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One of your jobs as a parent is to help your kids learn to make healthy choices. Sometimes, it can feel like an uphill battle to get your kid to eat broccoli or go outside instead of playing video games. It becomes even more difficult to get them to follow your advice as they grow into their teens. Still, there are many ways you can focus your kid on healthy choices and guide them toward positive behaviors that will stick with them well into the future.

Educate Them About Health

Education is key in encouraging your kids to make the right choices. Sure, they may get some health education in school, but parental involvement will make it more effective. It’s your job to co-educate your children and reinforce the important things they learn in school. This includes talking to them about reproductive health, substance abuse, and how to make general healthy lifestyle choices. Weight can be a sensitive subject among family members, so give this article a read if you need some advice on how to approach the subject with your kids.

Be a Good Role Model

The Seattle Children’s Hospital highly recommends not smoking around your child because this can cause them to develop asthma, allergies, and bronchitis. Furthermore, your child is more likely to smoke if you do. In fact, kids are likely to follow your lead, so it’s important that they see you making healthy choices instead of engaging in unhealthy behavior. Some of these healthy choices even include wearing safety gear like bike helmets, seat belts, and life jackets.

You can also be an excellent role model for your kids by staying up to date on doctor and dental checkups. While some children might be a little nervous about going to see a doctor or a dentist, you can help alleviate some of those fears by keeping a positive attitude about these experiences. So, if you don’t have a regular physician or dentist, now’s a great time to use an online locator to find a dentist and schedule that appointment — for you and your children!

Introduce Them to Healthy Eating from a Young Age

Make sure you always have an assortment of healthy snacks available for your kid to eat. Great snack ideas include pretzels, plain popcorn, and fresh fruit instead of chips and sugary sweets. Many people don’t realize that soda is full of caffeine, which can cause anxiety and make it hard for kids to concentrate. Keep pop out of the house and instead have juice boxes or sparkling water available. You can even make smoothies and fresh fruit drinks at home with your kids.

It's also a good idea to plan meals with your child and get them involved in meal preparation. PBS Parents suggests creating build-your-own meals so kids have the freedom to top their meals with the healthy choices they like. If they’re old enough, you can also teach them how to cook. When they’re beginners, you can start them on a toaster oven, which is much safer than a kitchen stove, though you’ll still need to supervise.

While preparing meals, pay attention to food portions. You should teach your child not to overeat, even on a healthy diet. In order to determine how much your family should be eating, weigh the food with a kitchen scale. 

Encourage Regular Exercise

Make sure your kids get active when they’re young and they’ll likely keep exercising as they get older. An active kid will get better quality sleep, enjoy increased feelings of well-being, and reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to choose the right activity for your kid’s age. KidsHealth does a great job explaining the best activities for different age groups and fitness personalities. For example, it's more difficult for teens to find time to be active, so parents can make it more convenient by providing transportation or sports gear.

Don’t forget to allow your children an opportunity to rest! While getting exercise is great for your body, going overboard can lead to a host of different problems, both adults and children alike.

Be Preventative About Substance Abuse

Parents can also play an active role in reducing the alcohol and drug temptations their kids may face. Your child is at the greatest risk of substance abuse when they’re going through sensitive transition times. Prevent your kid from falling into a cycle of substance abuse by encouraging prevention from an early age.

It’s important not to consume substances irresponsibly in front of them. Tell your kid why alcohol can be harmful to their developing brains and how it affects coordination and behavior. Make sure you store your prescription drugs somewhere safe and out of your kid’s reach, such as in a locked box or cabinet. Having regular honest conversations can also discourage your kid from experimenting. Address any concerns your child has without judgment. Finally, don’t forget to provide positive encouragement for your kid’s achievements and reward positive behaviors.

Even though it’s easier to start encouraging a healthy lifestyle at an early age, it’s never too late to guide your kid toward healthy behaviors. It’s important that your kid feels like his or her opinions and freedoms are respected, or you’ll be met with resistance. The best advice is to make healthy choices together!

Article submitted by:

Amanda Henderson

Gateway Christian School

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Additional Ways to Support Gateway Christian School

Our most current fundraising projects are now available at New Unto Others Thrift Store on 19th Street in Middlesboro, KY 40965.

You may buy the following:  (all proceeds go to Gateway Christian School)
*Specialized Jewelry
*Church Cookbooks
*Delicious Chocolates
Buy one or buy all; the treat is wonderful and the contribution is for a wonderful cause. 

Your may also link your grocery perk cards to Gateway Christian School at the following  grocery stores...

Food City (must renew annually in October) and Krogers

Five Ways You Can Help Your Kids

Build Healthy Habits

A few new ways to help Gateway School get funding; If you would like to help Gateway get additional

funding here are some easy ways to do it.
Please note that Amazon has a login called... smile.amazon.com
Log in to the Amazon site, select your charitable organization, then
each time you make a purchase .05% of that purchase will go towards the charity you chose.
Select Gateway Christian School, Middlesboro, KY

(**Please be sure to select the Middlesboro, KY link )
You must log on through their smile.amazon.com page.

Amazon Direct Link …….
Direct link to support Gateway Christian School
on Amazon Smile...

In addition, you may also link your shopping cards at Krogers.com and Food City to their School Philanthropy programs. The school gets a percentage of your grocery shopping linked to your shopping cards as well? All of these programs are free, easy, and at no cost to you and a good way to help the school.
Please note: Food City requires that we have to sign up once a year to renew our giving. That is usually in October of each year. Quarterly checks are sent to the school from our purchases
Note: Amazon keeps a running total at the top of your account to show how much your shopping has

contributed to the school account.