3 Crafty Ways to Raise Healthy Kids Without Nagging

We all want to raise health-conscious kids, but often end up feeling like a nag. Here are 3 tricks you can use take the nagging out of raising healthy kids.

We want to raise healthy kids. But let’s be real, getting to the finish line can turn even the most negotiation-savvy parent into a total nag. 

Please finish your broccoli…

Go outside and get some fresh air…

Screen time is up! 

Did you brush your teeth?  

No more cookies.

Seriously!? I said BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

Omg, how many pieces of candy is that?

It can get to where you can’t even stand the sound of your own voice. Where did that cool, fun parent go…you know, the one you always figured you’d be. 

Gone. Dead.

Accept it. 

Raising kids to be healthy, honest, socially responsible humans is hard. It’s important work we’re doing here. And like any other type of important work, it’s going to get a little ugly along the way. 

Being a badass parent means you’re probably not going to be cool all the time.

That said, you can avoid a lot of nagging with a few strategies designed to subtly brainwash your kids into having healthier habits, without them even realizing it. 

Check out these clever ways to minimize nagging and still raise a health-conscious kid.

1. Discover Documentaries 

Stuffy old documentaries are the past. Today’s documentaries are relevant, mainstream, and carry powerful messages you can share with your entire family. And they won’t even feel like they’re being preached to.

Entertainment doubles as a big long speech about something healthy you want your kids to know about. 

And if you’re thinking, “There’s no way my kid will sit still and watch a documentary…” Think again.

Documentaries today are cool. 

And they are plentiful, affordable, and on-demand if you’ve got Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Let the kids pick. Start with fun nature documentaries and work your way up to Forks Over Knives. Discover what inspires them, and you’ll have an eager audience soaking up the info.

2. Forget Perfection

We’ve been told our kids watch our every move, and we should be leading by example. 

Some of us take that to mean we’re supposed to show our kids how to be perfectly mannered, healthy, and put together all the time. 

That’s a lot of pressure! 

The truth is we’re never going to get it right 100% of the time, and that’s ok. 

Our kids won’t either. 

If they’re going to face failure from time to time, isn’t it best to teach them how to manage that disappointment and work through it? If our kids can accept imperfection and learn what didn’t work, they can (hopefully) fix it the next time around. 

As long as children learn something from a mistake they can develop skills to work toward a better outcome in the next round and will be more likely to build confidence and avoid the kind of perfectionism that can lead to depression and anxiety.

3. Educate Your Captives En-Route

Chances are you’ll find yourself trapped in a moving vehicle with your offspring for at least a few minutes each day. 

You know what that means, right?

With nowhere to run and hide, you’ve got a captive audience.

Lucky for you, podcasts are the jam right now, and you can find entertaining and informative episodes to teach your kids about everything from healthy diets to self-esteem. 

Start with a few episodes yourself to get the gist and make sure it’s kid-friendly, then let loose on your little ones with some audio learning. Before you know it your kids will know more about living a healthy lifestyle than you do. 

And yes, that will drive you nuts…but only a little.

Cara Steinmann
Cara Steinmann is a business development and strategic partnership consultant for purpose-driven female founders. She's also a longtime health and wellness writer, former personal trainer, and certified meditation & mindfulness instructor.