Sick days may be more common in early childhood, but there are simple ways to prevent them and improve your children’s health in the process.
Mums, do you believe in the “three-second rule” (i.e., food dropped on the floor is still safe to eat so long as you pick it up within three second
Apparently, this is a myth and can harm your kids’ tummies. (1)
While a lot of us have known this “practice” one way or another, it might not be the best thing to ingest something dropped on the ground just because of the shorter contact time. Crazy, right?
This, along with tons of other parenting information offered both online and offline (hint: unsolicited advice), makes child-rearing taxing. How do you go from following advice to trusting your instincts? How do you make the best possible decisions to give them a strong foundation during the crucial formative years? These are tough questions that do not necessarily have a be-all and end-all answer, but hopefully, here are some tips to get you started:
Start early! You don’t have to wait after they’re grown out of the toddler stage before teaching basic hygiene practices. In fact, washing hands, brushing teeth, and more can be taught by ages 3 to 5. (2)
That age range works best to be encouraging while leading the way. By ages 6 to 9, you should get your kids to continue with their hygiene routine daily until they eventually do it on their own.
If sleep deprivation is not good for adults, the same goes for kids. Insufficient sleep can make anyone more susceptible to infections or viruses like the common cold. (3)
That said, younger kids may need 10 or more hours of sleep to fight infectious diseases and avoid the increased risk of obesity, heart problems, etc.
One very simple thing that will help your child’s health? More time outdoors.
Sun exposure (4) plays a big part in giving us a good mood! For kids, especially, vitamin D is crucial for bone development and strengthening their immune system.
Playing outside, walking around in greenery, or just sitting outside and soaking up the sun can positively affect their defences.
Another reason to allot more time outside is to exercise as a family! With kids, movement comes naturally with play, and this increases the number of natural killer cells in the body. (5)
Missouri-based clinical psychologist Renee Stucky, PhD, says, “Exercise with them rather than just urge them to go outside and play.”
Preventing exposure to secondhand smoke avoids more than 7,000 harmful chemicals that may irritate or kill cells in the body.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist Beverly Kingsley, PhD, states that children are more likely to suffer harmful effects of secondhand smoke because 1.) they breathe at a faster rate and 2.) their detoxification system is less developed than adults.
“Secondhand smoke increases a child’s risk of bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma. It may also affect intelligence and neurological development,” adds Dr. Kingsley.
Of course, there is nothing better than a well-balanced diet, especially for growing children.
Try and get your kids to eat at least 1- 2 servings for fruits and 1- 2 servings vegetables depending on the age groups (6) and be more creative with meals and snacks! As much as possible, go for whole foods and if you deem it necessary, ask your paediatrician about certain vitamins and supplements.
TIP: Add a growing-up milk to the mix to give them more of their nutritional essentials!
Aptamil Gold+ Growing Up Milk now has Immuno-Nutrients+ and 1 Billion Probiotics~ to support your children’s natural defences^, normal function of the immune system, and healthy digestive system. In addition, it has the highest◊ DHA vs other growing up milk to support your child’s brain development Ω.
~ 1 billion Probiotics BBM-16V (1X 109 cfu/100g) to fight against harmful bacteria in the digestive system, thereby helping to maintain a healthy immune system
+ Immuno-nutrients referring to Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin C & D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system.
◊ Applies to Aptamil Stage 3 (128mg/100g) & Aptamil HA Stage 3 (87.3mg/100g) Growing Up Milk vs other Growing Up Milk (Stage 3) sold in Singapore as checked on 9 July 2021.
Ω Applies to Aptamil stage 3 only.
^ Contains unique prebiotic blend, scGOS:lcFOS (9:1) to support child’s natural defences. Arslanoglu et al. 2008. Journal of Nutrition, 138:1091-1095
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