By Betty Murray
The majority of what your children learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyle, they will learn at home. While educational and extracurricular activities can supplement what is taught at home, children are most likely to follow the example of their parents.
It is most important that your children see you caring for your own body by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. If you do not make exercise a priority in your own busy schedule, your children will learn that exercise is not as important as other activities.
The benefits of exercise go beyond weight management. Exercise builds strong bones, promotes better sleep, improves energy levels, and can have an impact on overall outlook on life — all things that are important for both you and your children.
Teaching your kids about a healthy lifestyle isn’t singularly about nutrition or exercise, but a healthy combination of both. Teach them to eat whole foods that are packed with nutrients they need. Teach them to make healthy food choices by making healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, easily accessible in your home.
Physical activity is equally important to overall health as nutrition. Train your children to live an active lifestyle by encouraging their participation in school or community sports teams. Go to the gym as a family a few times a week. Take family bike rides, hikes, or walks around the neighborhood. Rather than allowing your children to spend all day in front of the TV or computer this summer, make arrangements for other activities that will allow your kids to stay active.
Get your family moving with these family fun ideas
1. Hike the Cedar Ridge Preserve — 600 acres of preserved wilderness and 9 miles of hiking trails for you and your family to enjoy. Pack a healthy picnic and make a day of it.
2. Bike (or walk) a trail — There are numerous trails within Dallas city limits for biking, walking or jogging, including the trail at White Rock Lake, Katy Trail through Uptown or the Santa Fe Trail from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum.
3. Climb the rocks — We may mot have mountains in Dallas, but there are plenty of indoor rock climbing gyms where you and your family to test your strength and skills.
Teaching your children the importance of nutrition and exercise from an early age can reduce your child’s risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.