With May being Healthy Vision Month, its the perfect time to work with your kids to break unhealthy habits that could affect their eyes now and in the future. Plus, curbing bad habits early makes it easier for kids to stay healthy into adolescence and adulthood.
Unhealthy Habits and Kids
Obesity is a serious problem in the U.S., affecting more than one-third of children. It increases the risk of an array of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes (and diabetic retinopathy), bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and even social and psychological problems. The best way to avoid obesity is to change lifestyle habits, staying fit and eating well, says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Develop healthy eating habits
Here are a few tips to curb the most common bad eating habits, suggested by Real Simple:
- Limit snacking. If your kids are hungry between meals, provide them with healthy snacks, such as half a small sandwich, wholegrain crackers, nuts, carrot sticks with hummus, or yogurt.
- Find a mood booster. If your kids are in a bad mood, encourage them to call a friend, go for a walk, or play a game rather than eating.
- Slow down. Wolfing down food can lead to indigestion. Remind kids to pause often by engaging them in conversation and even prepare meals that are more difficult to eat quickly.
Stay away from cigarettes
One in 16 middle school students and one in five high school students smoke, with 3,900 kids taking up the habit every day. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking over the long term, but kids often struggle to think this far into the future, explains KidsHealth. To prevent your kids from taking up smoking, discuss short-term problems, such as:
- Stinking breath and clothes
- Yellow teeth
- Poor sports performance
- Huge expense — a pack costs around $6; one pack a week adds up to $312 per year
One last bad habit break is heading outdoors without UV protection for eyes — make sure your kids always wear sunglasses, whatever the weather. Check out Real Kids’ collection to find pair your child.