In Part 1 of the article, we covered all the positives we need to raise our children happy in terms of mental growth and nourishment, but, we all know that we need to keep our bodies happy in order to keep ourselves happy.
So, below follows some simple tips and advice on raising happy kids
Eat, move, sleep and be happy!
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Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.”
He also said, “Walking is man’s best medicine,” and it turns out he was pretty spot on!
We all know just how important diet is if we want to be healthy and we’ve all experienced the effects (both positive and negative) that certain foods can have on our emotional wellbeing.
Also, routine and meal times are extremely important for children to ensure a stable mood and help them to stay focused and alert throughout the day, especially if they’re at school.
The most important meal of the day
Give them the best start to the day with a power breakfast that provides a good balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates, like eggs, spinach and wholegrain toast, a green smoothie and homemade banana pancakes or porridge topped with plenty of berries, banana, nuts and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Forget sugary packaged cereal with milk, that will simply spike insulin levels and have them crashing way before lunchtime!
Kids, just like adults, also need their daily dose of physical activity.
Encourage children to get outside and play and make family walks and activities out in nature a priority.
Studies have proven that exercising outdoors has a greater impact on mental well-being by decreasing anger, stress and tension while providing greater feelings of revitalization and increased energy levels.
Human beings are made to move although we tend to find it easier to be lazy and mope about, especially in our teenage years!
Older kids might find group activities and sports to be more engaging and motivating.
Plenty of sleep
And last but by no means least, sleep. It is still not fully understood why we sleep at all but you don’t need to be a scientist to realize the benefits!
As adults, to maintain good health we should aim for 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night, possibly more after a physically demanding day in order to fully recover and allow the body to heal and recuperate.
Children and teens may need up to 11 hours to support healthy growth and development but sadly many kids miss out on this invaluable healing time.
Avoiding screen time before bed will help children to wind down naturally so opt for reading and relaxing activities about an hour before instead. Well-rested children are far more likely to feel happier and better in themselves!
The importance of children’s mental health has been highlighted in the media lately with the Duchess of Cambridge showing her support by urging schools to prioritise the emotional wellbeing of pupils.
Hopefully we will begin to see schools teaching the vital life skills children need to cope, thrive and be happy through all of life’s challenges.
Connect with Expert Melissa Royle-Guimaraes