We have all heard the proverb “Health is wealth” thrown around from time to time, but have we really given it proper thought? The concept of good health applies to all age groups, especially for the little ones. Children tend to go through most growth between the ages of 0 to 5; whether this growth is healthy or otherwise depends entirely on the child’s practices and eating habits.
In the first five years, children grow at a phenomenal rate. How your child eats will influence their health, both now and in the future. Young children’s brains are rapidly developing. Therefore, they need a nutrient-dense diet to keep them alert and curious while discovering the world around them.
Some nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that children receive from food are vital to their growth cycle. The most important of these are calcium, required for the growth of strong bones, protein for building muscles, carbohydrates to provide energy, iron to make healthy blood, and essential fats to help the body absorb other vitamins.
The best practices to ensure that a child has the perfect diet are to include lots of vegetables, limit sugary drinks, add dairy for extra calcium, plenty of proteins, and proper home-cooked food instead of buying food from restaurants fast-food chains. Besides nutrition, exercise and physical activity also set a routine for your little one’s body and keep them active and happy.
Nutrition is one of the important factors that influence a child’s development. Good food means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to work its best. It allows a child to thrive and make effective connections with their environments. Nutrition is received from food, so when children choose to eat something, they also provide them with the right amount of nutrients.
Our bodies develop necessary chemicals that trigger emotions. Happiness, excitement, sadness, even just hearing requires the brain to receive a signal from other parts of the body and comprehend it. All of this is also affected by the vitamins, nutrients, and general health we maintain.
Putting your health first is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle free of diseases and illness. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health is essential for your self-esteem and self-confidence. A healthy diet throughout life aids normal growth, development, and aging, strengthens immune systems, supports mental wellness, and maintains healthy body weight, leading to overall health and well-being.
Healthy eating is about balanced portions of nutrient-rich foods from the various food groups and healthy eating habits. Each food group offers various nutrients and benefits, so eating a balanced diet that includes foods from all five groups is essential. The food groups you should keep in mind are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, protein, dietary fats and limited amounts of sugar. The part you eat is equally as crucial as how healthy you eat. Ensure to regulate food proportions and avoid overeating.
Physical activity is the next biggest factor, after food, that determines your health. Even if it’s just walking, make sure to set aside some time for play such as catch or run around a little. Offering small rewards is an effective way to encourage your child to be consistent in their daily activities. What children learn and follow in the early years will become habits for the rest of their lives.
As a parent, you set the most prominent example for your child. They watch you every day. Therefore, they often take after your habits. If you take a brisk walk in the morning, your child will understand that such an activity is essential to do. Likewise, if you eat healthy foods, your child will follow your example. This is a great way to build good practices for the benefit of the child and yourselves.
A healthy body is much more than the absence of disease. It is a positive quality, with physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The two major things to avoid in our diet are excess sugar and unhealthy fats. The long term effects of these will take a toll on your body and health. These foods might taste good in your mouth, but the damage they cause internally is not worth the momentary gratification. You only get to live each day once, so make it count and make the right choices for you and your precious child.