following six are great places to start.
Limit Screen Time
There’s no escaping the prevalence of screen time in a modern society. At home and school, kids have access to phones and iPads, and often, parents are modeling behaviors like scrolling non-stop. The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting screen time to one hour for kids ages 2 to 12 and two hours for teens and adults. Instead of watching screens, consider picking up a book instead. Reading is a great bonding opportunity for parents and kids. In addition, consider having no-tech times where you play games or talk together. Before long, you may just find you’re going an entire day screen-free.
Adults aren’t the only ones who need to stay hydrated. Kids need lots of water, particularly on hot days where they are spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure your child is staying hydrated by keeping a water bottle close by. Let your little one pick out their own water bottle, then keep it filled and in a convenient spot that’s accessible. You can also find creative ways to pump more water into their systems. Keep watery foods like cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, and strawberries readily available for snacks that will keep those hydration levels high.
One of the great ways to instill healthy habits for a New Year is by finding new physical activities for your kids. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports kids need 60 minutes of activity each day. Find ways your child can burn through those 60 minutes by walking the dog together or dancing around the living room together. Consider walking or biking to school if that’s an option. You may want to enroll your child in after school activities like karate or gymnastics. You could even just go to a park together and play. Remember: if your child sees that you’re active, they’re more likely to participate in activities that get them moving, too.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Choosing better snack options is a great way to create healthy habits for a New Year and beyond. Instead of picking up potato chips or gummies for your kids to snack on, stock your kitchen with healthier alternatives. Pick up fresh fruits like pears, berries, apples, and bananas to have ready to go. Snacks like popcorn, yogurt, and cottage cheese are quick and easy and they provide healthy nutrients your kids need for development. The goal is to get your kids accustomed to these types of snacks now so it’s easier to snack well when they’re older, too.
Have Mealtimes Together
Make sure your family has mealtimes together where you prepare meals together, talk, avoid screens, and share what your days looked like. Stanford Children’s Health reports that shared mealtimes are beneficial to the entire family. It promotes sensible eating habits, teaches everyone how to communicate and share, and it teaches family dynamics and self-esteem for young children. These are great ideals to teach kids now that will follow them well into the future.
Healthy routines are shown to improve mental and physical health. In fact, people tend to have less stress when they can follow a routine in their day. Because routines help us take care of the things we need to, as well as ourselves, it allows us — and your kids — to be successful at tasks without having to think about them. Practicing routines is beneficial for a lifetime. By helping your kids create routines today, you can get them in the habit of spending their days doing the work they know needs to be done and focusing brain power on solving bigger problems.
Get Support from PALS
As you’re focusing on healthy habits for a New Year, it’s good to know that you can also build an exceptional educational foundation for your kids at the same time. That’s why PALS Praise & Leadership Schools are here. At PALS, we’ve designed a curriculum that will allow your child to flourish well into adulthood. We’ve tailored the PALS curriculum to your child’s needs. By using consistent routines like we mentioned above, we’re able to build your child’s self-esteem, skills, and moral character. In addition, we teach each child to think, reason, be responsible, achieve, excel, and communicate well. And we’re following many of those same habits we’ve encouraged above.
If you’re interested in discovering more about PALS, we encourage you to tour both of our locations. We offer two campuses in the Peoria IL area. Our North Peoria campus is located at 2327 W Willow Knolls Rd in Peoria IL. You can call us there at 309-691-4326. Or you can contact us at our Downtown Peoria campus, 700 NE Greenleaf in Peoria IL, at 309-674-2938. We invite you to schedule a tour and to see how PALS Praise & Leadership Schools is here for a healthier today and tomorrow.