Taking proactive measures to nurture and look after your child’s well-being goes a long way in ensuring their stability long into adulthood. While most moms and dads do their best to accommodate their kids’ needs, life’s hustles and bustles can get in the way and limit the attention you give your kids. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but if you have a well-laid plan for keeping up with your child’s needs, you’ll raise a resilient child that thrives through various milestones.
Ready for your child to join the Healthy Kids Club bandwagon? This detailed read narrows it to three significant categories covering your kid’s physical health, medical care, and emotional well-being. Here’s how to prioritize your child’s healthcare.
This crucial aspect of healthcare entails everything you can do to support your child’s physical well-being during this stage, where growth and changes happen rapidly. A few ways to ensure you stay on top of your child’s physical health include:
Kid-friendly activities like running, skating, going for walks, riding bikes, swimming, and dancing play a significant role in ensuring optimum physical health. An active lifestyle is imperative whether you’re a child, teen, adult, or senior. Through physical activity, you can keep your child’s organs healthy, avoid child obesity, and boost overall well-being.
The healthy kids club advocates for exercise as a daily habit. Think of it as an opportunity to get your workout in and simultaneously bond with your child. Make physical health a priority not only for your child but for the family as a whole.
Proper nutrition is paramount for a child’s health and development. Parents should offer their kids a balanced diet daily to meet their nutrition needs.
If you let them, kids will jump at the opportunity to hog their favorite snacks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Conversely, getting them to eat vegetables becomes a tug-of-war or crying competition if you have more than one kid. To avoid chaos, the healthy kids club recommends making eating fun. Do this by:
- Playing with colors: Feed your kids a mix of brightly colored fruits and vegetables instead of greens only.
- Be creative with the presentation: Use a cookie cutter to make exciting shapes of carrots, fruits other vegetables.
- Including them in meal preparation: Your kids will be eager to eat and finish their meals if they are involved in washing, handing over, cutting, and cooking the food.
- Turning on their favorite kids’ tv show during meal times: It may not be the best route, but if you have a particularly fussy feeder, their favorite kids’ show is a perfect distraction to get them to eat.
According to the healthy kids club, foods that make a balanced diet comprise fruits, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, and whole grains. As part of maintaining physical health, nutrition has significant benefits for a child, including:
It Boosts Immunity
A balanced diet strengthens your child’s immunity by supplying their vulnerable systems with crucial minerals, vitamins, and compounds. Proper nutrition protects your kids from common illnesses and enables them to fight off infections caused by viruses and bacteria.
Enhances Cognitive Function
A nutritious meal with all the components of a balanced diet contains ingredients rich in minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates. These are essential for brain development. Ensure your child eats lots of vegetables and whole grains. Green vegetables are full of antioxidants, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, while whole grains are rich in minerals and vitamins. All these are super important in supporting your child’s growing brain.
Does it seem like your kids always move around and don’t stop unless they’re asleep? If yes, welcome to parenting. Kids tend to be supper curious and attentive to their surroundings. Proper nutrition plays a significant role in generating enough energy for their little escapades. Foods rich in complex carbs are excellent energy boosters. Good examples include quinoa, brown rice, oats, and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.
Improves Mental Health
Kids experience tremendous stress growing up. Proper nutrition is essential in helping children build mental stability, which enables your child to stay alert, remember stuff quickly, and easily maneuver through stressful conditions. Offer your kids whole foods instead of processed foods for optimum mental health.
Foster Good Sleep Habits
Sleep is another crucial part of a child’s daily routine, supporting physical and mental well-being. According to the healthy kids club, a child who gets ample sleep has superior cognitive function, stronger immunity, and is less moody. Create a comfortable and calm environment without distractions to support restful sleep. Avoid screen time before bed, as it can disrupt your child’s sleep patterns. Below is a schedule showing the recommended number of hours kids of different ages should sleep daily.
- Kids aged 1 to 2 years should sleep 11 to 14 hours daily, including naps.
- Kids in preschool, aged 3 to 5 years, should sleep 10 to 13 hours daily, including naps.
- Kids aged 6 to 13 years should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day
- Teens aged 14 to 17 years should sleep for 8 to 10 hours per day
Healthcare and medical care are synonymous. Most parents go to the hospital in case of an emergency or when their child is sick. However, the healthy kids club advocates going for regular medical check-ups even when your child is not suffering from a health issue. The pediatrician looks at a child’s general well-being and aims to identify existing symptoms that may require further testing.
A comprehensive medical checkup also comprises dental and eye care. During the medical exam, your local pediatrician conducts a thorough physical checkup, analyzing your child’s weight, vision, hearing, height, and other vitals. The pediatrician also checks to see if your child is fully immunized and whether or not they meet different milestones according to age.
Dental services may be costly for most parents, but a greater risk that costs far more would be ignoring a dental issue that gets worse as the child grows. Most local dentist offices are happy to agree on a payment plan should your child undergo a significant procedure like brace installation or dental surgery. During your child’s annual dental cleaning appointment at the kids dental office, find out as much as you can about how well to ensure dental hygiene at home. Your dentist is open to answering questions and offering tips to promote dental health.
Any emergency dentist can admit that tooth sensitivities or toothaches in kids can be avoided if the parent is adamant about dental health and hygiene. Pediatric dentistry, thus, requires parents to seriously consider their child’s dental health to save them from suffering pain and related health issues.
