In honor of Women’s Health Month, we’re thinking about the legacy of women, especially in terms of what mothers can pass down about health (other than their genetics).
Passing down family traditions is truly special. Whether it’s the act of family-style tamale-making during Christmas-time or a recipe for the perfect tomato sauce base, these legacies should be cherished and celebrated.
One thing we don’t think about passing down is good health habits. Isn’t health the best gift we can possibly give?
What are some things Mother’s can teach their daughters about being healthy?
Speaking Up About Health
It’s no surprise that history has taught young women to keep quiet many places: one of them being the doctor’s office. This is part of the reason as to why women sometimes refrain from speaking up about their medical issues.
So, one lesson would be to always be in charge of your own health. This might mean paying close attention to specific symptoms that are potentially troubling.
This may also entail remaining firm with medical practitioners, and asking for a second opinion when necessary.
Keeping Track of Mental Health
On the subject of speaking up, mental health should also be thrown in the ring.
Healthline reports the disproportionate amount of women dealing with mental health issues, such as depressive and seasonal mood disorders, when compared to men.
For example, women make up 4/5 of the population with major depressive disorders! Plus, 80% of new mothers experience postpartum depression.
It’s super important to take mental health days if needed and to evaluate these feelings.
One of the best way to teach this to children is by example. Treat your own mental health with the utmost respect. You can also check on them, by asking them how they feel and whether that affects their day to day life, reminding them that it’s okay if they want to speak to an outside source.
Getting Their ABCD’s + Greens (?)
No, we’re not talking about the alphabet (although, that is vital for learning). We are talking about vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can come fruits and greens.
Let’s face it: kids lose interest in healthy-eating pretty fast.
And who can compete with various corporations peddling sugar and chemical-filled concoctions?
And what’s worse?
Children grow up eating that stuff and begin to make habits of eating it. So when they’re grown up, they’re doing the same things, and passing down the same bad habits to their kids!
Are we saying you should steer clear of Pumpkin Spice and Unicorn fraps? Absolutely not! But we are saying, that there is a time and place. And it’s up to you to get that point across to your kids.
Oftentimes, we can all forget about their importance. In fact, traditional doctors recognize their importance, even prescribing Magnesium or Vitamin C pills for various deficiencies.
Does this mean that you need to take supplements all the time? No! In fact, eating enough fruits can help bridge the gap between inconsistencies too.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of them. Let your daughters know it’s totally acceptable to be skeptical and to do their own research on safe practices.
The best way to teach this lesson is to integrate fruits and veggies in their plates, but in a way that they don’t feel forced.
Becoming a Woman
This moment in a mother-daughter relationship can be a very challenging experience. AND, it can define your relationship for years to come (no pressure).
First things first, how well do you know your own body, what monthly symptoms do you experience and what are the biological facts? Once you feel rooted in your own female body, here are a few tips to create a healthy, conversational and open relationship:
- In general, and from your children’s early age, be open about talking about monthly cycles and periods in your home
- Ask questions
- Be simple and casual, but confident
- Tell the facts
- Share age appropriate info
Popsugar has more details.
Approaching Eating Disorders
It’s no surprise that this talk needs to be had. When talking about health, it is important to do it carefully, as to not introduce harmful thoughts.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) reports, in the US, at least 30 million people of all ages suffer from an eating disorder.
CRC Health recommends the following tips in conversations about eating disorders with your daughter:
- Learn, then talk
- Ask, don’t accuse
- Discuss, don’t debate
- Be compassionate, not critical
- Focus on behavior, not appearance
Remember to emphasize that it is okay to get help, in fact it’s encouraged.
Don’t Neglect Oral Care
On a more light note, we move to oral care. Dental hygiene can sometimes get lost in the matrix that is general health, especially because it seems so common sense to some people.
But remember, there are times during busy mornings when you ask yourself, “wait, did I brush my teeth?” If that can happen to you, imagine how many times that has happened to kids and teens?
Gum health is just as important. Why? Healthline reports that gum inflammation can actually signal more swelling at other parts of the body, including the gut.
It’s just as important to schedule dentist check-ups as it is with your medical professional.
The Importance of Being Active
Exercising is one of the important things you can do. Unfortunately, it’s also seen as one of the most annoying thing you can do. But it doesn’t have to be.
So, talking to your child about its importance is completely paramount to how they will view it — at least in early stages of life.
Now. you don’t want to instill body shame or fear. Nor do you want to overdo its importance, especially when they are young. Planting unhealthy thoughts and unhealthy habits is the exact opposite of our mission.
Instead, talk about in terms of play or mental stress relief. Encourage younger kids to have fun and find activities that fit their personality or interest. You may be able to do smaller exercises with them. As they grow older, you may add deeper reasons, like cardio (even brisk walks) for heart health or yoga for mental health support.
Team sports and outdoor activities are other excellent ways to encourage a long-term commitment to fitness.
Maintaining Health with Purium
Staying healthy can be a daunting process, but you’re not alone when you’re with us. Check out iShopPurium for our selections, including our MVP – Kids – Chocolate, a safe and tasty shake made especially for the little ones, with pea protein. Or Super Amino 23 for pure, vegan protein.