Approaching modern life on our planet can feel like a juggling act. While there’s an abundance of goodness found in nature, there’s also a lot of harsh pollutants and chemicals, many of which are known to be bad for our health. When bringing up children, how do you navigate all of this, and what do you do if you want your children to be nourished by nature, and avoid many of the man made substances in the world?
Read on to discover our top tips to raise your children following a natural & healthy lifestyle…
Healthy habits are formed in the earliest stages of life, so start as you mean to go on. This isn’t to say that if your children are older you can’t make positive changes, however, if you have the opportunity to encourage your children to leave a natural lifestyle from early on, why not take this approach?
Studies show that our relationship with food starts very early on in life. This can be as early as from 6 months onwards, which is the age that most parents choose to start weaning. Baby led weaning is the best way to introduce solid foods into your child’s diet, as this allows babies to choose how much to eat, rather than being encouraged to eat as much as possible from an early age.
Consider a diet consisting of natural foods only, rich in whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, grains and healthy natural fats. Avoid processed foods and anything with added sugar, to set your child up well to have a healthy relationship with food from early on, which will greatly benefit them later in life, reducing their chance of obesity and diabetes, as well as eating disorders and general difficulties with food.
Curiosity and creativity doesn’t have to happen with plastic toys, cartoons or iPads, there’s a huge amount to discover in the world, and it’s all on our doorstep. Encourage children to be curious about the world and everything in it, by spending as much time exploring as possible. It’s true that fresh air, sunshine and exercise is good for all of us, including our children, so why not base your day-to-day activities around these things? As your children grow older, they will find value in nature, instead of in front of the TV, when you encourage them to enjoy being outside and exercising from a young age.
Get out for walks, play in the garden, take holidays by the sea, have lunch outside, go and look for birds, bugs and butterflies, race to the top of hills, look in rockpools, play hide and seek behind trees…there’s an endless amount of fun to be had outdoors.
MAKE YOUR CHOICES EXCITING
One sticking point that many parents come up against is that things in nature aren’t necessarily exciting to children, whereas products created to catch the attention of little one’s to drive sales are. Sweets, crisps, children’s cereals, plastic toys, cartoons and everything else that we think children love are all designed to be as exciting as possible to a child. Bright colours, music and energetic adverts all draw children in, so easing your child away from this can be tricky.
When you choose to give your child an apple instead of sweets, or take them to the beach instead of Disney World, you may find your child feels cheated when they see their peers doing the very things you choose not to do. Put a lot of focus on making your choices exciting. Lots of positivity, upbeat tones and a few gimmicks go a long way to helping your child build that excitement about the things in their lives that they should feel excited and happy about.
Remember it’s important to lead by example too. When raising a child to follow a natural and healthy lifestyle, you too should follow the same lifestyle and hold the same values.
The modern child can grow up to be happy and healthy while following a natural lifestyle. This approach offers huge benefits, both in childhood and adulthood, and is well worth considering, particularly when you feel passionate about following a neutral lifestyle too.