With no cure at the moment, the only weapons we have to fight the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing or confinement. Social distancing and isolation radically changes the way we live with our children and adolescents.
We have to accept and adapt to this situation with positivity. The best way to do so is by maintaining a healthy balance everyday. Here are some valuable tips for families living in confinement to help parents and children to lead the healthiest and most active lives possible.
1) Continue to stay active
When living in a confined space, adopting or maintaining physical activity is essential. The World Health Organization recommends that children and adolescents should be active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day.
Engaging in simple games such as playing hide and seek, treasure hunt, building a tent in the house, playing throw, dancing, skipping, hop-scotch, throw ball, football, cycling etc can be intense moments of activity that would allow you and your children to move around and feel more active and energized.It encourages bonding and the possibilities are endless!
2) Take active breaks
Plan interesting activities that will keep your little a busy bee. Activities such as writing, painting, drawing, modeling, sewing, or crafts can develop fine motor skills. The important part is that these fun activities are a good way for your little one to take breaks from hectic online classes and homework. Ideally, there should be several short periods of five to 15 minutes rather than in one long 60-minute period between these activities too to ensure maximum productivity. It is integral to that these activities are diversified and regular.
Make sure you choose your breaks carefully. With fun activities, some of these breaks can be useful and even more fun. Finally, a breath of fresh air is important which is why free play outside, in a backyard, garden, without contact with others, is another possibility.
3) Healthy, balanced eating
When placed in a confinement situation, it is easy for boredom and withdrawal to easily lead to complacency. Use this as an excellent opportunity to cook as a family and to learn how to eat healthily with our children. By offering children recipes adapted to their abilities and needs,they will look forward to everyday cooking. It also encourages them to stick to homely everyday. Plan a balanced menu well in advance and include the necessary groceries according to your budget.
Always keep in mind that eating should be associated with pleasure and not a chore. If you like to experiment with cooking, use this time to try out new recipes from old cookbooks or cookery shows.Take this as an opportunity to make your children aware of the importance of gardening, food waste, recycling, and composting.
Encourage diversity with meals, reasonable portions, gratitude for everyday meals, meals in good company, and the pleasure of enjoying our food. In this time of confinement, it is easy to binge on unhealthy eating habits but planning healthy meals everyday can help you stick to healthy eating habits.
4) Get a good night’s sleep
The current crisis has brought in a change in pace and changed everyday schedules. Parents and children need to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Not less, not more.
For the well-being of all in the family, it is best to stick to usual bedtime and wake-up times, with a preference for quiet activities and avoiding any screen time just before bedtime.
Follow these tips and put them to good use to cope with the social distancing restrictions.
A healthy balance will help keep you and your family energized. It is important to have structure and follow routines to stay positive in such uncertain times.