Absolutely Incredible Kid Day is held on the third Thursday in the month of March. This annual letter-writing campaign was started to promote recognition of kids by adults. The call to action is for adults to write letters of love, encouragement, and inspiration to the children in America.
How may writing letters to kids in your life influence your own weight-management journey? Well, let’s first take a look at how actions help to model healthy behaviors. Children look to adults as role models, especially if you have influence in that child’s life—as a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, teacher, mentor or friend. Kids are like sponges and are constantly soaking up our actions. It is an important responsibility that can certainly influence the future. Why not influence the future in the direction of health?
As you reflect on encouraging the incredible kids in your life, consider these key items:
- Be a healthy role model. Are you taking the time to be active? Are you modeling healthy eating patterns? One of the strongest methods we can rely on to encourage children’s healthy habits is through role modeling. Make sure you tell them that you are striving to set a great example, and then you can do it together. If you are consistent in your actions, the child will recognize that over time, and hopefully it will become habit for them as well.
- Promote healthy cooking. Share an interest in exploring recipes and enlist a child’s help in making a grocery list and shopping. This empowers them to take ownership at a young age around fueling their bodies with healthy, nutrient-dense foods. Encourage and involve them in the prep and cooking of meals. If they are involved from the beginning, they will be more proud of their accomplishment and want to share their healthy meal with family and friends. You may say something like, “I love it when we prepare and enjoy a healthy meal together. I cherish the time we spend together.”
- Be active together. Hike, play tag, kick a ball, dance to your favorite song, or swim. Be sure to make plans and set the agenda for activities so the exercise naturally sneaks into your day. Strive to reach new milestones or goals as you are inspiring the child in your life. Maybe you want to start biking or run a 5K. Mention how proud you are to inspire them to live a healthy life.
- Make the time. Make it a point to spend quality time together. Spending time together helps to provide purpose for the journey. Remember that living a healthy life is a journey, not a destination. Established healthy habits can keep you on track for the long run if you make the time now.
Reflecting on one’s own actions and how these actions influence the younger generation can not only lead to your own improved health but also inspire others toward new goals. Show children that we keep trying despite challenges and barriers. They will be inspired by how you react to and overcome these challenges. As you reflect and write your feelings of love, encouragement, and inspiration to the children in your life, think about how your healthy behaviors influence the people around you and inspire you to do better things.