How will healthy eating and physical activity help my child?
For a mother, it is of high importance that she does everything she can to keep her children healthy and full of life. But life in a big city can be challenging, and keeping your kids healthy and free from different kinds of diseases and injuries can be a daunting task. But all it takes, for a mom raising children in a big city to make sure her children grow up incredibly healthy and full of energy is a few specific guidelines and a little more awareness.
Here now is a New York mother’s guide to healthy children:
Get Your Kids to Bed on Time
No matter where you live, it’s often challenging getting your kids to bed at a reasonable hour so they get at least 9 hours (10 is better) of sleep each night. Kids just seem to want to stay up forever (even when they’re exhausted) so they don’t miss anything exciting happening in the world (or at least in their home).
It can be even more difficult when you and your kids live in New York, the city that literally never sleeps. There is noise and commotion going on in your apartment building, out on the sidewalk, and all over the neighborhood. Many residential apartment buildings live right next door to noisy supermarkets, restaurants, and nightclubs.
In order to entice your kids to ignore the exciting city outside their door and get ready for bed, make bedtime a special routine. Perhaps while they brush their teeth you can sing them their favorite song or do that funny dance you do. And make reading to them a nightly habit. Just stay away from any scary stories, or you’ll both pay for it later when they wake you at 2AM from a nightmare.
If you should live in a particularly noisy neighborhood, consider using a sound machine that emits white noise. This will block out background noise and help your child rest soundly.
Teach Your Child about Nutrition Early
You can’t watch your kids every second of every day. You may send them off to school with a healthy lunch, but you’ll never know if they somehow traded that lunch in for absolute garbage. It’s even trickier getting your kids to eat healthy in New York, because the streets and sidewalks are teeming with unhealthy food choices.
When New York kids walk home from school, they pass multiple pizza joints, ice cream shops, and vendors right on the street selling hotdogs and other high calorie snacks. It’s impossible to keep your kids away from these temptations, so your best bet is to teach them about nutrition as early as possible. Make eating healthy a fun family project.
Take your kids to one of the many farmer’s markets in the city and buy fresh, organic produce, then go home and create healthy dishes together. In the winter, make a family outing to a Whole Foods Market to buy your produce.
The earlier you can instill healthy eating habits in your kids, the less you will have to worry about them eating junk food while away from home.
Make Sure They Get Annual Checkups and Their Immunizations
It’s important that children get checkups every year and the required immunizations. But it can sometimes be difficult with busy schedules to get a convenient appointment time with your child’s pediatrician. Luckily, the city offers the convenience of urgent care centers located throughout the boroughs.
UrgentWay has locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Long Island. They’re open 7 days a week and you can just walk right in, no appointment is necessary.
Teach Your Kids about Hand Gel
We all know that germs are abundant in public places. Well, all of New York is a public place, and city kids will come in contact with many more germs than kids that live in the suburbs or country.
City kids ride public buses and the subway, and touch doorknobs and hand rails that tens of thousands of other people have touched in any given day. That’s a lot of potential to pick up a virus.
Put a small bottle of hand gel or wipes in your kids bags so they can use it throughout their day.
Make Sure They Get Plenty of Exercise
Luckily the city offers all kinds of opportunities for kids to be active. There is karate, team sports, gymnastics and swimming available at many gyms. The city is home to numerous parks which offer great opportunities for running around and exploring. And, of course, being a walking city, you and your kids have the opportunity to go for long walks, exploring everything the city offers you. Is it challenging raising healthy kids in the city? It can be. But the rewards are so worth it.