We have the power to determine how healthy we are by the choices we make with our bodies. Our bodies are equipped with an incredible ability to go towards health when they’re supplied with the right building materials. For optimal health, children should eat right, move more, and enjoy life to the fullest (which happens to be the same advice for us adults).
The idea behind these five daily strategies are to build healthier kids, because as we know healthier kids are happier kids, and happier kids are more successful.
1. Proper Fuel. Think about the typical morning for most families, full of stress and rushing around – breakfast is usually a fleeting thought. It’s typically something convenient and quick, which is usually nutrient deficient (and toxic). Instead, add a green smoothie to your children’s daily diet; this can be any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit.
This is designed to deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from the chard, kale and spinach. Unfortunately, some smoothies end up being a sugar bomb of fruit, fruit, and more fruit. To avoid this, just remember the 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein.
2. I Like to Move It. Most schools still employ the “sit still and listen” method of learning, which is unfortunate because the science has made it clear that this is not the ideal model. Our brains are hardwired so that movement and learning are interconnected.
Once your body moves, the brain is better prepared to learn. It triggers the release of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), this natural substance enhances cognition by boosting the neurons’ ability to communicate with one another. Ideally, we should get movement started first thing in the morning. Pillow fights, dancing to music, jumping on the bed, whatever your kids enjoy – anything to get your kids moving before they head out to school.
3. Look to the Spine. Backpacks, slips and falls, texting, computers – they all have an effect on your child’s spine. In the US alone, over 200,000 children are taken to hospital each year to have playground injuries assessed. Other likely times that our children will become misaligned include learning to walk, run, or ride a bike, sporting activities or hobbies, and minor or major car accidents.
The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. By removing the interference to the nerves, many of these conditions can improve and/or resolve naturally – without drugs or surgery. Regular chiropractic check ups are a key component in growing healthy kids.
4. Leave the House Laughing. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your child’s mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. When your children leave the house happy, they have a far better chance of having a great day. After all, laughter strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain, and protects them from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, the parent gets the same health benefits from laughing as the child.
5. The 2 Minute Rule. We can demonstrate the value of conversation to our children. The first and last minute of every conversation you have with your child you should aim to do the following: Be present, focus only on them, be quiet, and truly listen to them. Yes, this can be hard at times – but it’s only 2 minutes. You can do it.
We need to remember – in between texts and e-mails and Facebook posts – to listen to one another, even to the boring bits, because it is often in unedited moments that we reveal ourselves to one another. Plus, they know when you are listening (and it matters).