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Can you kickstart a change in your preschooler?
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Hansa Bhargava, MD, FAAP posted:
My 5 year old son wanted ice-cream on the weekend. He had already had a cookie after lunch. So I talked to him about sugar and what too much of it does to his little body. I asked him if he wanted to be strong and have a healthy heart. Does sugar help with that? No, he said. Does riding a bike help your heart? Yes, he yelled with a smile.. ...So we decided to go for a bike ride instead. What a great way to spend mother's day!
Kids between 2 and 5 can learn about healthy habits far better than older kids, a new study from Indiana University shows, almost seven times better than older kids.
Has anyone had some good experiences with preschooler? How did you help her learn healthy habits?
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Chris Tiongson, MD responded:
Definitely start early. Younger kids still primarily identify with their parents. Tweens start to shift their identity more toward peers and media and as a result parental influence has some serious competition. Developmentally, toddlers and preschoolers are primed to learn by soaking up the environment and then trying out what they see That's how kids learn to talk and that is how kids can learn healthy habits.
 
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powerhousemommy replied to Chris Tiongson, MD's response:
Hansa,

I love how you took the opportunity to explain to your son why another sugary snack wasn't the best option for him. I know when I take the time to explain how the body works and what my son needs to do to take care of his body- i.e. grow strong, run faster etc.., I get a much better response to eating choices as well as rest time. He regularly tells me the 3 things he needs to be healthy- Exercise, Rest and Eat plenty of Fruits and Vegetables and we refer back to these instead of battling over extra sugary snacks or his reluctance to nap.
I think its extremely important to educate our preschoolers so that they grow up making healthy choices about food and exercise and its comes as naturally to them as washing their hands before they eat and covering their mouths when they sneeze.


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