You want to do the best you can for your children so they can grow up healthy and strong. They depend on you to teach them the right things to do to have a wonderful life. Being sure children learn healthy habits early and continue them throughout their childhood will give them a strong foundation for their adult years.

Healthy Food

Childhood obesity is at record levels. Not everyone can afford to eat 100 percent organic, but parents should at least try to buy organic versions of The Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables. While studies show that a little sugar and fat is fine, it's always best for children to have healthier choices. Teach your children from the time they can eat solid food that fruits are better than candy, and water and juice are better than sodas. Start their day right with a healthy breakfast instead of just a bowl of sugary cereal. Keep junk food out of the house so that when they are hungry for a snack, they have to eat something beneficial to their bodies. Young muscles need plenty of protein to grow, and nuts and seeds are a great source of protein and healthy fats that children love.

Healthy Habits

It goes without saying that a clean body is a healthy body. Germs abound on every surface, so it’s impossible to keep your child safe from every infection. The "hygiene hypothesis" is a theory put forth by a British epidemiologist who noticed that children growing up in overly sterile environments tended to have more allergies and were more susceptible to illnesses, so it's safe to say that a little dirt won't hurt your children and may actually help them. Still, teaching good habits like washing your hands before you eat and after using the bathroom, brushing your teeth after every meal and not putting dirty hands into your mouth, nose or eyes is essential.

Healthy Exercise

Kids have boundless energy and they love to be outdoors. Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and helps keep children within normal weight ranges. Team sports not only exercise the muscles, but teach a child to work within a collective to obtain a goal. Most children love being in the water, so giving them swim lessons in NYC or your area at an early age is an excellent investment for both exercise and for them to learn water safety. One-on-one fun activities such as frisbee tossing or badminton are great for family time together outdoors.

Healthy Minds

There is so much violence, death and destruction all around us that aside from living in a bubble, it's impossible not to have your children exposed to it at some time. Teaching moral values and emphasizing educational and mind-expanding activities over violent video games is one way to help build a healthy mind. Teach your children proper conflict resolution techniques and stress reduction practices. Meditation can be an excellent stress-reduction tool for even small children.

The most important thing you can teach your children is a love of reading. A well-rounded child needs exposure to art and music to help spur creativity. Make sure your children learn something new every day outside of the rote subjects they are taught in school. Take them out into nature and teach them respect for all living things. Growing a vegetable garden teaches them where their food actually comes from and which foods are healthiest.

Raising children in a stressful world is hard, but making sure that they have healthy minds as well as healthy bodies is an excellent head start on a healthy adult life. Keep your children busy with positive activities that develop their brains and bodies, and they will thank you for it when they are out on their own.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.