The role of parents in learning healthy habits

If the example is key in the education of our children, it will become the best trick to get them to internalize habits and routines related to hygiene, food and healthy life that they will later transfer without problems to their adult stage.

Every father knows that his example is very important when transmitting values. Virtues such as strength, prudence, justice, temperance, the capacity for effort and sacrifice and generosity, will mark our Way of acting so that we can transmit them.

But the example also helps us to educate in the daily actions that we want our children endorse. This has been demonstrated by an investigation carried out in the Public Health Institute, from Ontario, in the United States. This body has verified, through a study, that the behavior of parents is key in the teaching of healthy habits. In this work he states that it is not enough to say "do it", but rather the smallest ones they have to see that at home all practice this lifestyle.


It is not enough to animate, you have to preach with the example

The doctor Heather Manson, head of health promotion and prevention of chronic diseases and injuries Public Health Ontario, is clear: "It is not enough to encourage children to maintain healthy habits such as eating healthy and balanced, go out to exercise, etc. Parents should be an example in this regard and maintain this lifestyle so that children have a good reference Inside the house".

For example, that adults decide to spend the afternoon in a park instead of staying home watching television is an option. Another method is to prevent children from linking fun with electronic devices such as tablets or smartphones, it is always better for the little ones to move before they sit down.

The family environment is the key to teaching healthy habits

To check this theory, the Public Health Ontario conducted a telephone survey to more than 3,200 homes where there was at least one child under 18 years of age. Parents were asked about their attitude regarding physical activity, healthy eating and the time they consider appropriate for children to pass in front of the screens.

After this survey, researchers found that parents who took their children to places where they could carry out a physical activity, such as playgrounds and sports facilities, were more likely to affirm that their children exercised daily. Moreover, if the parents participated in these activities, it was more usual for their children to practice some kind of sport habitually.

Television, enemy at meals

This survey also wanted to find out to what extent the family environment influences other healthy habits such as eating. For this the researchers asked the parents for the environment where meals were made at home, if there was a television set, if it was on when the table was set and the amount of vegetables your children ate.

Those parents who had been concerned about generating a good atmosphere during meals were more likely to ensure that their children ate. healthier food. In this way, the farther away the television from the table where the family sits, the more likely it was that the children of this household would take vegetables regularly.

Efforts by parents to instill healthy habits

Dr. Manson insist that it is not enough to say to the child "do it", the parents also have to bring these practices out. This requires an effort on the part of the parents. When the children see that the adults act in a way, they copy this way of proceeding because adults are a reference for the little ones in the house.

To do this, parents have to apply the rules they want their children to maintain to lead a healthy life. For example, if we want to encourage physical activity and avoid excessive use of electronic devices, we will have to control ourselves in its use and not encourage it so that children are calm. At the table, the example of the parents will be the key to that the children share with them a balanced diet.

Damián Montero

Video: This Will Encourage Healthy Habits for Kids

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