Of course you want your preschooler to be healthy, but short of putting them in a safety bubble, you’re not sure of the best way to go about it. Don’t worry, your preschooler doesn’t need to live in a bubble! Just follow these 7 tips for keeping your preschooler healthy and you’ll create a great foundation for a healthy life.
1. SET AN EXAMPLE
Practice the habits you want your preschooler to practice. Right now is prime time for “monkey see, monkey do.” You are your child’s role model, they look up to you, and they want to do the things you do. If you want to be sure that your child cares about their health, then make sure they see you care about yours.
The next six steps are important for your preschooler to follow for their health, but they’re also important for you to follow in order to set a great example, and give you all the energy you need to keep up with your active preschooler.
2. EAT HEALTHY MEALS
Eating a healthy meal together as a family is a great way to start implementing healthy eating habits. When your preschooler sees you enjoying your broccoli at dinner, they will be more encouraged to try theirs. Likewise, if your preschooler sees you snacking on junk food throughout the day, they’ll probably be begging for chips at snack time.
Instead of chips, fresh fruit and vegetables make great snacks! For a list of foods your preschooler should be eating, check out our article TOP 10 BEST FOODS FOR YOUR PRESCHOOLERS NUTRITION. There’s even some great recipe ideas in there!
3. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Plenty of rest is important for everyone. Sleep gives you a chance to reset your mind and body, and wake up energized and ready for the next day. That is…if you get enough of it. Is your preschooler getting 10-13 hours of sleep every night? If not, try adjusting their sleep schedule. You’ll end up with a much happier child.
This is one rule you get to bend a little! Put the kiddo to bed and enjoy a couple hours of peace and quiet. Shhh. We won’t tell. Try to get about 7-9 hours of sleep though, so you can be ready to keep up with your preschooler tomorrow.
4. PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE
Having good hygiene is an important part of staying healthy. We don’t recommend going overboard though, sanitizing everything all the time can actually lead to a weaker immune system.
However, teaching your preschooler the importance of washing their hands after using the bathroom, covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze, and staying away from others when either person is sick, is a great start to teaching the importance of hygiene and how our hygiene can even affect others!
5. GET PLENTY OF EXERCISE
Exercise increases the blood flow in your body, creating more oxygen! Creating more oxygen within your body helps strengthen your brain, heart, and regulate your blood pressure. Regular exercise can:
- Improve memory
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce anxiety
- Build muscle
- Improve quality of sleep
It’s important to make sure your preschooler is active every day. This can mean anything from including them in your yoga routine, to having a dance party, to simply setting them free on the playground. As long as they get their blood flowing, they’re improving their health.
6. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
After all of that exercise, it’s important to drink plenty of water! As a good rule of thumb, provide your preschooler with the number of cups of water equal to their age. For instance, your 4 year old should drink 4 cups of water daily.
You should be drinking anywhere from 11-15 cups of water, so make sure you fill up that water bottle and set a great example for your preschooler.
7. DON’T FORGET TO PLAY
Play with your preschooler, and play with them often. Even at such a young age, mental health is extremely important. These are the years your preschooler is learning important social and emotional skills, and mental health is important in being able to appropriately form these skills.
So again. Play, and play often…because laughter really is the best medicine.
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