Ways to Promote Healthy Growth in Children
Our main objective as parents is to support our kids’ healthy growth and development so they have the best opportunity at leading full and fulfilling lives. We don’t want to make any mistakes, no matter how tiny, that can stunt their development.
Doing everything right, however, can be challenging, particularly when you’re a first-time parent. To help ensure your child’s healthy development here’s some simple yet useful advice that you can use.
Proper Nutrition Is Key
During the early years, especially the first year of life, children’s bodies develop quickly. The energy and nutrients required for their proper growth can be acquired from an adequate intake of wholesome meals and beverages.
For healthy growth and development, carbohydrates and lipids should be your child’s main source of energy. Every meal should include a variety of wholesome, nutrient- and energy-dense foods from all the food categories, such as sweet potatoes, maize, fruits, milk, eggs, etc. Avoid foods and beverages with empty calories, such as sodas and candy.
Protein is essential for the development of muscles, new tissues, and antibodies that fight illnesses. To ensure that your child gets enough protein each day, give them two portions of milk, yogurt, or cheese, as well as one or two servings of lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, or tempeh.
Your child’s diet should also include lots of vitamins and minerals to ensure adequate weight gain, such as:
- Zinc – Essential for cell growth;
- Iron – A critical mineral for proper brain function and feeding the body oxygen from the lungs;
- Vitamin A – Promotes eye health;
- Calcium and vitamin D – Both are crucial for bone and teeth strength, and overall good oral health.
Provide a Boost from a Daily Child Multivitamin
Without a doubt, the best source of the vitamins and nutrients kids require to develop into healthy, strong adults is a diet that is well-balanced. However, it’s not always easy to get children to regularly clean their plates of nutrient-rich foods. If your child is a picky eater, this may sound impossible. Childrens multivitamins are a tried-and-true approach to ensure that your child is getting enough of the crucial vitamins and minerals they need each day, regardless of the way they eat.
To power their active days, you need to provide your child with the correct kinds of energy, not the flimsy kind that comes from eating a lot of sugar (and the inevitable crash that follows). Most of the childrens multivitamins available on the market are rich in B vitamins, which can help youngsters turn food into energy. Growing children, like adults, require regular replenishment of their B vitamin stores in order to promote energy metabolism and fully enjoy their busy, fun-filled days.
You’ll also find vitamins A, C, D and E included in children’s multivitamins. These vitamins play an important role in keeping your child’s immune system healthy and fortified. As a parent, this is one of the best things you could ask for.
Multivitamins for kids also contain calcium and vitamin D to keep your child’s bones strong and their teeth pearly white. Since the majority of a person’s bone mass is created in early infancy and adolescence, getting enough of this vitamin-mineral combination is very important during those years.
Multivitamins come in liquid and tablet form but you can also find them available in delicious gummies that even picky eaters will want to take every day. Make sure you choose a multivitamin that is 100% free of artificial flavours and common allergies like dairy and gluten.
It’s advisable to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s health or vitamin and mineral levels. Your doctor may provide you with individualised information and suggestions about your child’s medical needs. Additionally, your doctor will be able to evaluate your nutrition and, if required, recommend you to a dietician.
Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Rest
On average, most children require between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night. Sleep provides the rest that developing bodies need to develop well.
According to research, children who don’t get enough sleep find it more difficult to concentrate in class and are more likely to put on unhealthful weight. Sleeping in a peaceful environment lets their bodies and brains get the rest they need to function properly and efficiently.
To help your kids to get to sleep, set a consistent time for going to bed and establish a calming bedtime ritual that you follow every night (if possible). No screens such as televisions, cell phones, computers and hand-held video games should be allowed in the room, as these can impact your child’s sleep.
Encourage More Physical Activity
Your child should engage in physical exercise for at least 60 minutes each day. Being active can benefit your child’s academic performance, nighttime sleep, ability to maintain a healthy weight, and development of strong bones and muscles. Improve your child’s heart rate with fun activities for kids or by simply taking walks together. Throughout the day, you can divide your child’s activities into shorter intervals of 10 to 20 minutes.
Create a Positive Environment
In the first years, your child’s body will go through a number of changes. During this time, you and other family members should ensure that the environment surrounding the child is a pleasant, stimulating, cozy, and positive one. Provide your child with plenty of educational toys to play with and talk to your child frequently. Active engagement enhances a child’s mental development and the more you talk to each other, the better your child will communicate in the future. These habits should be practised regularly because your child’s growth greatly benefits from a happy and healthy atmosphere.
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Problem Exists?
Before you become concerned about your child’s development and growth you should know that most children with developmental delays or shortcomings are healthy and normal. Also, keep in mind that shorter parents tend to have shorter children, and not all children mature at the same rate.
Still, if you have any worries, get in touch with your doctor. He/she can check your kid, inquire about your family history, and, if necessary, prescribe tests to determine whether your child has a health issue that is impacting their ability to grow. The physician could monitor your child’s growth more frequently or recommend a pediatric endocrinologist (a doctor who treats growth disorders).
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