A healthy child is a happy child. The following are some of the things a mother can do to make sure the baby stays healthy.
Physical exercise among children is associated with mental health, muscle development, heart strength, academic performance, and heart health. This lowers the children risks to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
For How Long?
Children are supposed to engage in physical activities for a minimum of 60 minutes every day. Some of the exercises include:
- Running or brisk walking for aerobic exercise
- Jumping rope for bone strengthening
- Push-ups for muscle strengthening
Emotional wellness is an important tool for the growth and development of a kid. Kids who have healthy emotional development accomplish more, are happier and get along with other kids better. Children with poor emotional wellness exhibit the following behaviors:
- Poor self-image
- Decreased confidence levels
- Drug abuse at teenage age
Emotional wellness is also referred to as emotional intelligence, mental health, emotional development, or relationships for learning.
Unlike adults who need the same type of nutrients such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, children need specific nutrients at different ages. Meeting these nutritional requirements is critical for your kid’s strength and health. These nutrients are categorized into macro (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) and micro (minerals and vitamins). The following is a basic guideline for some nutrients a child is supposed to take at different ages:
Ages 2 – 3:
- Dairy – 2 cups
- Grains – 5 ounces
- Vegetable – 1 ½ cups
- Fruits – 1 ½ cups
- Proteins 4 ounces
- Calories – 1,400
Ages 4 – 8:
- Dairy – 2 ½ cups
- Grains – 6 ounces
- Vegetable – 2 ½ cups
- Fruits – 1 ½ cups
- Proteins 5 ounces
- Calories – 1,800
Sleep is very crucial to your kid’s health and well-being. Children who stay awake for too long have troubles sleeping at night. Sleep affects the child’s mental and physical development.
State of Sleep:
Children experience two types of sleep namely:
- Non-Rapid Eye Movement: during NREM sleep, the child’s energy is restored, there is the release of growth hormones occurs, and there is increased blood supply to the muscles, there is also tissue growth and repair.
- Rapid Eye Movement: during REM, the child experience irregular heart rates and breathing patterns.
Hours of Sleep
The hours of sleep for babies varies as some kids will sleep less and others will sleep more. The following is a guide of the optimal hours recommended for babies at different ages:
|Age||No. of Hours|
|Birth – 2 Months||16 – 18|
|2 – 6 Months||14 – 16|
|6 – 1 year||14|
|1 – 3 years||10 – 13|
|3 – 5 years||10 – 12|
Immunization protects the baby against contagious diseases. It is a mechanism of creating immunity to some diseases by the use of a weakened microorganism that causes the disease. Some of the recommended vaccinations include:
- Rotavirus vaccine – protects against diarrhea in babies
- Polio vaccine – protects the babies against paralysis which can result in death.
- Pneumococcal vaccine – protects the kids against pneumonia and ear infections
- Meningococcal vaccine – protects the kids against septicemia and meningitis
- Measles vaccine – protects the child against rubella, mumps, and measles.
- Influenza vaccine – protects the baby against influenza flu.
- Hib vaccine – protects the babies against pericarditis, infection of the blood and bones, and pneumonia.
- Hepatitis A and B vaccine – protects against the infection of the liver by hepatitis
- Varicella vaccine – protects the baby against chickenpox
- DTaP vaccine – protects the baby against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria.
Many of the above vaccines are given in combination to reduce the number of shots in a child’s body.
Bathing keeps the babies clean thereby eliminating microorganisms that can result in infection. Some of the materials required to baththe baby include:
- Bathing tub
- Baby shampoo
- Baby lotion
- Baby soap
- Soft and dry towels
- Gentle laundry detergents
A child needs three balanced diets every day to maintain a healthy life. What a child eats, affects his or her brain development, their focus and cognitive skills. Therefore, consider feeding your child with nutrient dense foods such as:
- Dairy – cheese, fortified soy and yogurt
- Grains – quinoa, brown rice, and popcorn
- Vegetables – orange, red, and dark green vegetables
- Fruits – either canned, frozen, or fresh and not their juices
Proteins – eggs, beans, lean meat and so on.