How to Raise Fit Kids that Grow into Healthier, Happier Adults

family May 24, 2023
mom exercising with child

We all want our kids to grow into happier, healthier adults. The problem is, the current culture isn’t actually supporting that goal. Obstacles face us at every turn, and sometimes it’s hard to know how to start fighting back against a chronically unhealthy culture. Below we’ll talk about the problems we’re facing, some myths we need to debunk, and a few steps we can take to move us and our kids in the right direction.

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Our Children: Overfed And Still Malnourished? 🤔

Amazing as it is, many of our kids are malnourished, despite eating more than children from previous generations. How, you ask? It’s simple. Much of the food in stores today is packed with empty calories. This means that while they fill our stomachs, our bodies are still struggling to get the nutrients they need. This has led to a number of issues.


Chronic Diseases, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes

We’re seeing a rise in Chronic Diseases like never before. Heart Disease is claiming more and more lives at younger ages, and costing hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Obesity continues to be an issue at epidemic proportions, affecting over 40% of the adult population, and nearly 20% of children. And over the past 20 years, instances of Type 2 Diabetes increased significantly.


Health Is Depleting, And Something Needs To Change

Many of the leading causes of death today either weren’t on the lists one hundred years ago, or they appeared much less often. Why? Because many of the chronic diseases we deal with today are preventable through everyday lifestyle choices. This makes it pretty clear that some of the biggest causes of death and disease we face today are a result of poor decision-making. The resources and information we need to be healthy are out there. There’s nothing stopping us and our kids from being healthy except ignorance, a desire for comfort, and inaction. This leaves us with the question, “What will we do about it?”


Kid Myths Debunked

There are some myths out there on how to approach children’s diet and overall health, and the first thing we need to do is debunk a few of these myths.


Myth #1: Kids Need Their Own Kids’ Menu At Restaurants

No they don’t. They might need smaller portions, but they certainly don’t need more ultra processed, fake food. When everything on the kids’ menu is significantly more unhealthy than the adult menu, that’s an issue.


Myth #2: Kids Are Picky Eaters

Nope. If taught from a young age, kids will eat whatever you put in front of them. Let’s face it. We as parents are picky, and we give our kids the foods we like to eat. That means, if we’re unhealthy, they will be too.


Myth #3: Kids Are Capable Of Making All Of Their Own Decisions 

Kids often don’t know what they really want, and even when they do decide on something, it’s typically the exact opposite of what they really need. They’re only thinking of what will make them feel good in the moment, not what will ultimately benefit them. How many times have you heard, “But I’m not tired,” only to have your child pass out two minutes later.

As their parents, we know what’s best for them, and we have their best interests in mind. That being the case, we can help them learn to make good decisions based on long-term benefits instead of instant gratification.


First Steps To Healthier Children 👣

Below are a few ideas to aid you down the path toward a healthier child. All of these are important, and though we recommend taking them one at a time, the goal is to implement all of them eventually.


60 Minutes Minimum Of Movement In A Day

In our culture, we don’t move enough. With desks and couches everywhere we turn, sitting has become the new national posture. But movement is critical not only for your child’s overall health, but their growth and development as well. To help them move more, encourage them to have outdoor playtime, participate in family walks or exercise time, or take up a sport they can practice at home.

For more ideas to help get your child moving more, check out our blog on the topic. 📌


Eat Whole Food

There’s no shortage of sugary, processed, preservative packed foods at the typical grocery store. The challenge is teaching your child to find and appreciate food that will support their health. This starts with buying this kind of supportive food, and teaching your child the benefits to their health as they consume it.


Limit Screen Time

More and more studies are coming out that discourage screen time for children under three, and recommend limiting it to under an hour for children under five. For children older than that, limited screen time is still encouraged, but may need to be approached on a more case by case basis. As parents, it’s up to us to gauge how much screen time is too much for our kids, and to limit it when necessary.


Be Supportive And Lead By Example

In all of this, your support and example will be some of the biggest factors in helping your child learn to have a healthy lifestyle. If they see you eating healthy, making movement a priority, and being careful to take care of your health, they’ll be more likely to do the same. And if you praise them every time they make healthy choices for themselves, that will also encourage them to solidify those kinds of choices and actions. And through it all, constantly point out why you’ve chosen to live this way, and the benefits of taking care of your health. The more you teach them how caring for their health today will give them quality of life and greater long-term enjoyment, the more likely they’ll be to embrace this positive lifestyle.


How to start now!

Dive deeper with our Foundations Course! You’ll gain insight and learn practical tips that will help you live out these principles every day.

Check out our blog on Kids’ Exercise here. 📌

Pick one of the areas above, and focus on it for the next two weeks. Make it fun!


As parents, we all want the same thing

Like us, we know you want a healthy, happy child that will grow up and make a lasting contribution to the world. Unfortunately, today’s society isn’t helping your child get there. It’s up to you to teach your child to care for their health so they can enjoy a long, meaningful, quality life.

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