It’s never too early to start teaching your tots the basics of healthy living. Here are some expert tips from Singapore American School’s early learning centre teachers
The younger, the better they always say. And when it comes to cultivating healthy habits, the same applies. After all, it’s the time they begin to learn about themselves and the world they live in, say the folks at Singapore American School’s early learning centre. The teachers’ hot tip? Start early and be consistent throughout — this way, it becomes part of your family’s lifestyle instead of a passing phase. Here are some healthy habits to get the whole fam started:
1. Stay active
We at HoneyKids are big fans of the great outdoors, which is why we’re all for keeping kids active. Encourage stretching, running, playing with a ball and biking whenever possible. Through physical play, your child will benefit from better sleep and better mental health, which will improve their focus at school.
2. Cook together and eat healthy together
Kids love getting messy in the kitchen! Trust us, they’ll be all for getting involved in meal planning, grocery shopping, and ingredient prepping. Plus, it’s an easy way to score some extra QT with the kids. Got a picky eater? Introduce the idea of eating a rainbow by pointing out the selection of colourful options on their plate. Variety is everything!
3. Limit screen time
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no more than one hour per day on digital media for children between the ages of two and five. Wean them away from the screens with other healthy activities like board games, but remember, everyone’s gotta get off their screens – and that means you, too!
4. Wash up
Hand washing is definitely one of the most important habits to establish early on. Teach your child to wash their hands before and after they eat, after using the restroom, and after they come home from playing outdoors. Explain the importance of this habit and focus on the right techniques!
5. Drink lots of water
Remind your child to drink lots of water daily. Skip soda, sweetened drinks and always serve water when possible. If water’s too boring for your tot, add limes, lemons or cucumbers to their drink.
6. Practise mindfulness exercises
Mindfulness helps kids recognise their thoughts, emotions and actions, but also how to react to them in a positive way. Some simple exercises to try at home include yoga, stretching, going for a rainbow walk (try to spot all the colours of the rainbow!) and deep breathing.
7. Get enough sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children aged three to five years-old need about 11 to 13 hours of sleep every night. In some cases, preschoolers may still need their naps during the day. Start winding down with fewer activities the closer you get to bedtime. This will help keep the kiddos calm down in time to say beddy-byes. Establishing a consistent routine helps too!
8. Encourage reading
Set aside time every day for the whole family to sit down and read. You could also visit the local library or bookstore so the kids can pick out what they’d like to read. The more your child practises reading, the better readers they become!
Here’s to a healthier, happier fam! Want to learn more? Come along for an exciting glimpse into the happiest place on the little red dot! Find out more about unique, curious, and capable learners, participate in an insightful panel discussion with our principals and teachers, and learn more about the application process for our early learning centre (preschool, and pre-kindergarten). Click here for details.
This post is in partnership with Singapore American School.