4 Ways to Help Your Kids Develop a Healthy Lifestyle

4 Ways to Help Your Kids Develop a Healthy Lifestyle

I remember the year healthy living entered my awareness.  My junior year of high school, I found a lost pair of jeans and could not figure out how they shrunk while missing. I also noticed mysterious pink lines on my thighs.

I experienced an adolescent triple threat: I stopped growing, I no longer had to take gym class at school, and with my new independent mobility in the form of a driver’s license, my eating habits now included frequent stops for candy and fast food. My clothes were tighter and those gross marks were–you guessed it–evidence of my stretching skin. Up until that point, I didn’t think much about eating two Oatmeal Cream Pies back-to-back or visiting Taco Bell at 9 pm to scarf down a chili-cheese burrito. Something had to change or I was headed for the “freshman fifteen” before I graduated from high school.

I tried a few strategies: only low-fat or fat-free food (including gobs of candy corn because “it’s fat-free!”), limiting my school lunch to a roll, and a steady diet of Diet Dew and pretzels. I made good choices at seventeen.

I eventually found my healthy happy place. I started walking every day with a friend. I tried to limit junk food and make wise choices when I ate out with friends. I stopped the weight gain. My freshman year of college, I lost the fifteen pounds many students gain. I exercised regularly, walked everywhere, and very rarely ate out (thanks, in part, to my very tight budget).

I don’t want my kids to flounder around when the triple threat hits them in the tushie–literally. Parents can teach kids the habits for a lifetime of healthy living. We will get some eye rolls and protests, but hopefully, our kids will avoid some of my misinformed mistakes.

Continue reading 4 Ways to Help Your Kids Develop a Healthy Lifestyle at FollowHisFootprints.org.

4 Ways to Help Your Kids Develop a Healthy Lifestyle -- healthy kids


  1. We try to be very intentional about this. I don’t want her to just hear the “no” word, so we discuss why it’s best to just have one snack and even then, not every day. We discuss being active, limiting food that are treats, etc. I want her to be knowledgeable, not reactionary. Such good points here!

  2. This is so true! My children are both teenagers and I get so convicted about what they eat. You’re right that it’s more important to teach them good habits, even if they whine.

  3. Good advice! Teen girls often come up with nutty diets (I ate only Snickers for awhile when I was 16)! I lost a few pounds this way, but my nutrition had to have been at an all time low. I was just lucky to have youthful resilience on my side. Your kids are blessed to have you thinking this through so they can anticipate the planning they’ll need before even going to college.

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