June 18, 2019

Tips for Teaching Kids about Wellness

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Tips for Teaching Kids about Wellness includes helpful tips about how to talk to kids about nutrition, hydration, brushing their teeth, exercise and sleep!

When I first found out that I was going to be a mom over 5 years ago, I was excited to eventually be able to teach my kids about things that I am passionate about including health and wellness. As a dietitian and health enthusiast, living a healthy lifestyle is part of who I am and I want to raise my kids to love all things health related. I want them to be able to live a healthy lifestyle as they grow up and choose healthy choices when they are adults. 

I constantly talk to my kids about everything including wellness. They know the importance of good sleep (though Adalyn does not always sleep well), eating healthy, staying hydrated, taking care of their teeth and exercising. I want to share my tips for teaching kids about wellness that we do in our household.

Tips for Teaching Kids about Wellness

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1. Teach them good oral care

As soon as the kids teeth grew in, we started brushing their teeth twice a day and talking to them about how important healthy teeth are. We talk about cavities and how we want to prevent them by brushing and flossing regularly. We talk about the dentist and how they help keep our smiles healthy. I recommend starting this talk early on because kids really can learn early and hearing it over and over will help them learn.

I also model good oral care including brushing my teeth while my kids are brushing their teeth. I love the Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® flossing toothbrush from Walmart which gives me the best clean that I've ever had. It is so convenient because it has brushing and flossing in one. 

I am bad at forgetting to floss sometimes so this is really helpful to have two products in one device for a complete clean. It helps remove up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas and is up to 50% more effective for gum health compared to string floss.

The Sonic-Fusion is the world's first flossing toothbrush and to switch between brushing and flossing, all you have to do is press a button. You can even brush and floss at the same time! While the Sonic-Fusion toothbrush cleans the tooth surfaces, the Water Flosser jet in the brush head removes plaque and debri between teeth and below the gumline. There is a great 2 minute brushing timer that helps remind me how long I need to brush and there are 10 different settings so you can choose what is most comfortable for you. It is up to 2x as effective as regular brushing and flossing. 

About a year ago, I switched dentists and found that I literally had 5 cavities. I was shocked! I have since started ensuring that I take excellent care of my teeth (and my kid's teeth) and this product is awesome to help.

I found my Waterpik Sonic-Fusion flossing toothbrush from Walmart! To learn more about the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion flossing toothbrush for yourself and to receive a $30 mail in rebate through June 30th visit their website.

2. Regularly discuss nutrition

I could talk about this in 5 whole blog posts so I will just touch on the main points of this today. When you're eating, tell your kids that the chicken they're eating has protein to help them build strong muscles. Tell them that the carrots they're eating helps them see well. Sharing little nutrition tidbits while enjoying different foods has helped my kids know quite a bit about nutrition. 

Funny story, one night my daughter came downstairs at 10:30 PM saying she was so hungry. She never asks for food after bed so my husband felt sorry for her and let her have a yogurt. She said "Daddy, I need chia seeds in it too for my brain!". Gosh, I love that kid! 

Having kids help cook in the kitchen helps them learn about nutrition as well. When we go to the fruit and vegetable market, I let them pick out fruits and veggies that they want to try. When they choose them, they are more likely to eat them. Also modeling nutritious eating habits is very beneficial for teaching kids about nutrition.

3. Talk about the importance of exercise

I never, ever talk about my body when teaching my kids about exercise. We do not exercise to reach a certain weight in my house but instead, exercise to feel our best! We talk about how much better we feel when we move our bodies and get some fresh air and sunshine outside. Find fun ways to exercise with kids because if you find the right thing that interests them, they will love it. Adalyn loves going to a certain empty parking lot near our house and racing her brother up and down the small hill. It's the little things like this that can help encourage kids to be active.

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5. Encourage hydration

In our house, water is the main drink that we drink. We barely have juice or other sweetened beverages. We talk about how our body needs "a drink" of water to work well. We especially talk about how on a hot day, it is super important to stay hydrated so we don't feel sick. We talk about how drinking lots of sugary drinks like pop make us feel "junky" so that is why we mostly stick to water and milk.

5. Emphasize why they need a good night's rest

We talk about how sleeping well will help their bodies be able to grow, how they will feel their best when they sleep and point out when they are super cranky and didn't sleep, the negative effects that lack of sleep has on them. 

These are the 5 main topics that we discuss with our kids about wellness at this point. The kids always seem super interested in learning about health and wellness which is really fun. I think it is really important to teach kids about health early on because then they grow up knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to talk to your kiddos regularly about health and wellness and you may be surprised that your kids may be very interested!

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