It is well known that exposure to a new language at a very early age will allow children to communicate in it with ease after just a few years. Learning is just more natural and effortless. The same applies to fitness and healthy eating habits. But how to make it happen?
Children are constantly looking for a role model, a source of inspiration, and parents you have a unique opportunity to guide them. There are plenty of ways to engage them to be physically active with you. Asking them to join your training at home is one of the easiest. It is just you and your kids, in their comfort zone, exercising, and having fun. You can also sign up for a children and parent online class featuring yoga, dance, or martial arts. If you are more of an outdoorsy person, why not consider a family hike? It is essential to show your kids from early on that our bodies are happier when we exercise.
The same applies to the foods they eat. If during the first years you give your children the chance to try avocado and mango instead of chocolate and chips, their palate will get used to natural, non-processed food. The point is not to eliminate these treats entirely (who doesn’t enjoy an occasional piece of chocolate), but to develop our kids’ deep appreciation for good food. As a result, they will tend to eat more healthy meals and leave the sweets to special occasions. Lead by example and they will follow you. Sometimes young kids don’t know what veggies and proteins look like until they are served on the table: go shopping with them, cook, prepare, and have meals together. It will be both fun family time and further reinforce healthy habits.
And here is the magic: the more enthusiasm your child develops for being active and eating the right food, the happier you will be to continue doing the same. Parents can guide their children to make the right decisions, and the children in turn will motivate their parents to keep going and be healthy. Before you know it, both you and your children will be fluent in fitness.
By: Monica Kaufmann-Gonzalez // Kenzai Assistant Trainer & Member