As a parent, an important concern you may have is to develop and maintain good health of your child. Feeding nutritious food to the child, at proper intervals, is a challenge faced by most of the parents. Starting from food, exercise, sleep, family time, doctor visits to following good manners at school, it is a long way to go. Every small activity inculcated right from the start will habituate your child to grow into a healthy being and a disciplined individual.
You have to ensure your child’s well being at all times. You cannot follow them everywhere. Hence, it is essential to teach them healthy habits to follow for life. Parenting does not come easy and requires a good amount of hard work. To help you in the process, here’s a sneak peek into the 10 best health tips for kids.
1. Natural Food and Balanced Diet
A balanced meal is the most recommended diet for every child as it helps in the betterment of one’s health and boosts immunity. You should offer a variety of food options to kids so that they develop their taste. You do not need to force them to eat but can offer them a few bites to start with. Also, you should avoid giving them processed food, as they are filled with sugar, sodium, calories, and unhealthy fat. Instead, consider including the below-listed foods for your kids:
- Proteins – Contribute to healthy brain development and immune system of the child.
- Basil and Mint – Helps to ward off cold, cough, kidney stones, teeth disorders and many more.
- Pasteurized Milk – Contains all the minerals and proteins required for your children.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fibre-rich foods
2. Minimal Sugar Intake
Food and drinks (including energy drinks such as Bournvita or Horlicks) which are high in sugar content should be avoided. It may lead to children developing a sweet tooth, causing ailments like diabetes and tooth decay. It also results in weak bones due to low calcium absorption, caused by excess sugar in the body.
3. Avoid Enforcing ‘Clean Plate’
Most of us grew up following the clean plate rule, as we were instructed not to waste food served on one’s plate. But this approach may lead to overeating in kids. It does not allow kids to understand and respond to the feeling of fullness in their bodies. As a result, they do not learn where to limit oneself and stop eating. So, give them plenty of food choices and allow them to pick what they are willing to try and eat. Guide them to decide their intake capacity, and they will learn to eat in limits.
4. Occasional Desserts
You should make it a point to give sweets to kids only occasionally. Do not turn desserts into a reward; else it may become the main reason for kids to have their food. Also, you should not use food or sweets as a way to show your affection. It can lead them to munch everytime to cope with emotions and stress. Instead, you should shower them with hugs and praises.
5. Frequent Meals
Focus on feeding small portions of food to your child at regular intervals, rather than the traditional habit of 3 big meals a day. The 2 main important aspects of this habit, which can avoid potential ailments later in life, are:
- It becomes easy for the child’s body to digest the small amounts of food.
- It will help to maintain the body weight of your child and keep him fit.
6. Be on the Move
Keep your children engaged and active all times. Do not let them become couch potatoes. You should set a minimal TV and computer time for your kids. Keeping them away from screens will help them use their time in a constructive manner. Motivate them to spend time playing some outdoor sport or other physical activity.
7. Getting Enough Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is equally important as it is vital for healthy growth and development in young children. It is advisable to habituate your kids to go to bed early and rise early. It will help create a routine for them, which they will be able to follow later in life.
8. Preventing Cold and Flu
Hand washing is one of the essential health tips for children to follow at home and school, that can help to prevent possible spreading of illness among children. Children need to be taught to wash their hands properly before and after eating, and after using the bathroom. You can teach them to use anti-bacterial wipes. They also need to be taught not to share their cups and utensils with friends.
9. Plenty of Water
Some of the most vital functions in our body, like digestion, circulation, and excretion, require us to intake a good amount of water. Besides, water also energizes our body and keeps us hydrated through the day. Lacking the required amount of water in our body may lead to problems like constipation, dehydration, and even kidney stones. Hence, it is recommended that you habituate your kids to keep drinking water at frequent intervals, to maintain their good health.
10. Kids Follow Adult Behavior
Kids are prone to follow what they observe on a daily basis. They will most probably follow your footsteps and of their siblings. Hence, it is highly essential that you try to be a good role model and set the best example by implementing the below tips:
- Choose nutritious snacks
- Do not skip meals
- Eat together at a table
Developing a healthy lifestyle for your kids from a young age can prove beneficial to their well-being in the long run.