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Tips for raising your kids to be healthy in 2020
02 July 2020
Parenting is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can ever have; just ask any parent. Whether a new parent or a veteran, the answer will remain the same and will also be accompanied by tips that helped them through the process.
Thanks to all the experienced parents out there, there is no lack of tips and tricks to raising your kids to be healthy. However, amidst all this information, new parents can often be left overwhelmed. Hence, we are bringing you back to the basics of raising a healthy child with our compiled list of tips that every parent should know for this new decade-
1. Start with your pregnancy- A stable and healthy pregnancy is the first thing you must take care of. Increase your folic acid intake and take stock of your vaccinations. Are you up to date with them? There are also certain exercises that you can do to improve your body and mind during and after pregnancy. This can prove to be beneficial for the newborn as well as the mother.
2. Keep checkups and vaccinations timely- If you don't stick to the recommended schedule for checkups and vaccinations; you can increase the risk of infection for your child as vaccines can lose their effectiveness if you do not stick to the recommended schedule.
3. Handwashing is important- Children tend to touch a lot of things and put their hands in their mouth after. As a result, it is very easy for germs to get ingested and for an infection to occur. Teaching your child when and how to wash their hands will be a very effective deterrent to infection, and go a long way to make sure you have healthy children.
4. Have honest conversations- Healthcare for children also involves looking out for their mental health and working to form a relationship where they come to you with all their problems. Work towards this goal as early as possible so that you can guide them through the rest of their lives too. Remember, even if they are going through issues that are beyond your control, you can always try counselling.
5. Get creative with healthy foods- It is very easy to give in to a demand from your child for a snack that is full of empty calories. However, with a little research, you can find alternative snacks with fruits, seeds and nuts that are just as tasty but a lot healthier. Next time you are looking for an easy snack, try making a fruit smoothie which is packed with nutrition for your child. You can also check out the healthy eating section of our blog for more tips.
6. Lead by example- Healthy habits for children aren't inculcated by accident; you'll have to set an example for them through your own lifestyle. For example, you'll have to eat those healthy snacks we've mentioned before and enjoy them if they are to be convinced that they're a viable alternative to regular snacks. A popular routine among parents is to exercise along with their children to make the activity a routine thing and hence, enjoy it even more.
7. Keep a bedtime routine- Newborns/toddlers need way more sleep than adults. So, make sure they're tucked into bed really early. You don't have to hurry bedtime though, read them a story, tuck them into bed, and maybe you can sneak out and continue your chores after they've fallen asleep. Once this routine is established, your child will sleep the required number of hours and be up at the same time as you.
8. Find them a way to get active- Any activity that gets you moving for at least an hour a day will show multiple benefits such as a boost in immunity, better physical structure and better mental health thanks to the release of 'happy hormones' like endorphins and serotonin. For starters, encourage your kids to run around with other kids their age. For slightly older or shy children, it might take an organised sport or activity like football or a dance class to get them to truly get their juices flowing. It will also teach them teamwork as they grow.
9. Limit screen time- With the current lockdown, getting your child to be active might also involve tearing them away from their beloved televisions, mobile phones, and/or tablets. Ofcourse, you'll have to lead by example, so don't scroll through work emails or social media when your child is talking to you; that's where they begin to get the sense that an electronic device can be more important than the person in front of you. Get a few board games in the mix, and learn how to play them together. The process of learning how to play a new game and the fun of friendly competition can have few equals after all.
10. Always pay heed to their emotional and mental health- This means teaching them how to be a confident, well-rounded and respectful individual. The struggles of a child/teenager might seem small to a parent, but they're quite real to them. Showing your child respect, lending them a listening ear, allowing them the freedom to make mistakes, giving them their space, not going overboard with punishments or demands for perfection. It seems like a lot, but there's nothing like actual practice to get a handle on things. There is no manual for parenting that can predict what your experience will be like, which is what makes it so challenging – and rewarding when you get it right.
Parenting can sometimes seem like a bewildering process where the rules are fluid. You never really know what to expect until the very last minute. All you can do is prepare for situations that you can, such as any medical emergencies that can hamper your child's growth. Getting health insurance is the easiest and most prevalent way of preparing for your child's healthy future. Some insurance providers like Max Bupa also offer counselling if you ever have the need for it in the future.