Healthy habits in children should be taught from a very young age and possibly with them for the rest of their lives.
A healthy lifestyle includes a healthy diet, physical exercise and personal hygiene.
Acquiring healthy habits in children in this regard will lead them to maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults and will help prevent certain health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Tips for a healthy diet for the little ones are:
Don’t skip breakfast. This should be the most important meal of the day, it should include cereals, fruit and some dairy product.
Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, reduce proteins (eat meat and fish three times a week), incorporate cereals daily.
Involving children in the purchase of food and inviting them to cook with you, that makes them more willing to consume the food that they prepare themselves.
Snacks are part of a healthy diet, if they are scheduled and at specific times of the day as a nutritious snack that includes some cookies accompanied by fruit or yogurt.
Meals should be done as a family, it should be a pleasant time, it is important to “eat slowly”, because the brain sends the signal of satiety about 20 minutes after eating. Preventing the child from eating while watching TV makes them not pay attention to the feeling of satiety and overeat.
performing physical activities is beneficial for physical and emotional health, it must be present in the daily routine of children.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization) being healthy is “the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not only the absence of diseases.” The child who does physical exercise on a regular basis (at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week) is more likely to lead a healthy life and better physical development.
Exercise provides benefits at any age, in the case of children, it reduces the risk of being overweight, since exercise helps control fat in the body. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes and lower blood cholesterol levels.
Children who practice physical exercise as a family promote their self-esteem and bond with their parents.
Reducing the number of hours you spend in front of the television, video games or computer increases your physical activity. It is important to have a schedule for these activities and it is not recommended that they be in front of the television or other electronic device more than 2 hours a day.
DRINK A LOT OF WATER
Drinking water is necessary to eliminate toxins and hydrate all the organs of the body. Water should be the main drink of the whole family at every meal.
The child’s body is made up of 80% water and that of an adult 65%. Therefore, children require a higher fluid intake
Generally, during the first months of life and during breastfeeding, babies do not need to drink water, except when it is very hot or they have diarrhea or fever. But as children grow, their intake should be increased, with a requirement of 800-1000 ml in Babies between 6 and 12 months and in the case of children between 11 and 18 years old, 2 liters per day. (6 to 8 glasses).
It is important that they get into the habit of drinking water even when they are not thirsty, so offer them a glass of water every morning before breakfast and after every meal. Place water bottles in accessible areas (table where you study, TV room or dining room). At meals, put a jug of water on the table and avoid sugary soft drinks and juices.
PLAY MORE AND WATCH LESS TV
Children should spend more time playing games and less time watching television. Playing helps them develop and acquire new skills. The game also improves their cognitive abilities and social relationships.
Play with your children for at least 30 minutes every day, it is essential for the development and emotional bond between the two.
When TV is not being watched, it must be turned off. This can distract children and they can see programs that they were not interested in before.
Dental hygiene is one of the habits that must be instilled from a very young age. It is true, that it is often the most complicated, but you have to make them understand the importance of brushing your teeth correctly.
You should start from the first teeth, buy a suitable brush for babies and introduce it in their mouth without toothpaste and moistened with water to get used to it. Let the child brush his teeth with the parents and explain to them that they must do it after eating to remove any food debris.
HOURS OF SLEEP
Sleep is as important as nutrition in the development and growth of the child. It is essential to establish schedules for going to bed.
The hours of sleep also vary with the age of the child, in children of 1-2 years, they sleep between 10 and 12 hours during the night and about 3 hours during the day (nap) and children of 3-6 years: they sleep about 10 hours at night and naps usually suppress during the day.
For children to sleep well, a routine must be created before going to bed so that they already know that bedtime will come soon. It is important that they go to bed at the same time each day.
Before going to sleep avoid activities that stimulate you. The bedroom should be a quiet place without noise or too much light.
Clean hands reduce the risk of contracting illnesses such as colds, flu and other infections by up to 50%.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 5,000 minor children die every day in the world as a result of diarrheal diseases; in part due to contaminated water, a lack of basic sanitation facilities, and poor hygiene practices.
Children play and touch everything, so it is necessary to teach them to wash their hands after playing, when they sneeze, before and after eating, when they go to the bathroom or when they caress an animal. Even as babies they can learn this habit just by watching their parents wash their hands.