Children have unique needs when it comes to their health and wellness. Many of their basic needs are the same as those for adults, but special consideration has to be made for rapidly growing bodies and brains.
What can I do do promote my child’s health?
A child’s state of health can be partially attributed to genetics, but parental involvement plays a huge role. Regardless of how strong a child is genetically, all children benefit from their parents playing an active role in fostering a healthy, active lifestyle.
Some things that you can do to maximize you child’s health include the following:
- Fitness: Promote physical activity from early on in your child’s life. Whether you enrol your child in sports programs or simply commit to a daily walk with the family, you can help your child thrive by keeping him or her moving.
- Nutrition: Encourage your child to try a variety of nutritious foods. Learn what nutrients your child needs at different stages of growth, and ensure that he or she is not receiving portions that are either too small or too large.
- Routine: Most children are healthier and happier when they have an established routine to follow. One of the key components of this is ensuring that your child gets enough sleep.
- Parental intuition: Find out what milestones your child should reach by certain ages, but be aware that these are guidelines only. Every child is different, with some reaching developmental milestones earlier than others. If you are concerned, seek the advice of a professional.
Establishing healthy habits
If children are taught good lifestyle habits right from the start, they are more likely to lead longer and healthier lives. There are several ways for you to establish healthy patterns for your family:
- Follow healthy lifestyle habits yourself. With a positive role model, your child will grow up seeing that activity and good nutrition are the norm.
- Involve your children in decisions. Follow their lead when it comes to the selection of physical activities, and let them help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.
- Ensure that your children learn healthy sleep habits from a young age. This will help keep their bodies and minds strong.
- As your children get older, they will become curious about how their bodies and minds work. Answer their questions accurately, in an age-appropriate manner, and encourage discussion.
- Equip your children with the knowledge they need to avoid getting sick and spreading illness at home and school.