Helping your children have good, healthy living

For many, perhaps, all parents – the formation periods of their children come along with great fear, because, the children, from day one to about three years, will not have ability for self expression.

Although, over the years (from experiences) people have evolved ways of detecting some things that might be, slightly, wrong with their wards – taking, only, the obviously complicated health issues to the hospital.

Unfortunately, too, many children have been treated (many times) for something that is not wrong with them. In other words, some children have been treated for malaria, when actually, they were battling with congestion – here is why it is good for every parent to read this article.

We want all parents to maximise the health of their children for a good and healthy life style.

Good health is possible for your infants until they are independent

In The Seven Pillars of Health co-authored with Jon GaugerDon Colbert, MD identifies some things that promote good, healthy living, which include: drinking water, sleep and rest, living food, exercise, detoxification, natural supplements, and coping with stress[1].

While it is possible that every parent, especially mother, goofs on the health condition of the child – it is, much more possible, to maximise good health for the child.

According to an article, How to keep your children healthy, by WikiHow – it is important that every child gets around 10 hours of sleep every night, depending on age. Going to sleep at the same time each evening will help this happen. Stick carefully to this routine and only push back the bed time if it is absolutely necessary.

Furthermore, it recommends the following:

Encourage a healthy diet: Purchase a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and lean meats for your household. Go for fresh, organic produce whenever you can. Carefully read labels to determine portion sizes and make meals that conform to those guidelines. Offer healthy snacks, such as hummus and carrot sticks, throughout the day.

Offer lots of drinking water: A child should drink the number of 8oz. water glasses that correspond to their age (up to a limit of 64 oz. total at 8 years of age). So, a 4 year old child should drink 4 glasses containing 8 oz. of water per day. This total does not include milk, juice, or other liquids, just water.

Avoid exposing your child to smoke: Smoke can linger after you put out a cigarette, so it is important to keep your children away from areas where you are smoking or where you have been smoking. If you are a smoker, enroll in a program to quit and ask smoker relatives to do so as well. Secondhand smoke is harmful to children as they develop.

Avoid exposing your child to sick persons: When it is possible, keep your child away from people who are currently sick. Your child encounters plenty of germs during the day but direct exposure to an infection is just not worth it.

Promote germ avoidance: Teach your child to frequently wash their hands. They should do so after using the restroom and before they eat or touch their mouth or face. Give them a small bottle of hand sanitizer to carry around and use if a sink is not available. Instruct them to not share water bottles or drinks with others and to keep their hands out of their mouths (much easier said than done with toddlers).

Schedule well child visits: You child should have a well child check-up every two to three months up until 2 years of age. After 2 years of age, your child will begin to visit their doctor each year for a basic check-up. Find a pediatrician who you trust and make sure to stick to this schedule. Your child’s doctor will take a variety of preventative measures on each visit, including tracking your child’s growth and development.

Minimize in-home hazards: Place all toxic chemicals and cleaners in an inaccessible area. Hide all cords and wires. Secure furniture that could topple over. Remove any sharp or dangerous objects. Even after your child is beyond the baby stage, keep an eye out for potentially dangerous items in your home.

Sign them up for sports: Start experimenting with sports at an early age by enrolling your child through your local rec center or school. Or, you could sign your child up for lessons at a local sports facility. Swimming, dancing, and soccer are just a few examples of worthwhile sporting options. Being involved in sports will help your child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, the minimum suggested amount.

Get your kids outside: Head outside with your child and have a jump rope or bike for a few hours. Go on a nice long walk or hike with your kid. Play an extended game of tag followed by a park picnic. Soaking in the sunshine gets your child their daily dose of Vitamin D. This vitamin can then boost immunity and help prevent a variety of infections. Remember to apply sunscreen to your child before heading outdoors!

Limit technology time: Try to limit TV time to a maximum of two hours per day. You should also try to regulate the use of the computer, video games, and even their cell phone (if they have one) as well. Placing time and use limits on these devices will encourage your child to get out of doors and explore the world around them.

Teach them that food is fuel: Spend time with your child researching healthy food options online. Look to see how particular foods translate into calories in and out of your body. Give your child the challenge of identifying the best possible food to eat before their sporting event. All children want to be strong and having them understand the impact of food is one way to get there.

Keep communication lines open: Make an effort to be present so that your child will have the chance to approach you, if needed. Ask your child questions about their life and do so on a regular basis. Resist the urge to try to fix all of their problems and instead just be a good listener and a resource for help, if needed.

Talk to them about peer pressure: Recognize and acknowledge the mental pressures that your child will face. They will likely be offered drugs, alcohol, or be pressured to engage in sexual activity at some point. It is important to open a dialogue with your child about these issues. Encourage them to ask questions without receiving negative consequences. A single question could prevent them from making a harmful choice.

Tell them, “I love you”: Let your child know that they are important to you. This also reassures them that they are safe and protected. This will also provide the groundwork for them to have healthy and happy adult relationships later on. They will be able to more, fully, express their feelings to future partners.

Pay attention to possible warning signs: If your child seems consistently tired, agitated, angry, irritable, or negative – you may want to seek professional help, perhaps with counseling. Other signs of possible depression or other mental concerns include slipping grades, lack of communication, poor hygiene or eating habits, and overall antisocial behavior[2].

A grave concern is weight gain management

Obesity is another issue that parents grapple with over their children’s health, but with good information in hand – no one should have sleepless nights.

Thus, Centre for Disease Control and PreventionCDC, has helped with insightful information on how to, properly, manage weight gain for children.

In an article titled, Tips for Parents – Ideas to Help Children and Maintain a Healthy WeightCDC opines that, “Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. The effects of this can last into adulthood”.

Also, it was said that, to help your child maintain a healthy weight, you should balance the calories that your child consumes from foods and beverages – with the calories your child uses through physical activity and normal growth.

Remember that the goal for children who are overweight is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should NOT be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

Parents are advised to encourage healthy eating habits, by doing the following:

·       Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.

·       Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.

·       Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.

·       Serve reasonably-sized portions.

·       Encourage your family to drink lots of water.

·       Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

·       Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat[3].

As it has been advised, several times above, professional medical consultation should not be neglected, because, some remedies, discovered through rational thinking might not work for your child – even, if they worked for some other children.

Be advised to take astute interest in watching your children grow healthy by going through the right medical provisions in nurturing your children’s health.

[1] Don Colbert, Jon Gauger, The Seven Pillars of Health: The Natural Way to Better Health for Life, Pgs 6-9.

[2] WikiHow, How to Keep Your Child Healthy.

[3] CDC, Tips for Parents – Ideas to Help Children and Maintain a Healthy Weight.

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