Advice For Parents And Caregivers

When a child is suffering from cancer, there is equal pressure and strain on the parents too. That is the reason why the hospital provides support services for parents and their loved ones too. Their strength is what helps their child to effectively deal with the condition and aid in their speedy recovery.  

Novant Health Blume offers advice for parents based on three broadly divided categories

  • Healthy Practices
  • Healthy Eating Habits
  • Physical Activities

Effectively implementing these practices not only benefits the child but also paves way to a healthy lifestyle for both the children and their parents. Consumption of proper food, following healthy dietary practices, getting an adequate amount of sleep can improve the child’s mental state, ability to learn, growth, build strong healthy muscles and bones, avoid the dangers of heart diseases and stroke in the future and improve their mood and confidence.  

Novant Health Blume’s Idea of healthy habits

The first step to getting your child to practice healthy habits is the parents following themselves. When you make it a practice to reduce the intake of sugar, caffeine, and sugary drinks and switch to a more healthy alternative of eating more fruits and veggies, your children will automatically follow your path. 

Healthy Practices:

Be a role model to them by doing exercises every day and keeping yourself  hydrated and healthy for a morning walk or a jog and talk about the experience to your kid. As days go by they would want to join you in your morning routine. Taking them alongside you is a decent method for hanging out. Educate your children and talk to them about the benefits of eating healthy food and the downsides of including too much salt or sugar in your diet. 

Another significant part is to ensure your youngster gets a sufficient measure of rest. Not getting sufficient rest can make your youngster fretful and touchy. A decent and appropriate night’s rest can help your child intellectually and genuinely steady and keeps them in great shape as well. Doing so can avoid obesity issues and any sort of health issues that might occur in later life. Be the person whom you would want your child to be. 

There might be other people in the lives of your child too, such as their babysitters. Share your ideas with them so they might lead your child on the right path too. When interrupting your child’s playtime activities, by providing them with healthy snacks and drinks. Increase their active playtime and decrease their screen time. 

Once your child starts going to school it can be difficult to track their activities as when they were at home. To maintain a healthy lifestyle efficiently, check with the school’s breakfast and lunch programs, their physical education programs, and other opportunities that are needed for your child to be healthy and physically active. 

It is equally important to keep other influences around your child in check, especially their friend’s circle and media. Advertisements on television can encourage your child to eat food that contains high calories and high-fat foods that can affect and interrupt their healthy lifestyle. So rather than watching advertisements for such products encourage them to learn values through famous athletes, child athletes, and action figures. Doing so can improve your child’s behavior and values outside of the home too. 

Healthy Eating Habits:

How do I get my child to eat and drink healthily? This is a question asked by most frustrated parents. Well, the answer lies in how the parents encourage them to do so. Children like adults also require their daily dose of calories and nutrients. There are certain guidelines regarding the right nutrition intake for children too. 

Healthy habits are important to stay energetic, to boost your immunity, and reduce the risk of diseases. American children above the age of 32 are recommended to consume drinks and beverages that have nutritional value and the suggested items include, 

  • Fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts(unsalted). Before giving them such foods check with your child’s nutritionist to see if they are not allergic to them
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products especially cheese, milk, and yogurt
  • Foods rich in protein content, red meat, poultry, eggs, and legumes

Things to Avoid,

  • Sugars
  • Saturated fat
  • Salt
  • Refined grains

The aforementioned no-no items are found in pizzas, crackers, chips, sweetened soda drinks, and desserts like cookies and cakes. Lesser consumption of these foods can boost their energy levels. This will provide them with the necessary energy to get them focused in school. 

  • To promote healthy eating habits in your child, cut down the number of solid fats. Switch to olive or canola oil and bake or roast the foods as opposed to frying. 
  • Encourage them to take foods containing less salt. Keep cut-up fruits in their reach so that they might not be tempted to eat chips or crackers. 
  • Limit your child’s sugar intake
  • Provide them with the right food portion for their age and let them not consume more than they require. 

Your child will be encouraged to eat properly when the parents sit down together to share a meal. Serve everyone the same thing and do not compromise the nutrient amount for anyone. The parents can encourage the child to prepare meals in the meantime, sharing with them the benefits of consuming this food. They are more likely to eat with interest once they know the effects that the particular food has on their body. Encourage your child to eat more healthy foods and beverages outside of the home. Do not allow them to eat in front of the TV or mobiles or while being simultaneously engaged in any either activity. Both the parents and the children should sit down together to plan and prepare the meals.

Physical Activities:

During the ages 3 through 5, children compulsorily require physical activity as it is an important part of their developmental phase. As parents or caretakers, the most difficult task is to get your child up and moving. 

Based on their age, the physical activities can be minimal, moderate, or intense. The lesser the age, the more physical activity the child is encouraged. Some common physical activities that you can do along with your child are bicycling, rope jumping, playing tennis, or basketball. Make sure that the activities you engage your child should include movement to their entire body. 

The following methods can be implemented to help your child show interest in physical activities:

  • Tell them that exercise and games can be fun rather than sitting in one place watching TV. be an active role model. You can do so by partnering up with your child to play outdoor activities. 
  • The more, the merrier. Encourage your whole family to play games or involve them in fun activities like dancing or walking. You can also take a walk around the park, or visit a zoo. 
  • Spending time in activities such as car washing, doing the chores, or walking the dog or fun activities that encourage you to have quality time with your child while getting the work done. 
  • Encourage your child to actively take part in after school activities that they love and enjoy

The most effective way to encourage your child is by doing all these activities. If the parent is more involved in spending time with their phones, the child would do the same too. Children, rather than learning, imitate their parents. So your qualities are what encourage your child to do the right thing. 

The most recommended advice from doctors and therapists at Novant Health Blume, is to restrict using too much digital media outside of homework time. Between 2-6 yrs, the screen time should not exceed more than an hour or better none at all. Do not install a television in your child’s bedroom and do not pressure them to be too focused on school. Make sure they lead a balanced life with sufficient school, sleep, and playtime. 

The following practices can be implemented to make sure your child stays physically active

  • Do not reward them with screen time for any accomplishments
  • Introduce game nights with your family where one should mandatorily switch off their phone. 
  • Designate media-free places in your home. 

If your child is overweight or obese make sure you alter yours as well as your child’s life accordingly. Chances are youngsters who are overweight probably stay overweight, when they become grown-ups. Being overweight, otherwise known as obesity, can cause serious health issues. It leads to stress, mental health problems, and low self-esteem in children at a very young age. 

If you are not sure about the ideal weight for your child at that particular age, talk to the pediatrician at Novant Health Blume, they might guide you to the right practices that should be implemented in your child’s everyday routine. The child’s ideal body weight is calculated based on their height. 

During the process, the child needs the support of their parents to guide them through the journey. Never demotivate or discourage your child. Accept and love them the way they are. Doing so will help their confidence and will effectively collaborate in weight reduction endeavors. Make the whole family participate in a weight reduction program though none of them are overweight. A daily schedule of good dieting, appropriate actual activity, and sufficient rest ought to be kept up with. Reward your child differently when they achieve something and help them to cope with failures in a healthy manner

Guide your child on the right path. Do not be misled by the internet and follow everything provided here. Get proper guidance from a nutritionist or your child’s pediatrician so that what you implement now will be followed by them for the rest of their lives. 

The Novant Health Blume support center offers such education for the parents and caretakers so that they raise a generation of happy healthy adults. Know the pediatric services offered in Nhblume.

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