Day to day we are bombarded with so many mixed messages about how to look after our kids. People tell us our children are overweight, not focused, slow learners or bad eaters.
There is also no shortage of different ideas on how to “best” raise our children. On top of this we also have to be aware of how our children are influenced by TV advertising, their friends and the supermarket checkout.
As your Natural Health Practitioner, I have the skills and resources to help your child be the best that they can be.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS THAT WE GIVE TO PARENTS OF OUR LITTLE PATIENTS TO HELP THEM BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE.
1. Feed That Hungry Brain
Easting well give the growing brain and body the nutrition it needs to encourage optimal development. Your child should eat a nutrient-rich diet containing essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fibre and high quality protein.
- Ensure your child eats a full breakfast everyday
The brain is the hungriest of all organs and needs adequate energy and nutrition to function at its best. Having a poor breakfast, or worse, no breakfast at all, is known to impair learning and concentration in children.
- Ensure your child eats plenty of vegetables and fruit every day.
Vegetables and fruits are very high in nutrients and beneficial dietary fibre. Regular fruit and vegetable consumption can help support brain function and development.
- Ensure your child eats protein-rich foods in each meal or snack.
Protein is essential for health, especially in childhood, but make sure you choose lean protein sources, such as free range chicken breast, lean cuts of red meat and fish. Reduce or eliminate fatty meats, as these are high in saturated fats.
- Ensure your child drinks plenty of pure water daily.
Aim to substitute soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials and other sweetened drinks with water. A healthy replacement for soft drinks is 4 parts sparkling mineral water with 1 part fresh fruit juice.
- Avoid or severely limit processed foods, additives and artificial flavours.
Heavily processed foods containing artificial colourings, flavours or preservitives may exacerbate behavioural symptoms.
2. Growing Children Need a Healthy Lifestyle
Consider the following lifestyle suggestions that your child may benefit from:
- Identify areas of your child’s interests and encourage active participation.
Encourage them to become involved in team sports, martial arts, ballet, music or art. Studies show that regular participation in structured social activities is linked to low levels of antisocial behaviour.
- Exercise and fresh air matter.
Getting regular exercise and fresh air encourages not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mind! Make sure your child gets plenty of regular exercise.
- Sleep and rest are also important
Your child’s growing body and mind also need adequate rest and sleep. Ensure your child is getting adequate sleep every night, remembering that younger children need more hours of sleep every night than older children.
- Positive role models and family support is essential.
A healthy family environment and positive role models are very important to ensure optimal health and development of your child.