Being a parent is said to be one of the most difficult things imaginable. First of all, it lasts all your life and not just while your child is still young. Second of all, it is hardly a single thing that needs doing.
Parenting consists of all sorts of different tasks and responsibilities, each one seemingly more responsible and challenging than the previous. Bringing a child into the world together with your partner is only the beginning. It is how you raise them, teach them about the world, and care for them that truly matters and what is therefore considered parenting.
Out of all the things a parent needs to do for their child to thrive, health is by far the most important thing. With young children, especially babies, and toddlers, it is particularly important for everything to go as well as it can since human beings are at their most fragile when young.
Children can experience all sorts of health issues that adults are immune to and it does not take long for them to catch a cold, develop a cough, or lack certain nutrients needed for a healthy body. In order for their immune system to become strong as soon as possible and for you as the parent to have fewer things to worry about as they get older, you need to know how to keep things in check.
Keeping the immune system of your child in check is prevalent from day one so it is crucial that you know how to do it. In this article, we talk about this very thing so make sure to keep reading to learn more about it.
A lot of parents are unsure of whether or not they are doing things the right way. Do not let yourself feel this way about the well-being of your little one(s). If you’re worried about how to help avoid illness and boost your child’s immune system contact pediatricians from Offspring Health.
A Healthy Diet
First and foremost, as with many other things related to health, it all starts from what we eat. Giving your child a healthy and balanced diet makes all the difference and it is where things typically start with building a strong immune system. The food we eat and what we drink has a huge impact on how our bodies react to what we are exposed to in the world.
Strength and immunity must first come from the inside before one can start building physical resistance and sturdiness on the surface. A healthy diet is possible no matter how young the child is. From the early days of your child eating solid food, they need to get used to all the healthy stuff and eat as little of the unhealthy foods as possible. Avoid processed foods, sugary stuff, and foods rich in unhealthy fats.
Fruits and veggies have to be a daily thing, but whole grain foods, lean protein sources, and healthy fats must also be there throughout the week. Get your child hooked on the good stuff as early as possible and their immune system will thank you for it. Vitamins and minerals need to be present in every meal for it to make sense. Of course, an occasional treat like ice cream or cookies is obligatory too as they still need to be kids after all.
Sleeping is Crucial
Making sure your child eats the right way is more than necessary but it is hardly the only thing you should do. Sleeping for the right amount of time each day is as important for the immune system as food.
The amount of sleep a child should get varies greatly on their age. Infants need anywhere between 12 and 16 hours of sleep per day, while 8 to 10 is more than enough for teens. In addition, some children thrive on fewer hours of sleep than others while there are some that need more of it. It depends on their activities and responsibilities too. Encouraging healthy sleeping can be done by limiting screen time especially while they are still young.
This has many benefits later in life too. There should be no screens, particularly phones, one or two hours before bedtime. Such rules help promote falling asleep more easily and waking up on time. Do not discourage afternoon naps for tweens and teens if they need it, especially if they have evening activities and early morning school.
Get Them to Be Active
The holy trinity of improving the immune system regardless of age rounds up with being active. Sleeping enough each day and eating a balanced diet are only promoted and enhanced when you also put in exercise and sports into the mix. The benefits of children going to sports at a young age hardly stop here with the immune system.
Socializing and building competitiveness are best done in such environments, but being active and working out the body also contribute to being healthier. There is nothing worse for the body than not using it. Sitting or lying down for extended periods of time is extremely bad for the bones, muscles, and joints. It is not that great for the brain either. In order to stimulate the entire body and the mind, being active is needed.
An hour a day of dedicated activity time is more than enough for a child, especially if they are already outgoing and spend a lot of time playing with friends. Sports like basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, or any form of running and jumping really should do the trick.
Teach Them Not to Stress
Last but not least is the often forgotten part of being healthy and not ruining your immune system at an early age. Stress has always been the silent killer because it can impact so much of our bodies. If left unchecked, it grows into anxiety and depression. It is a myth that only adults get stressed.
Children have a lot on their plate too. Between school, making friends, enjoying hobbies, and doing extracurricular activities, there is a lot in their average day to wrap their minds around. Teaching them not to get stressed out and take things too hard is key to allowing them to be more immune to stress and to remain healthier.