Healthy bodies and minds begin with a holistic approach to education that should start in the earliest stages of adolescence. Here are some of our best practices for teaching health to your child and why it’s important for their development. 

Childhood Health

A child’s health and well-being are influenced by several factors, including family characteristics and community dynamics. These include systems, policies, and environmental conditions in which children are born and grow up—which necessarily consists of a commitment to wellness.

Important Categories of Health

Wellness includes more than running on the treadmill and eating right. Wellness is an approach to health that invests in a comprehensive view of the body, mind, and spirit. These things can affect your child’s health. 

  • Childhood obesity
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Chronic disease 
  • Oral health
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • Access to screening tests for development, hearing, and vision
  • Childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences

Healthy Childhood

Children depend upon their caregivers to teach them a healthier way to live—You can help your child by doing the following:

  • Be a positive role model for healthful eating 
  • Provide a calm, reassuring atmosphere during meal times
  • Set appropriate limits on screen entertainment
  • Involve the whole family in fun physical activities
  • Help children develop and maintain a positive body image

Specific Ways to Encourage A Healthy Childhood

Here are a few more ways to help your children develop as adolescents into mature adulthood. 

Be Active Together

Our best advice? Play with your children every day. Check out your local YMCA of Kanawha Valley for kid-friendly activities, sports, and community. You can also plan family activities like biking, after-dinner walks, and time at the park. 

Make Mealtimes Special

As we enter into a more modern world, eating together for meals has lost some of its luster. However, eating more meals together can create a difference in your family’s health, happiness, and finances. 

Encourage Mindful Eating 

In addition to eating together, parents and guardians should encourage mindful eating. Consider eliminating screen times and help your children focus on their food. Ask them what it feels like to be hungry, full, and overfull. 

Eat Breakfast

It’s an old adage, but remains true. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. A morning full of nutrient-dense and rich foods like fruit, vegetables, and protein is a great way to encourage health in your young children. 

Ready for a Healthy Summer? Come Down to the YMCA of Kanawha Valley!

Your children are in a fluid state in their life—they’re growing up fast and developing every day. Help them by investing in health, wellness, and developmental mindfulness early on. 

Founded in 1906, The YMCA of Kanawha Valley exists to provide a place for residents to build healthy spirits, minds, and bodies. For more information or to inquire into our various services and programs, please contact [email protected] or call 304.340.3527.