A lot of us have been able to slow down our busy Pacific Northwest lifestyles this past year due to the pandemic. It’s been a shift in our family, and it’s one I am actually quite thankful for. In this slower paced lifestyle, we’ve had time to eat at the dinner table each night, more time outside together and time to learn/teach homework. It has been a great year to start healthy habits. Intentional, deliberate, healthy living has the potential to change our children’s adult lives. Let’s take advantage of this time at home with the kids to continue to live healthfully and create more positive changes in our homes.
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matt.19:14).
Here are five ways my husband and I are keeping our children healthy.
Our family is eating well-balanced meals each night together at our dinner table. We are providing our kids with plenty of fruits and vegetables and even trying new ones. We are focusing on water too. Healthy bodies affect their minds, their sleep and their activity level.
Did you know that children should get at least one hour of exercise a day? With all this time at home in the pandemic, it’s been nice to find new places to walk the family dog. Easy hiking trails are all around the Northwest. Get outside in fresh air and sunshine with the kids! Regular exercise helps us all — our fitness levels, concentration, heart health and mental health all benefit from regular exercise (yours and your kids').
"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul" (3 John 1:2).
Kids need their sleep and do well on a set routine. Let your kids get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night. The whole day is just better when we all get enough sleep, isn’t it? Sleep is good for our kids' physical growth and mental health.
Encourage healthy habits like good oral care, sunscreen and hand washing. These are all great habits for kids to have and develop at a young age. Hand washing in the pandemic is an important habit. Healthy habits also include family worship — this will help your kids spiritual growth.
We have good talks with our kids daily. We ask them how they’re doing. They get the chance to check in with us. We want them to know we are a safe place for them to talk and get advice, hugs, love and support. This year has been stressful, especially on our kids, and we want to provide grace and a safe place for our kids to truly share how they’re feeling. We pray together multiple times per day. My prayer is that, when my kids grow up they’ll know, without a doubt they are loved, not only by their parents but by an awesome grace-filled Father in heaven.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Eph. 4:32).