How to help your Ghanaian family develop a healthy lifestyle

Tips for setting your kids on the path to healthy living in Ghana.

Lucy Quist

Lucy Quist

President, African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana and Former CEO of Airtel Ghana

From sugary snacks to Netlix, there’s no shortage of temptations clamoring to capture your kids' attention. How do you help them make healthy choices?

Make physical activity part of their daily lives, and set a good example

All Inclusive Exercise

My husband and I set our oldest son Philip on a tricycle at 3 years old, and let him try a two-wheeler soon afterwards. At an early age, we also took him and his siblings to swimming lessons, and also got them started on football clubs.

We found that starting our kids on healthy physical activity very early in their lives created healthy habits that have stuck with them. No matter what else is going on, we try to ensure that they have a bit of physical activity every day.

And we make sure that we walk the talk! For example, my husband and I make sure to ride with our kids. This way riding becomes a fun joint activity for the whole family, instead of a chore we force on them.

Turn exercise into play, ideally with other kids

I’m blessed to have a husband who takes a very active interest in the health of the kids. He feels so strongly about this that he and a friend started Hawthorne Quist (HQ) Athletics, a sports club for children based at the El Wak Stadium. Every Saturday morning, upwards of 40 kids and their parents would come out to play and exercise, supported by 3 qualified coaches.

Find interesting ways to get the entire family involved. Once children begin to enjoy the routine of play and exercise, it becomes a good habit that pays off in the long run. Soon you'll realise it's a good health investment to sign up your children for sports clubs and activities and you will feel good as well !

Lucy with her daughter