Never let your kids avoid nutritious food!
Your kids shouldn't decide what food they will eat for dinner. Parents should decide which food to buy and serve, says Dr. Shilpa. Your kids will demand chocolate cookies and junk food, but don't fulfill these wishes of theirs.
Your kids won't go hungry to bed; they will eat what's available in the fridge. Allowing them to eat their favorite snack once in a week is fine but not always.
Let you kid enjoy the food
Always see to it that your child enjoys the food. Make your child's food fun. Add the element of fun by opting for different fillings and preparations every day or ask your kid to spot different kinds of dishes on the table or fruits or vegetables says Dr. Shilpa.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Parents should always encourage their kids to have a healthy breakfast. After a good night's sleep, your child needs good food to stay active and concentrate at school. Your child's performance at school will also go up, because your child will be less hungry till lunch. A bowl of cereal with milk is an excellent option for breakfast.
Teach them to wash their hands often
The fastest way for your child to fall ill is through eating without washing hands. When your child plays, or touches something, the germs gets transported through that something via the hands to the mouth, says Dr. Shilpa.
Hence, always instill the habit of washing hands regularly in your kids to keep them away from health problems. Plus teach them to never put their hands in their mouth or bite nails.
Exercise is essential as well
Establish exercise habits in your kids as early as possible, say by the age of 5-6. Heavy weight training exercise is not advisable but daily 10-15 minutes of exercises like stretching or brisk walking should be instilled. Exercises like cycling, jumping ropes or swimming should be encouraged in kids.
Let your kids eat their own lunch
Teach your kids not to share lunch with anyone at school. Sharing lunches is the most common way of transferring germs - says Dr. Shilpa. She further stresses that besides parents, even school authorities should make it mandatory to not allow kids to share lunch with other kids.
Don't force your kid
If your child isn't hungry, then don't force your child to eat more. Don't even bribe him by giving him certain foods just to clear his plate. This will just make him frustrated or make him struggle just to finish the food. Instead, serve small portions and let your kid ask independently for more food if he wants.
Don't make exercise boring
It is really a task to make your kids exercise every day. Hence, don't stick to the regular exercise mode like stretching. Besides stretching and workouts there are different modes of exercise which are fun like dancing, gardening and playing basketball. Choose the exercise which your child likes not which you like.
Sleep is important for your child
The most important issue for kids is to get enough sleep - says Dr. Shilpa. It is very essential that your young kid gets at least 10 to 11 hours of a good night's sleep.
If your child doesn't get good sleep, then there are high chances that your child will doze off at the desk, not pay attention in class and come home exhausted and irritated. Besides, a regular sleeping pattern makes sure that your child enjoys some quiet time without television before his bedtime.
School bags shouldn't be heavy
School bags are the most important part of a school kid's life. While buying a school bag, parents should pick a wide bag with cushion shoulder straps and cushioned back.
The bag should not be too heavy as this will strain your child's back. While packing the bag, keep heavier items in the centre and the weight of the bag should not be more than 10-15 percent of your child's body weight. And ensure that your kids carry the bag on both the shoulders to avoid muscle strain.
Fix a doctor's appointment to avoid problems.
Make sure your child visits a pediatrician and a dentist regularly. The biggest fear in kids is tooth decay and it can be dangerous too, because it can lead to brain or blood infections later in life - says Dr. Shilpa. Hence, to avoid a mess, visit a pediatrician and a dentist to keep major problems at bay.
A well balanced diet will preserve good health
Include a nice well balanced diet in your child's eating habits. Foods like green leafy vegetables, omega 3 fatty fishes and fruits are good for a child's mental and physical health. Your child should neither be too thin nor too fat. All this can be achieved when your child shares dinner with the family and when the television is switched off.
Water is crucial
Besides good food, water is also essential for a child's healthy lifestyle. Parents should encourage their kids to drink at least 5-9 glasses of filtered water every day. In order to avoid interference with digestion, your child shouldn't drink liquids with meals. In fact drink water or herbal tea in between meals.
Sneezing and coughing etiquette
Show your children the right manner of sneezing to avoid germ transfer. Teach your kids to cough or sneeze into tissue or inside of the elbow. Ask them to not use hands and dispose the tissue soon after use.
Vaccinate your child
Vaccination will help your child combat various preventable diseases. Vaccination for very young and very old kids is very important. Check with your doctor and get a timely schedule vaccination according to your child's age, health and vaccines available.
Avoid sharing personal items with your kids
Set up personal items for everyone in the family like razors, towels, nail clippers, scissors etc to avoid germ transfer. Teach your kids to use their items and how sharing these items will lead to problems. Also, teach them the importance of keeping their uniform, shoes and personal items clean.
Too much TV and computer isn't good
Encourage your child to participate and engage in activities other than sitting in front of the PC and TV. Limit screen time so that your child is active and doesn't bear the risk of increasing body fat. Apart from being fit, your child will also be protected from the harmful effects of the screen.
Oral health is a must
Teach your kids to brush at least twice daily with a good fluoride toothpaste to maintain oral health. Ask your child to avoid nibbling foods all day long and avoid intake of any food after brushing your teeth at bedtime.
All work and no play, makes your kid a dull boy (or girl!)
Recommend that your child plays and runs around before beginning homework. More play will increase their chances of scoring high marks and staying fit later in life as well.
Your child should get sunlight
Make sure your child gets enough sunlight in order to be healthy and fit. Sunlight is the natural way of fighting against germs. Enough sunlight will strengthen your child's bones and prevent osteoporosis later in life. Sunlight can make your child happy, convert cholesterol into vitamin D, reduce body fat and boost the immune system.