As a parent, your children are your most precious belongings, and their health will be as important to you as your own.
You’ll want what’s best for them in every respect, to watch them grow and develop into healthy, happy and confident adults.However, with so much information flying around about what food they should eat and what activities they should do to keep them healthy, choosing what’s best for them can be both stressful and challenging.
It needn’t be like that.
With just a few simple, common-sense steps, you can give your children the best possible start in life and support their overall health, wellbeing and development.
Here are a few top tips to get you started.
PLAN HEALTHY MEALSJust like for adults, good nutrition is crucial for maintaining your children’s health.
So, it’s essential to ensure your children eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet that isn’t too high in processed ingredients, fat and sugar.
While the odd treat is allowed, your children should be eating fresh fruit and vegetables daily, along with lean meat and healthy, unsaturated fats.
Children also thrive on routine, so having set mealtimes where you sit down and eat together will help you stay connected as a family and give your children the attention they need.
Getting them involved with mealtimes is a good way of keeping them occupied and can help teach them valuable life skills.
Let them help you cook, prepare ingredients or set the table if they are old enough.
Mealtimes are meant to be enjoyable, so make sure you spend them as a family.
HEALTHY SNACKSAlmost every kid likes sweets or chocolate, right?
If you try to deny them all the time, you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
However, when it comes to snacking, it can sometimes be too easy to let your youngsters reach for the biscuit tin, chocolate box or sweetie jar every time they feel hungry.
Trying to incorporate some healthier snacks into their daily diet, alongside the sweet treats, is the way to go.
Grapes, strawberries, pineapples and other berries make a healthy alternative to shop-bought sweets. Celery, carrots and other crunchy veg sticks can be prepared in advance and grabbed straight from the fridge.
And fresh fruit juice, diluted with water, is better for their teeth than fizzy pop. It also contains less sugar, so is better for tiny teeth.
BE AWARE OF THEIR MENTAL HEALTHSchoolwork, peer pressure, social media and being glued to their smartphone or tablet can all have a negative impact on your children’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
It can cause them to become withdrawn, isolated and disconnected from the world and the people around them.
Some mobile phone or computer use is essential, and some downtime gaming or hanging out with friends online can be beneficial.
However, limiting your children’s screen time and engaging them in real-life activities instead will do wonders for their social development as well as their mental health.
GET PLENTY OF FRESH AIRWhile most of us have been cooped up for much of the past 12 months because of coronavirus lockdowns, restrictions are starting to loosen just as the weather is turning brighter.
So, there’s no excuse for not spending lots of time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine with your children.
Whether you’re heading to the park or beach, going for long walks in the countryside or just chilling in the garden, spending time having fun and playing games with your kids brings many health benefits, both for you and for them.
HAVE A ROUTINEKeeping your children to a familiar daily routine is essential.
Their body clocks will get used to having meals at set times and going to bed at the same time each day to get the rest and sleep they need.
And setting time aside each day for school, play and family time will keep their day exciting and give them something to look forward to.
While you don’t have to be too regimented or disciplined, having a general idea of what you want to achieve will help ensure you don’t just sit around doing nothing and waste the day.
So, keep your meal, snack, play and bedtimes the same to ensure your kids get the right amount of nutrition, exercise and rest they need to develop naturally.
USE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTSLike adults, natural supplements for children can complement a healthy diet and lifestyle to enhance their wellbeing.
If you’re worried that your child might be missing out on some of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to develop and grow, you can give our Healthy Rascals range a try. It has been developed specifically for growing children aged three years and older.
It includes a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to supplement children’s daily diets and essential nutrients that naturally support healthy bones and teeth, energy and vitality, normal mental function and vision, and immune function.
All products in the Healthy Rascals range are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities that work to good manufacturing practices and pharmaceutical level quality control.
We aim to bring you safe, effective formulas free from added sugar, gluten, colourings, flavouring and GM ingredients.
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