We live in an age where new studies and advice appears on an almost daily basis, so it is sometimes hard to know what you should and shouldn’t do. This is especially true when it comes to the health and well-being of our children.
There are many different ways to maximize your child’s health so that they build a foundation for an active and healthy life, both as a child and an adult. We have prepared a list of five areas which are very important to consider when looking at the emotional and physical growth of your child.
Awareness of food and nutrition is at an all-time high, and getting your child into good habits as early as possible will help them later on in life. Having a balanced diet with a significant amount of fruit and vegetables helps to aid their physical development and reduces the risk of obesity and many other conditions when they are adults.
Try making dinner time as fun as possible by being creative in the kitchen. Colorful dinners are not only attractive, but they are also nutritious, so play around with different food groups and varied colors and textures. This helps with fussy eaters and younger children, especially if you add playful touches such as smiley faces or cartoon-character-themed food.
That’s not to say that to get them to eat, you should get the Happy Meals or branded cereals out straight away, as these foods contain a lot of sugar and saturated fat. It’s the same with soda; minimize your kid’s intake and get them into the habit of drinking water, natural juices, and milk instead.
When it comes to physical and mental development, the importance of play cannot be underestimated. Kids love to play, but unfortunately, they are becoming less and less active as family time centers more on TV and smartphones.
From the moment they are born, they should be encouraged to interact with the world around them and spend time running, jumping, and playing games. These movements help them develop social and motor skills and reduce the risk of obesity and emotional issues.
Games are also an excellent way to introduce daily activities such as cleaning, eating, and tooth brushing. So, remember to let your kids be kids, and you will also find yourself having fun as well.
Another way we can help our kids develop physically and mentally is to make sure they get lots of sleep. Babies sleep regularly during the day, but as our kids get older, the demands of school and after-school activities eat into the available time for sleep.
For some kids, this isn’t an issue, but for many kids, they still need to get about 10 hours a day. So, try and factor in nap times for your kids, as this will help their brains better take in all the new information they are learning.
Humans of any age love stories, and that is because they are one of the primary means of passing knowledge from one generation to another. Now, you are probably thinking, ‘How can Pepper Pig or Snow White pass on knowledge?’ But these stories all have messages and help your kid to develop their imaginations.
Your kids will probably have many questions about the characters’ actions and the different places they encounter. But it also exposes them to new vocabulary and helps to nurture their inquisitiveness, which helps them develop a love for learning.
This is an area which has been discussed in great detail, but it is always worth mentioning. Vaccinations help to protect your child and the other members of the community against infectious diseases.
It is a good idea to get on top of these vaccinations as soon as possible, and the CDC has a useful guide to help plan ahead if you are expecting a new child or think your kid’s shots are not up-to-date.