Common issues like seeing halos and floaters, blind spots, blurred vision, and shortsightedness can develop in kids due to genetic reasons or after sustaining an injury. Most kids cannot articulate irregularities in their vision, especially if they’re too young to talk. According to the healthy kids club, it takes close observation by parents and other people around the kid to realize whether or not they have vision problems.
But why gamble? Regular eye check-ups protect your kid’s developing vision and help identify and nip possible eye issues in the bud. Children who squint often, rub their eyes, lag in school, have constant headaches, are isolated, agitated, or constantly sustain injuries could have uncorrected vision problems. Schedule regular vision screenings as part of your medical check-up appointments to root out and address possible vision problems your kid may have.
Common vision problems in kids include lazy eyes, cross eyes, refractive errors, and convergence insufficiency. While there’s little you can do to reverse eye problems that are already present, protective measures go a long way in preventing the development or worsening of vision irregularities in kids. Protect your child’s vision by:
- Ensuring they get enough sleep: During sleep, the eyes heal from external factors and irritants that strain vision. Rest works to recharge the eyes and facilitate proper vision.
- Taking your kids outdoors: Time indoors can overwhelm your child with near-vision activities causing eye strain and fatigue. Time in the outdoors enables the eyes to focus on distant objects, which relaxes the eyes.
- Using protective eyewear on your kids: Most eye injuries can be prevented if your kids wear protective eyewear during activities like bike rides, lawn mowing, and sports.
- Limiting screen time for your kids: Unlimited screen time can worsen vision issues. A break from screens is recommended to protect vision.
- Ensuring your kids take a balanced diet: This supplies your kid’s eyes with vitamins and minerals essential for visual health.
- Letting your kids wear sunglasses: If your kids are out for a long time, sunglasses protect their eyes from damage by harmful UV rays.
- Getting regular eye and vision exams: Schedule appointments regularly with your kid’s eye doctor to monitor and maintain visual health.
Parents should stay watchful of their kids to weed out irregularities that raise concerns about their vision. Purchase prescription glasses, ointment, or protective eyewear from an eye glass store that will advise on the best options and have quality products to support overall eye health.
Emotional stability is an integral part of the equation regarding your child’s healthcare. Most kids don’t need encouragement to speak their minds. As a parent, your job isn’t to discourage the child from expressing themselves but to find out how they are doing emotionally. With time, kids learn to follow your lead and slowly adopt positive habits to speak without using ‘bad words’ while openly communicating their needs. Below are tips from the healthy kids club that nurture and support your child’s emotional well-being.
Most parents effortlessly show their kids affection out of instinct to reassure their babies that they’re loved and safe. Show affection by hugging, sharing hobbies, disciplining with love, often having a heart-to-heart, etc. Learn your kid’s love language and strive to meet them at their point of need. Some kids prefer physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, or acts of service to gain your affection.
Prove to them that you’re reliable by cultivating a sense of emotional safety. If your child can trust you and comes to you first before they do something or have something important to say, you’re doing a great job.
Create an Emotionally Supportive Environment
Cases of kids taking drugs, getting in trouble at school, and joining the wrong crowd are common and indicate that they come from unstable homes. A kid that doesn’t speak up when they’re going through difficulty uses other avenues to process their anger, disappointment, frustration, and grief.
The healthy kids club encourages parents to create an emotionally supportive environment between you and your child to support open communication regardless of what the kid says. Often, talk about your feelings and normalize asking your child how they’re doing. Discourage secrets and take a no-judgment approach whenever the kid has a problem they must discuss.
Healthy boundaries are an integral part of any relationship. In a parent-child relationship, boundaries aim to build trust and support a healthy bond. Sometimes, your child will not like you for making certain decisions. Part of emotional well-being entails teaching your child that they must uphold respect while expressing their dissatisfaction. According to the healthy kids club, boundaries help maintain balance and reduce conflict. Use boundaries to set a good example and establish acceptable behavior.
Journaling is an excellent tool for taking apart difficult emotions and checking in with yourself. Encourage your kids to journal by expressing their thoughts on paper every day. Journaling is ideal for kids who can read and write and provides an avenue for introspection, relieving stress, and processing emotions. Cultivate journaling in kids early and lead by example. Set aside an hour daily to journal alongside your child while building a solid bond.
Ask for Help
There’s nothing wrong with contacting close family, teachers, therapists, or other people to advise and talk to your child. As a parent, you want to be the first stop for an emotionally unstable child. However, it also helps to have positively influential people your kid feels comfortable around to guide and be there for them through different challenges.
A grandparent, for example, can provide a perspective different from yours and communicate better with the child. If you notice signs of emotional distress in your child, seek help from a counselor or pediatric mental health expert.
Prioritizing Your Child’s Health Care: Bottom Line
A comprehensive approach is necessary to accommodate your child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Utilize resources around you like health centers, schools, friends, and family to stay in the loop regarding your child’s well-being. The healthy kids club advocates for solid parent-child relationships that cement a sense of safety and care for the kids.
In your quest to prioritize your child’s health care, above are tips to incorporate into your daily routine that can significantly impact a kid’s overall health. Investing time and effort in your child’s health sets them up for a fulfilling future by furnishing them with lifelong tools to maneuver through life.