(WYTV) – In this edition of Positive Parenting, we’re taking a look at how parents can create healthy habits starting at a young age. WYTV spoke with one local health and wellness expert who says that having patience and making small changes will help your kids and family in the long run.

They say the children are the future.

If that’s the case, then how soon should parents make sure that their kids’ lives are headed in a healthy direction?

Aaren Hilson, owner of Hilson Fitness, says now is the time.

“As we grow up, as we age, sometimes we develop habits that are hard to break,” he said.

Hilson believes breaking those habits early could be the key.

“So with starting those early, we develop those habits and put them in our future to mold us to be who we need to be as opposed to going on in life,” he said.

Hilson says both kids and parents live busy lives, but there are ways to start these healthy habits successfully.

“So we want to try and be sure we are doing it in a way to where we are not force-feeding them this info or these habits to where we can make this happen for the both of us. That can mean even joining in on what you are teaching your children,” he said.

With schools in session either in person, hybrid or fully virtual, it can be tough for a parent to monitor how long their child is stationary.

“Plan ahead, plan for this and structure something that your child can stick to. So come up with a game plan,” he said.

Hilson says that a game plan to get your kids up and moving can simply be taking the dog for a walk, riding a bike or doing chores around the house.

“When we are sedentary, nothing is happening. Calories are moving but the body isn’t burning anything,” he said.

But after the kids get their bodies moving, they will be hungry and want a snack.

“Instead of potato chips, rice cakes… Instead of corn chips, maybe some things like kettle chips that are low in fat,” he recommends.

Whatever you do to get your kids in a healthy place, Hilson says planning is key.

“Taking time to actually explore those alternatives as opposed to going to the grocery store unplanned, make a list,” Hilson said.

Hilson adds that healthy habits don’t happen overnight, they take practice, so be easy on yourself.