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TIPS ON RAISING HEALTHY KIDS
Ask any parent what they want most for their kids and the most common reply would be to see them happy, healthy, and well-rounded. Having said that, parents can set a good example for their kids in terms of exercise and diet.
Here are four simple techniques to encourage healthy habits in your kids:
- Teach them to take care of their personal hygiene.
This is the most important and crucial aspect of raising healthy kids. Parents should instil the importance of personal hygiene in them from a very young age. The first step is teaching them to always wash their hands. When we touch our eyes, mouth or nose, we transfer germs to other parts of our body. The goal here is to limit the number of germs on their hands. For example, door knobs and toys are germ reservoirs, so be sure to clean them frequently. The bathroom and kitchen are some of the most contaminated surfaces in the house, which are also hotspots. Teaching your kids to brush their teeth twice a day is also another way to instil personal hygiene practices. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for babies and toddlers as it can prevent cavities for children. Fluoride protects teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to acid.
- Eat healthy food
Parents should include lots of fruits and vegetables in their kids’ diet, starting from a young age. A healthy diet would mean eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. A diet rich in vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevents obesity and protects against serious illnesses. When kids reject a specific food, it is often due to unfamiliarity. Hence, introduce the food slowly by including it in smaller chunks or pieces in their meals. While babies eagerly try new foods, older kids may need as many as 15 tries before they like or tolerate them. Aside from that, try and avoid junk food as it might affect your kid’s physical and mental development. Besides that, remind your kids to keep themselves hydrated at all times with water and don’t consume carbonated drinks.
- Ensure a good sleep
According to a Pediatrics study, kids who often don’t get enough sleep becomes hyperactive, which affects their performance at school. Sleep deprivation can affect appetite and induce overeating. Hence, kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese compared to those who do. According to another research, kids who went to bed after 9 pm had greater behavioural issues. Nevertheless, if a kid switches to a regular sleeping pattern, the behavioural consequences of insufficient sleep is reversible. Many parents underestimate how much sleep their kids require. Toddlers require 11 to 14 hours of sleep, including naps. Pre-schoolers require 10 to 13 hours and kids above 6 years old require 9 to 11 hours. It is important to establish a consistent bedtime schedule.
- Form positive habit as a family
In the process of raising a healthy kid, be sure to pay close attention to their mental wellness as well. It is the parents’ duty to create a safe and positive environment at home. For instance, having dinner as a family can strengthen ties and build better relationships. It is a time and place where everyone can catch up and understand one another. This practice reaps many benefits as kids will learn empathy and how to communicate better. Spending time as a family and performing outdoor activities like picnics and sports will help kids to develop a healthy mind. Parents should always be present and encourage their kids by giving them the moral support they need. For example, be there with them when they are doing their Kumon worksheets. Besides that, teach your kids the act of gratitude by helping others in need. You can also get your kids involved in a charity event with you.