Tips to keep your children mentally well
Today marks the beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme of this week is Healthy; Inside and Out. To be healthy, we must be physically and mentally healthy. Children rely on parents, guardians and those around them to ensure they get the best start in life, so we want to share some tips on what you can do to ensure your children are getting the best out of their physical and mental health. These are our top three tips for you to try.
- 1) Exercise and being active
- 2) Eating well
- 3) Connecting with each other
Exercise and being active
Getting regular exercise is very important for young children and has lots of health benefits. Not only does it help improve fitness levels, but it also increases concentration, encourages healthy development, improves self-esteem and encourages a better night’s sleep. There are lots of ways you can keep exercise fun for children and ensure they enjoy doing it. Going for a walk in the local park or going to feed the ducks is nice and relaxing for both you and the child. Perhaps you could go swimming and have fun in the swimming pool with various exercise and swimming techniques. With older children you could go for a bike ride, take the dog for a walk or sign up to a weekly park run or park walk.
Try to aim for your child to eat 5 portions of fruit a veg every day. If your child eats a lot of sugar in foods such as chocolate, cakes and buns, aim to cut down on these sugars by introducing fruit based snacks instead. Increase fluid intake by drinking water and cutting out sugary based drinks such as cola and lemonades. Make food fun – let your child help you prepare and make dinner (safely) and encourage them to set the table and pour their own water into a cup.
Connecting with each other
PUT DOWN THE PHONE! Your children will value one-to-one time with you. Take time with your children with no distractions. Sitting down at the dinner table as a family and talking to each other is an example of how you can do this. Trying to reduce the amount of screen time your children has is also important as research shows that too much time spent on devices such as iPads, tablets and phones has a negative effect on sleep. Get an old fashioned board game out and have fun as a family.