Boost your kid's system

We spoke to Dr Vincente Mera, chief specialist in Internal Medicine, and Marina Domene, a nutrition expert at SHA Wellness Clinic, on what a child needs through different stages of growth to lead a healthy and productive life.

Published: Thu 24 Dec 2020, 6:31 PM

This year, we have all grown more aware of our immune systems as well as those of our loved ones. Immunity is built over our entire lives, but a base is created from our infancy to the brink of adulthood. It's a parents' duty to ensure that their little ones are getting the best nutrition and exercise so as they grow older, their body grows stronger. Let's get into the nitty-gritties of boosting your child's immunity. 

The appropriate diet

The essential vitamins and minerals for children are calcium, fibre, iron and Vitamin D, B12, and E. Get these into their system with foods where these nutrients are naturally occurring like fish, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, and meat. A wholesome diet is the first step to a healthy (and wealthy) life.

Keep it natural

When adults are deficient in any nutrients, they usually consume vitamin supplements to compensate. For children, supplements are not advisable unless they are especially picky eaters or if they have certain food allergies. Supplements are not tested on a younger age group hence the side effects of prolonged usage are unknown. Even if your child consumes supplements, it will never replace a natural diet.

Dump the junk

We were all children once and we remember the allure of chocolates, potato chips, burgers, and pizzas. need we go on? While processed foods usually give a rush of energy, they have a low nutritional value. Cultivate your child's eating habits in a way that they understand that candy, cake, fizzy drinks and the like, are special treats meant for occasions like birthdays. If your child has a consistent nourishing diet, sporadic consumption of junk food won't do much harm.

Set a bedtime

Remember those nights you had a disturbed sleep or just couldn't get enough shut eye? Even as adults we would feel moody, but, because we are aware of it, we can control our emotions and push through the day. However, for children, it's a different story. Too little sleep can result in lack of focus, behavioural problems, academic issues, and moodiness, among others. Too much sleep can result in lethargy. Most professionals suggest around nine hours of sleep at reasonable hours every night, for a productive and interactive child. 

Playtime is essential

Every child exhibits various physical talents when it comes to exercise and sports and develops motor skills at different rates. But when young kids have trouble with movement, it can make common motor activities like running, jumping, and throwing, difficult. To conquer this, play games or involve the child in activities that enhance balance such as hopscotch, dancing, gymnastics and trampoline jumping, etc.

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