Raising a family comes with its fair share of challenges. Between juggling your own life, providing for the family, and taking care of the children, a lot has to be managed.
Amidst it all, cultivating healthy habits in children can sometimes take a backseat. Whether fast food or unlimited access to technology, most of us have been guilty of providing our children with free access to things we shouldn’t.
This might explain why many kids today are either overweight or obese. In fact, according to CDC, as of 2018, obesity has affected over 14.4 million children and adolescents!
To make sure that your child successfully leads a healthy life, you must keep various things in check from early on. Here are five things you ought to look out for.
One thing COVID-19 taught us is the importance of staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system. Ironically, for children, it also proved to be an impediment for the same, in the case of children.
Why do we say so?
Well, data collected by UNICEF suggests that owing to the ongoing pandemic, 23 million children missed out on their essential vaccines in 2020!
Now that things have begun to return to normal with the development and distribution of vaccines, it is time to yet again be aware of the vaccine requirements of your little ones. Such essential vaccines are the ultimate way to prevent over 16 types of diseases among children.
Therefore, visit your pediatrician and ensure that your child has had all the immunization they need to remain healthy.
Another important healthy habit that has been pushed to the limelight is cultivating handwashing habits. After all, never before have we been as conscious about the germs that may be present on our hands!
Even when we beat this virus, it is imperative to develop such handwashing habits in children. This is because rigorous handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds is the best way to prevent the spread of any illness.
Children particularly tend to rub their eyes and nose a lot. When done with dirty hands, this can make them sick. And it is only a matter of time until those surrounding them get sick as well. Teach your kids to wash their hands before and after eating or touching their faces to slow the spread of germs.
If you have a young child, begin by assisting them in washing their hands to teach them the proper method.
Did you know, as per CDC, 7.1 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety? Additionally, 1.9 million children of the given age group suffer from depression!
It is easy for parents to miss the signs of mental health issues in their children. After all, what can possibly trigger a child into feeling depressed and anxious? It turns out, a lot! Between homework, peer pressure, and tests, a child faces various stressful situations every other day.
Such mental health problems can manifest into overall health issues as well. Identify the signs early on. This will be easier for you if you closely follow their academic progress and have open communication with them at home.
Look for ways to help them destress. This can include maintaining a journal, participating in a sport, or playing board games with the family. You must personalize the stress management tactic according to your child. Again, professionals would be able to advise you the best.
You cannot talk about raising a healthy child without keeping a check on your little one’s eating habits. Children, who are at a growing age, require a balanced diet even more than adults do. Even if your child hates vegetables, you need to find ways to incorporate them into their diet.
Start by providing them with a brain-boosting breakfast. According to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, children who eat breakfast have 20 to 60 percent more Vitamin D, Vitamin B, and Iron in their bodies compared to kids who skip breakfast.
While you are at it, try to make their lunch “fun” through colorful food combinations in their lunch box or disguising veggies as something delectable. Also, keep a check on their gut health. For instance, if your child has excessive occurrences of constipation or diarrhea, it means that their diet is missing something.
Diabetes, obesity, and mental health ailments. It turns out you can prevent your child from developing it all just by maintaining a healthy sleep schedule!
Sleep is crucial to our health. In the case of young children, it is directly related to their physical and emotional health.
Yet, children of today are getting lesser sleep than children of the past. According to research conducted on children of over 20 countries, children’s sleep duration has decreased by an hour every night in the past century!
Make sure your child’s sleep schedule does not affirm this statistic. Set a bedtime for your child and abide by it at all costs. Also, observe if there is any stress or issue that might be interfering with their ability to sleep. If this is the case, try to go to the root of the issue and see how you can help.
As parents, there is nothing one wants more than to ensure the health and wellbeing of their little ones. While certain things might be beyond your control, the above five factors certainly can be managed by you.
Help your children in developing healthy habits, including sleeping, eating, and hygiene. Be there for them to ensure that they don’t feel isolated and alone.
You can surely provide your child with what they deserve – a healthy and happy life with the right parenting techniques.
Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.