Raising healthy children sounds pretty simple: good nutrition and physical activity every day.
In our busy society, it is harder than ever. Even health-conscious parents have to compete against any number of unhealthy temptations.
Below are tips to help you raise safe and healthy kids:
1. Plan a Healthy Pregnancy
We know itcan be hard to plan for pregnancy, but the start of raising a healthy child is preconception care at least 3 months before trying to get pregnant. This could mean eating a healthy diet, taking folic acid, and avoiding alcohol. This helps prevent certain birth defects and allows for the best health possible for the baby.
2. Make Health a Family Affair
Parents play a key role in their children’s choices and behaviors. If you want your child to eat vegetables – you simply need to eat them too. Allow your kids to get involved in the process of being healthy. Let them pick out the produce they will eat for the week and let them help prep and cook meals. Exercise as a family – pick activities that combine family time with movement. Lastly, keep it simple and find what works for your family.
3. Schedule Regular Check-ups
Establishing routine check-ups with your doctor, including dental and eye exams, helps your child grow comfortable with seeking health services as an adult. These appointment are important to help identify delays in development and health issues. This can also be a space to learn more about how to keep your child safe and healthy as they grow.
4. Provide Healthy Meals and Snacks
Offering at least one vegetable and one fruit for every meal helps provide vital nutrients needed for energy, growth, and well-being. Creating healthy eating habits as a child sets them up to become adults with healthy habits. This in the long term prevents disease and specific health conditions.
5. Keep your Child Active
Allow time for your child to get at least 1 hour a day of exercise. These are activities that raise their breathing and heart rates. This is beneficial for strengthening muscles and building bone. Exercise helps promote restful sleep, improvement in mood and behavior.
Written by Dr. Threasa Andrys, Naturopathic Medicine
To learn more about raising healthy children, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrys. She’s passionate about cooking whole food meals for her family and enthusiastically shares her knowledge about the joys of cooking and eating healthy foods.