What are the different ways to keep your child healthy during the pre-school years?
Pre-schoolers are difficult to deal with and uncontrollable. They will mess around all the time and make you run behind them for food, sleep, brushing and many other things. However, it’s important for children between 3 to 5 years of age to stay healthy, as this period is considered to be crucial for their development and growth. So here’s all that you could do to keep your little one fit :
Breakfast is a must: Never let your child skip breakfast just because they woke up late or have to rush to kindergarten. It gives them the energy to go about their entire day and have a full stomach after not eating the entire night. It boosts metabolism and regulates your appetite too.
Eat Together. Learn Together: Children should always know why it is important to eat together with your parents and families. When you do this, your child will watch you enjoy fruits and vegetables and want to try it. They will also learn how to eat when you are there to copy you.
Offer a variety of healthy picks: Serving your child all sorts of food gives him the vitamins and proteins the body needs. You need to offer him food from all the categories – meat(fish, egg, chicken and so on), fruits, vegetables, grains(beans, pulses, soya, etc.) and milk(yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc.) throughout the day to stay healthy and balanced.
60 minutes of Physical Activeness:
Now make it a must to make your kid involved in some sort of physical activity for a minimum of 60 minutes every day. That could be playing in the park, early morning walk or riding a bicycle, doing sports or playing in the pool. It may also be hide and seek or just football. The main purpose is to make him move and jump and enjoy the activity too. It would help him sweat, make his muscles flexible, increase blood circulation, improve digestion and feel fresh.
Water and milk are the best drinks: At this age, your child would want to drink those colourful sodas and soft drinks, they watch on the television or at the store. But you need to provide them with lots of water to keep them hydrated and milk to have their part of calcium.
Milk also helps to strengthen the bones. You can also offer them fresh fruit juices but avoid packed juices because they are concentrated sources and juices, in general, have less fiber than eating foods directly. The juices are not the best to drink in between meals, serve it after the meal.
Read for him: You should practice reading to your child bedtime stories or poems during the day. The stories are still a great idea because he will learn new vocabulary, what it means, life lessons and improve his intellect. You can nurture their love for books by taking them to a library or book store. Because this is a stage of both- mental and physical health development.
Teach him basic safety rules: Your child has to know the basic rules to be followed all the time. He needs to learn them and practice it. Teach the traffic rules, how to cross the road, using the horn of the bicycle, staying off the ground when there’s a match going on, always using the sidewalk and wearing the helmet. There is a key to avoid getting hurt.
Avoid Junk food and Beverages:
Junk like chips, candies, cakes, etc. and soda or cool drinks serve no use. They simply add to their weight and promote obesity. These also result in cavities. They are difficult to digest and lead to constipation. As a parent, you cannot always snatch junk food away from your child’s hand instead make sure you do not bring any such stuff home for them to see and demand. When going to the supermarket, keep your child away from the junk section. And always try to search for a healthy alternative.
Smaller portions and mid-meal snacks: Let your child choose the amount of food he wants to eat to satisfy his hunger. Smaller kids need small portions. Do not force them to overeat. What matters is, not how much they eat, but what they eat. Also, provide your kid with snacks or something to munch while they eat.
Promoting Sleep: children often need more sleep than adults do. Fix a particular time to go to bed that would let your child sleep for 8-10 hours before they wake up. Good sleep makes your child active and increases concentration.
Remember, while you care for your child’s health, do not forget to care for your own because your child is dependent on you. Also, pat your back for all you do.
1. The right food and the right quantity.
2. Eating together will help your child to see you and develop eating habits.
3. Spend some time with your child reading stories etc.
4. Basic safety rules.
5. Physical activity and rest in the form of sleep.
6. Avoid junk food.