parenting_help_and_adviceSometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day job of parenting.
Entertaining them, feeding them, changing nappies, feeding them again, reading books, going to the park, and visiting friends.
It’s important to remember to take a step back sometimes and remember the bigger picture.
What do you want your children’s view of health and wellness to be?
Kids soak up so much of their information by watching their parents and keeping a mental note of how we behave and communicate.
So what sort of views are you passing on to your kids?
Most parents would hope to be setting a good example of how to live a healthy life so that their children can follow their lead.
Here we have a checklist so that you can do a quick audit to ensure that you are setting the best possible example for your children.

  • Do we limit screen time
  • Do we encourage exercise as a family
  • Do we offer healthy snacks, with treats only occasionally
  • Do we get a good night’s sleep
  • Do we eat a balanced diet
  • Do we make time for our relationships 
Screen time

It’s important to set limits for your children’s screen time so that they don’t spend hours on end in front of the TV or computer.
This also means that you need to lead by example and switch off regularly to partake in other activities such as reading or exercise.
Try not to let the TV stay on as background noise when you are doing something else.
Have some ideas up your sleeve so that when you switch off you can suggest another fun family activity such as board games or cooking together.

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Family exercise

Get outdoors as a family and enjoy the fresh air. Kids often start acting out when they have been indoors for too long.
A bit of a walk to the shops or a kick of the ball at the park can be great incidental exercise for everyone.
You could also set up regular opportunities to exercise together. For instance perhaps every Saturday morning could be ‘family bike ride time’ or in the summer you could hit the beach on a Friday afternoon.

Healthy snacks

Kids don’t need the excess salt, sugar and fat that comes neatly packaged in many commercial snacks.
Did you know that 100g of Tiny Teddies for example is 443 calories, 13% fat, 26% sugar and has 333 mg of sodium per 100g?
An apple on the other hand is 49 calories, 0% fat, 10% natural sugar and has just 2 mg of sodium.
If we give kids a choice they will often make the unhealthy choice as they don’t understand the long term consequences of healthy eating.
If we give them the choice of an apple or nothing, they will most likely choose the apple if they are really hungry.
That’s not to say kids can’t have a treat now and then. But it’s not a treat if they are having it every day, so spread the treats out and make them special.


The whole family can benefit from a good night’s sleep. Having set bed times for your kids help them to know when it’s time to start winding down for the day.
For adults too, going to bed around the same time each night is a great way to encourage healthy sleep patterns that will make you feel more rested the next day.

A balanced diet

Kids learn by watching us, so be sure to let your children see you cooking and enjoying healthy, nutritious meals.
If they see that food doesn’t rule your life or your emotions it will set them up to live their life the same way.
Encourage older children to help with cooking the family meals. Getting them involved in the process shows them how to handle fresh ingredients and sets them up for healthy cooking when they grow up.
Younger children may also enjoy watching you chop, stir and blend from the comfort of their high chair.

Making time for relationships

Children learn how to treat others by watching us. If they see us speaking kindly to our partner, and doing thoughtful things for friends and family, this will encourage the same behaviour in them.
Teach kids the importance of writing thank you notes, or drawing birthday cards for friends and family. By encouraging them from an early age, it could become a life long habit.
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