Healthy Habits Early

6 Tips for Instilling Healthy Habits Early 

The kids are watching. Whether it’s exercise or diet, our actions, behaviors, and habits—and establishing structure and consistency—stay with a child into adulthood. Here are six tips to instill healthy habits for the long haul:

  1. Be active, stay active. Inadequate physical activity is one of the major contributors to obesity, which could put an inactive child on a path toward chronic illness. It’s why the youngest members in our community need us adults to demonstrate how exercise is a fun part of life. Go for it: Ride bikes, hike in the woods, run around in the park, play on a team, or go for a swim at the pool.
  2. For the love of veggies. A clever way to get your child to enjoy fruits and vegetables is to give them the power of choice. Involve the kids with grocery shopping and let them pick from the colorful rows in the produce section. Afterward, get their take on which of their haul should go into the next meal, and then enlist their help as sous chefs. 
  3. See the doctor. Regular checkups with your doctor are a life-long habit that can have a dramatic effect on preventing and managing illness down the road. As a parent, lead by example; explain why a doctor’s expertise is so important. With a child’s appointment, provide comfort and reassurance, and don’t focus on anything that may cause anxiety, like getting a shot.
  4. Enjoy routine dental hygiene. Make brushing and flossing “necessary fun” by joining your child every night and reminding them about why it’s so important. Offer kid-friendly flavors of toothpaste, purchase a superhero- or princess-themed toothbrush, and try flossing picks over traditional floss if you think they might help the routine go smoother.
  5. Get immunized. Vaccines for the flu, mumps, measles, and whooping cough are safe and effective—and should be encouraged. Not only do vaccines help spare the child from getting the virus (and diminish its spread), you’re also preventing the risk of post-virus complications that can pose serious harm. 
  6. Count pennies. It’s never too early to teach your children the power of earning, saving, and budgeting. Provide an allowance for chores and suggest odd jobs around the house or in the neighborhood to earn extra money. Next time your child has a certain big-ticket item in mind, offer to cover some or most of the cost—allow your child to save enough to contribute in a significant way. Just how “significant” allows for some thoughtful negotiation, but allowing your child to experience the rewards of work, discipline, and patience pays big dividends.  


Free Online Tools and Resources

As a PacificSource member, you can access CaféWell, an online health engagement portal. To get started, sign into InTouch. Then, go to Benefits, and select Wellness—CaféWell.

Visit CaféWell to:

  • Complete the health assessment to identify your potential health risks.
  • Get your health and wellness questions answered by an expert health coach.
  • Connect with coworkers, family, friends, and others with similar health goals.
  • Access helpful tips and articles on health and wellness. 


InTouch for Members

Learn More About CaféWell

CaféWell is a secure health engagement portal that provides health and wellness resources, support, and guidance to our members and communities. Check out our CaféWell member flier (pdf) to learn more.

Last updated 12/4/2018