From the day you decide to start a family, your health is entwined with that of your child.  As children grow up it’s mostly the mum who sets the tone when it comes to key things such as nutrition, hygiene and exercise. Here are some of the ways you influence your child’s health:

Setting an example - Whatever choices you make, you can be sure your child is watching and taking careful note.  When you sink down into the armchair and sigh “I NEED a drink”, or sneak a cigarette by the back door, you are sending a message to your child, whether you like it or not.

What’s on the menu? – Providing a hearty breakfast, a balanced lunch and a colourful dinner is the framework on which your child’s future nutrition choices are based. Involve children in preparing healthy foods to give them the right tools once they step out on their own.

Clean and fresh - Simple hygiene habits such as washing hands after using the toilet, brushing teeth twice a day and not sharing items such as hairbrushes or towels are among the most important things you can teach your children to keep them healthy.

We like to move it, move it! - It’s Saturday morning, and where are your kids? Propped in front of the television sucking up hours of cartoons, or out in the world, doing something active? Supporting energetic activities such as sports or dancing will do a lot more for your child’s lifetime wellbeing than any amount of electronic gadgets.

Most important of all is that you take good care of your own physical and mental health, in order to cope with whatever your role as mum might throw at you.

Image via Thinkstock

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