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World WellBeing Week | Healthy Bodies

World WellBeing Week is a great time to think about all the ways in which we can promote wellness in our own families, from the emotional to the physical and everything in between. Each day this week, the team at Banjo HQ are focussing on a wellbeing theme which might be helpful for you and your little ones. 

Today we’re thinking about healthy lifestyles and how taking care of our bodies can help our wellbeing. Eating as healthy as possible, drinking enough water and getting a full night’s sleep can have a huge positive impact on both the kids’ and our physical and mental wellbeing. We’ll be focusing on each area separately and give you some tips on how to apply these to everyday life! 

Eating a balanced diet

We all love carby, fatty foods and sweets, right? Guilty as charged! Choosing to eat what we crave on a daily basis probably means we don’t have as balanced a diet as we should which could extend to our children. While we’re all for the occasional burger and chocolate cake for dinner, making sure you have a balanced diet can have a direct improvement on both your and your children’s physical and mental health, according to a recent study.

Ensuring we eat a balanced diet filled with vitamins, natural fats and protein can improve our sense of wellbeing. Diets high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed food have been proven to be linked to poorer mental health in children and adolescents.

So, how can we ensure our kids have a balanced diet rich in nutrients and vitamins? We personally love this easy resource from Harvard University that details what should be part of our everyday diet called the Kids Healthy Eating Plate. Following this guide created by Harvard School of Public Health nutritionists should quickly put you on the road to having a balanced diet for the whole family! 

Drinking enough water

Drinking the necessary amount of water on a daily basis is hard even for us as adults so the fact that 60% of children do not meet the adequate intake of water according to the European Food Safety Authority should not come as too much of a surprise.

Research shows that even low levels of dehydration can affect a child’s mood, energy level, and ability to concentrate. A 2011 review of studies on 7 to 9-year-olds in a school setting found that poor hydration was correlated with a variety of physical and mental complaints, including: anxiety, fatigue, low moods, poor short-term memory and difficulty concentrating. 

So, it’s clear that proper hydration is important for children, but how do we make sure our little ones drink enough water daily? Here’s some teams from the Banjo HQ team:

  1. Make water fun by various methods: use fun reusable bottles, reusable straws, fruits and fresh herbs.
  2. Be a positive role model. Not only will it be good for your own health but it will encourage your child to follow your example.
  3. Try to associate drinking water with moments throughout your day such as wake up, breakfast, lunch, snack time so it becomes a routine.
  4. Encourage your child to drink more water instead of juices, especially when they feel thirsty.

Getting enough sleep

Who in this world doesn’t love sleep?! It’s the best! As much as we love it, busy schedules, daily stress and other factors keep us from getting as much sleep as we should. And while, as adults, we should strive to make sure we get as much sleep as possible, getting the right amount of sleep on a regular basis for children is even more important. Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of young minds. In addition to having a direct effect on happiness, research shows that sleep impacts alertness and attention, cognitive performance, mood, resiliency, vocabulary acquisition, and learning and memory

That’s a pretty hefty list of sleep benefits for kids, isn’t it? Here’s a list of tips to help you make sure your children get enough sleep and improve their wellbeing: 

  1. Always follow a consistent schedule.
  2. Daily activities can also affect sleep so make sure to have a balanced scheduled between periods of rest, play and learning.
  3. Keep the bedroom, and especially the bed as a no-screen zone, even during the day.
  4. Use dark curtains to block out light with a nightlight if they’re afraid of the dark.
  5. Keep the bedroom quiet when sleep time comes. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, using a white noise machine is a good idea!
  6. Avoid large meals and especially sugary treats at dinner time.
  7. Keep to a healthy diet using our top tips above!

Hopefully these tips and  insights will help you and your little ones have a healthier lifestyle this World WellBeing Week and remember, if you’re struggling with your mental health, please contact The Samaritans on 116 123. Or, you can contact YoungMinds if you’re a young person by texting YM to 85258. Do not suffer alone. 

Love, Banjo HQ x

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