With healthy habits from birth, you can give your baby a good start for a healthy and happy future. Breast milk is ideal for your baby’s growing needs.
It is easy to develop healthy eating habits at an early stage in their lives. Babies like the foods they get used to. If you give them lots of different, healthy foods to try when they are babies and toddlers, they are more likely to eat a variety of healthy foods as they grow up. Avoid salt, sugar, honey, nuts, saturated fats, low-fat foods, raw shellfish or eggs for babies.
Being physically active takes brain and muscle power so it plays an important part in your baby's development. As they grow, you can help them by playing with them and helping them make new movements and explore their surroundings. Physical exercise helps with all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing and it helps avoid becoming overweight or obese.
It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through food alone (it only occurs naturally in a few foods, such as oily fish and eggs). The Department of Health recommends that all children from six months to five years old are given supplements, in the form of vitamin drops, which contain vitamins A, C and D.
Your health visitor or pharmacist can give you advice on vitamin drops. To see if you are entitled to free vitamin drops visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk
Source: NHS Choices Pregnancy and Baby
Many parents are unaware of the dangers of their child being overweight or obese but by following the top tips below you can make a difference to your child’s health.
Meal Time - It’s important for kids to have regular, proper meals as growing bodies respond better to routine.
5 A Day - Include 5 portions of fruit and/or vegetables a day.
Sugar Swaps - Avoid sugary drinks particularly between meals - water or milk are the best option.
Snack Check - Many snacks are full of the things that are bad for us - sugar, salt, fat and calories. So try fruit, cut vegetables or breadsticks as an alternative.
Me Size Meals - It’s important to make sure kids get just the right amount for their age.
Up and About - Children are naturally active. Limit the amount of time they spend watching TV or playing computer games.
Source: Change4Life - DoH 2009 (www.dh.gov.uk/obesity).
For your wellbeing and that of your child, do not smoke or let anyone smoke in front of your child. If you would like further information about stopping smoking, please contact Kent Stop Smoking Service on 0800 849 4444.
My child is a fussy eater and I worry that they are not getting enough food.
As long as your child is active, gaining weight and it's obvious they're not ill, then they’re getting enough to eat.
As long as your child eats some food from the four main food groups (milk and dairy products, starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, protein), you don't need to worry.