Good health for your child starts with day-to-day lifestyle factors including making sure they get good nutrition and enough exercise.
In addition, your doctor and other healthcare professionals can help with vaccinations and regular check-ups.
A healthy diet can help your child fight sickness and avoid obesity.
Ideally, children should eat fruit, vegetables, grains, cereals and lean meat daily. They should also drink a lot of water.
‘Sometimes foods’ that are high in fat, sugar and salt should be limited to small amounts once a week. Eating these foods can increase the risk of your child developing tooth decay and becoming overweight.
Your child should develop healthy eating habits from an early age. For example, ‘sometimes foods’ are not usually appropriate as rewards, and healthy foods shouldn’t be used as a punishment.
You can talk to your children about nutrition from a very young age since they can eat the same meals as you once they are 12 months old.
Play is a very effective form of exercise for children. Play helps build healthy bones and strong muscles. It also helps to develop your child’s imagination, improve physical skills such as balancing and social skills and teaches your child to share and take turns.
Children should be active for at least three hours every day and shouldn’t spend any more than one hour at a time being inactive, such sitting in a car or watching TV. Play doesn’t need to be expensive. Children can use their imagination to turn everyday objects into toys.
A significant amount of growth and development occurs in the early years of your child’s life. Your child should have regular check-ups with your family doctor.
During the first five years of your child’s life they should have regular, scheduled appointments to monitor their growth and development. These checks should include measuring their weight and height, and checking their hearing and vision. The check-ups also provide an opportunity to ask a doctor any questions you may have about parenthood, child development and the general health of your child.
Vaccinations are an important part of preventing serious illness of your child and other children in your community. Vaccines are simple, safe and effective. They develop the immune system and build resistance to infections. If a high proportion of people in a community is vaccinated, infections are less likely to spread.