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Why Food, Sleep and Exercise are Critical to Young Kids

Being a parent represents an intense and emotional experience.  It brings many excitements, but it can also be a great challenge and a stressful time of our lives. All parents are concerned about their abilities and skills to raise and educate a happy and healthy child. In order for the children to develop properly, they need someone who will love them. They need someone who will take the time to understand them, someone who will try to respond to the needs of their unique personality.  When children feel they are loved, respected and appreciated they have the best start for the future. Let’s start with the basics.

food, sleep, and exercise are critical to young kids

Healthy food

The emphasis in the food pyramid is on five main groups of foods, each of which is important for maintaining good health. That’s why you need to offer to children diverse foods, from all food groups such as bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, legumes.

First of all, proteins are needed for growth and they are in foods such as milk, meat, fish, eggs and cheese. Calcium is needed to form bones and teeth. It can be found in milk and dairy products, and a little less in leafy vegetables. Lack of iron is a problem at a certain number of younger preschool children. The poor progression, decreased appetite, weakness and poor concentration may be a sign of iron deficiency. Furthermore, water is needed to regulate the functions of a child’s organism. Therefore, children should be offered water several times a day.

Fats are also essential nutrients in a child’s nutrition. They provide extra calories and necessary nutrients for growth and activity. Their share should not exceed 30% of the daily needs. Unsaturated fats are those that are healthier and which children need to bring in through various foods. Sweets provide a large amount of calories and have small nutritional value.  Consequently sugars need to be limited because they cause teeth decay. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fibers. At the same time they have a low calorie level and fat content and contribute to many health benefits. It is never too late to begin to include healthy foods in your child’s diet. Healthy children become healthy adults.

grapefruit

Good sleep

Chronic sleep disorders can weaken immunity. Tired and sleepless children are prone to colds, flu and other infectious diseases. In addition, tired children can hardly follow lessons, learn, and perform the tasks that are required of them.  Determine sleep time and do not allow any deviation.  The lack of sleep leads to irritability, nervousness, frequent mood swings, poorer social situations. 

When a child goes to sleep, the bedroom should be darkened, have a moderate temperature, and without disturbance. The kid’s bed should be comfortable and used only for sleeping.  The pillow should be adapted to the child’s age. The height of the pillow corresponds to their size. It is also necessary that the whole body has a rest from a difficult day. We know that children sleep best after a good walk or a game. Sleep is important for the normal development of the child’s intellectual functions as well as for his immunity! According to the aforementioned – there is no good immunity without enough sleep.

 

sleeping child

Exercising is important

Children love to be on the move, to go jumping, running, climbing, dancing. Physical activity has a positive influences on their psychophysical growth and development. As children are less active, they are clumsier and more inclined to injuries. Regular physical activity and movement contributes to the strengthening of muscles, proper bone growth, stimulates proper coordination and proper posture, and develops skills and senses for balance.  In addition, movement contributes to the strengthening of immunity and protects against obesity. Exercise is also good for the heart, bloodstream and breathing. Daily movement and physical activity develop a sense of responsibility in a child; it helps in strengthening self-confidence, as well as in freeing from aggression and negative emotions.

girl with balloon

Taking this all into account, we can see why food, sleep and physical activity are very important for the development of a child. If you want your kid to grow into a healthy person, give him a happy and active childhood and teach him some healthy habits.  At some point in time, you will be more satisfied and happier if your child is ready and steady for the life which comes.

Parenting-Why Food, Sleep and Exercise are Critical to Young Kids

Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.

 

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Heather Haunga

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