Well, we made it. We’ve finally closed the book on 2016. Most of us have probably indulged in a week or two of festive cheer, sharing a few bubbles and one too many holiday treats. This side of New Year’s Day, however, we might be feeling the after-effects and turning to some familiar resolutions: do ‘get fit’ and ‘eat healthier’ ring a bell? But how many of us have thought about that for our children?
Go ahead, call us crazy – we know kids generally don’t need much encouragement to get active. They’re generally bursting with an energy most of us have long forgotten. But we all know their attention, just like ours, is increasingly focused on a screen rather than an activity that gets their little legs moving. And, sometimes the lure of fast food is just too great for hungry little eyes and battle-weary parents.
So, how can we help motivate our kids to make healthy, active choices this new year? We’ve got a few ideas that can help get the small folks kicking off 2017 the healthy way!
Making the most of the outdoors
Singapore is crawling with outdoor experiences! Saddle up for a riding lesson, go cycling around Coney Island, or register for a holiday sports program that introduces kids to basketball, football, golf, snorkelling and loads more. Singapore also has seasonal sports on offer year-round, such as tennis, netball, and cricket, as well as less common activities like American football, Aussie Rules, and ice hockey.
For family outings, why not see Singapore by bike at one of the many rental outlets, try scaling the walls at a rock climbing gym, or soak up some sun while keeping yourself afloat on a paddle board? There are plenty of beautiful hiking trails to explore too; take the easy-going Changi East Boardwalk, or try climbing the country’s highest peak at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Encouraging healthy eating
The best time to instil healthy eating habits in your kids is during meal times, so why not include them in the preparation process? Children will love helping you cook – they get their hands dirty, they get to hang out with you, and one day they’ll realise what a gift you gave them! Even just one family cooking night can help your kids appreciate where their meals come from.
How to get started? Grab a cookbook and start planning your family cooking night before you shop for groceries. Find recipes that are about right for your little people and prepare anything they might need in advance. Take it a step further and keep a record of their culinary achievements through a scrapbook or an online blog, and share it with family and friends to spread the healthy eating buzz around (#humblebrag).
Get devices to do the work for you
‘Heads down, phones up’ is a common sight anywhere in the world, and there’s no way kids will allow themselves to be left behind. But how can we change the way they see technology to make them more active?
Instead of endless runner games or matching candy apps, why not get your kids chasing virtual goals around the neighbourhood? Geocaching has been in Singapore for many years now and involves solving puzzles and following GPS coordinates to find trinkets, treasures and trackers. Some caches provide extra educational value by tying the search to a historical event or describing a geographic feature.
One step further is to get your children on board the wearable tech craze. While adult fitness trackers let us monitor our heart rates and measure steps taken and calories burned, wearable devices designed for children give virtual points for movement or completing chores (killing two birds with one stone!).
Check their health care coverage
While guiding your children to be active and make good food choices is a large part of keeping them healthy, sometimes you can’t help them getting injured or catching the odd bug. The new year is always a good time to check your insurance policy’s renewal date, and to review whether the coverage you have is right for your family.
If you have questions about how to review your current health plan, need advice on what coverage works for you, or simply want to know if there’s a better deal out there for your family, the expert advisors at Pacific Prime Singapore have the experience to get you sorted. Serving more than 120,000 clients over 15 years, they’re one of Asia’s leading insurance brokers. Give them a shout to see if they can help get you and your family off to the right start in 2017!
This post is sponsored by Pacific Prime.