A healthy lifestyle is important for the whole family. This becomes even more important when you have a child with cancer. A healthy lifestyle with fresh fruits and vegetables and exercise have often been prescribed as part of treatment. A healthy lifestyle makes it easier for your body to stay healthy or to heal and get better when you’re sick. If your child has cancer, a healthy lifestyle can very possibly contribute to a longer life and give them more energy to enjoy life.
Lead by example – Children will copy your habits because they see your behavior as good and acceptable. So, lead by example. Make sure that you follow a healthy lifestyle that includes all the next points.
Eat healthier – Make good food choices that include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduced fat dairy products, and whole grains. Snacks are good but should not be cake and potato chips. Instead, try whole grain crackers and fresh fruits.
Drink lots of water – Substitute soft drinks and other sugary beverages with water. Water is healthy and the best way to stay hydrated. Other drinks contain too much sugar and can sometimes make you even thirstier. Water is always available and it has no added sugar.
Be active – This can be a family activity. Everyone in your family should get at least an hour of exercise everyday. This can consist of going for a walk or a jog, swimming, playing games outside, playing with the dogs, etc. There are many inexpensive ways to keep your family active and fit.
Be positive – This is always important but especially so when you have a child with a terminal illness. Positivity can conquer many things and it makes your family mentally strong. Positivity is the best defence when it comes to dealing with difficult situations, waiting for results, etc.
Limit screen time – Electronics are part of our lives and denying your children these devices is almost impossible. However, you can limit the time spent on the Internet, playing video games, watching television, etc. Make a rule and stick to it. This way your children will get what they want and also get to do what is healthy for them.
Spend time together – A family that spends time together is strong. You can do arts and crafts, play games, or even just eat dinner together. This will make your family feel safe and connected. This is very important for children living with cancer because they can easily feel and become isolated. Being part of something and feeling like a normal kid will do wonders. You can also incorporate art therapy and other therapeutic activities as prescribed by the doctor.
A healthy lifestyle is not just something doctors and healthcare professionals try to sell. It can legitimately improve your quality of life and also make you live longer. This doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to eat a piece of cake or fries again. It simply means that you and your family should keep moderation in mind and have healthier habits.