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Home Parenting Tips & Advices Health and Nutrition Basics for Children
Health and Nutrition Basics for Children E-mail

Children’s health and nutritional needs are much different from adults.  Infants can not swallow anything but liquid while one year olds are learning to like new foods. Here we have compiled the best of the health and nutrition basics needed by children.

Infants up to the age of four months should only have breast milk or baby formula. This is because infants do not have the ability to push solids to the back of their throat to swallow.  Mother’s breast milk is the best for infants.  Breast milk gives the baby all the nutrition it needs and eliminates many infantile illnesses including diarrhea, vomiting, and ear infections.

One year olds should be introduced to new foods constantly.  Present a new food during the beginning of the meal when the baby is really hungry.  It is important to make sure that all foods are properly cooked.  Cooked food should be mashed or pureed to a texture that enables the small child to eat safely. Always check to make sure that a food is not too hot before serving it to your child to eat.

Three and four year olds like to help cook.  It is important to allow your child to help you prepare easy meals such as cookies and cakes. In this way, you are teaching your child basic life skills while also teaching them that preparing food is rewarding. Never let a small child handle the stove, anything hot, or raw meat.

Meals should be eaten together as a family.  In this way, you are teaching your child that meals are important for nutrition and as a way to stay in touch with family members. Keep meals simple. Small children usually do not like their foods mixed up and prefer to have every dish separated.  Make trying new foods fun by giving out rewards (such as stickers) for every new food eaten. Never teach your child to eat everything on their plate.  Research shows that this leads to obesity later in life. Instead of cleaning their plate, allow your child to recognize when they are full and to stop eating at that point.

Serve nutritious and well balanced meals and snacks.  Avoid treats with large amounts of sugar.  Provide your child with juice and water rather than soda. Never put your child to sleep with a bottle, doing this promotes tooth decay and ear infections.  Avoid watching television during meals.  Use meal time to teach your child about proper nutrition.

Exercise is a basic for good health.  Teach your child to get plenty of exercising by planning daily activities.  Planned activities include bike riding, walking, swimming, and playing on play ground equipment. 

Protect your child from getting sick by teaching them good hygiene. Everyone should wash their hands for a total of 30 seconds in order to get rid of germs which cause the flu or other sickness.  Teach your child to cover their mouth when coughing and to throw away used tissues.

 
 

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