Heard any of these? "Don't wanna." "Ain't gonna." "You can't make me!"
Kids sometimes dig in their heels when it comes to healthy habits. Here are the top strategies to increase their odds of a lifetime of healthy habits.
Eat your fruits and veggies
Is your child stuck in refusal mode when it comes to eating produce of any kind?
"It might help to make your family meal time slogan 'One bite without a fight," says Sam S. Gabbara, M.D., of Botsford Pediatric Associates. "That means everyone needs to try one bite of each dish, with no fussing. Remember, it may take several tries before child gets used to a new food. Keep offering healthy fruits and vegetables in place of fatty or sugary junk foods."
Another idea: Enlist your child's help with finding a new recipe, shopping, and preparing food too--kids are more likely to eat something they've had a hand in choosing and cooking.
Get enough ZZZs
Bickering over bedtime can mean missed sleep and cranky kids. To be sure your little ones get the 10 to 11 hours of ZZZs they need, Dr. Gabbara recommends that you:
Put your child to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends.
Have a routine leading up to bedtime.
Make it soothing, a warm bath and reading a book might help your child unwind.
Turn off electronics, including the television, at least one hour before bedtime.
Have those shots
Immunizations are an essential part of protecting health, from childhood through adulthood, says Dr. Gabbara. It's hard to see your little one in any kind of pain. But you can make the process easier in several ways:
Be honest that the shots may hurt a little. But remind your child that they only last a moment.
Stay calm to ease the child's anxiety.
Talk about the good side of the shots--how they protect against germs and illnesses that could be be serious.
But wait - we've got a few more! Read the rest of our tips for helping your kids blast off to better health at www.botsford.org/pediatrics.