Prepare your child for a lifetime of wellness

Thursday, July 28, 2022

You want your kids to be happy and healthy throughout their lives, and would like to teach them healthy habits as early as possible. Once your child learns and adopts these habits, they will serve them well for the remainder of their lives.

Teach the value of exercise. Exercise will help your kids build strong bones and muscles, and promote the vitality of the heart, lungs and other major organs. It would be helpful to set a goal of at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise. The entire family can take part in these activities. Walk after dinner, take a bike ride or go for a hike. Play sports or use the jungle gym.

Nutrition is essential. A healthy diet starts at the family table. It might help to get your kids involved in the planning and preparing of family meals. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains like oats and brown rice, low-fat proteins, dairy products and healthy vegetable fats. Make sure you chose water or low-fat milk over sugary sodas.

Keep your kids safe from the sun. It only takes a few serious sunburns in childhood to raise the risks of developing skin cancer later in life. Encourage your kids to wear a hat, sunglasses, and clothing that covers their legs and arms when out in the sun. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Educate them on the dangers of smoking. Talk to your kids about why smoking is dangerous to their health and well-being.

Protect their teeth. Brushing twice a day keeps tooth enamel strong and protected against decay. Drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride rinses are also beneficial.

Keep up-to-date with vaccinations. Vaccines prevent serious childhood diseases that can lead to lifelong problems or even death. Your child’s pediatrician can offer a recommended schedule of shots and boosters for children from birth to age 18.

Your Watson Clinic Pediatrician can help you come up with more ideas to keep your kids healthy and active. To schedule an appointment, call 863-607-3346 (Highlands), 863-680-7337 (North Pediatrics), 813-719-2500 (Plant City) or 863-647-8012 (South).

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics


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