6 Tips for Nurturing and Maintaining Children’s Health

As parents and carers, ensuring our children grow up healthy and happy is one of our top priorities. Their physical, mental and emotional well-being shapes who they become as adults. While children will face bumps and scrapes along the way, there are many things we can do to nurture their overall health. This article provides tips on nutrition, safety, emotional support and more to help you care for the children in your life.

  • Promote Healthy Eating Habits

Making sure children eat a balanced diet is essential for their growth and development. Try to include plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein, whole grains and dairy. Limit sweets and salty snacks to occasional treats. You can encourage healthy eating by involving children in meal planning and preparation. Make healthy choices fun and creative.

  • Ensure Plenty of Physical Activity

Along with nutrition, physical activity keeps children’s bodies and minds active and healthy. Aim for at least 60 minutes per day of play, sports or exercise. This doesn’t have to be all at once – several short 10-minute bursts of activity throughout the day also count. Join your children in activities they enjoy, walk or bike to school together, or make chore time more fun by putting on some music and dancing while you clean.

  • Promote Good Sleep Habits

Sleep is vital for children’s growth, learning ability, behaviour and mental health. Preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep per day, school-age children need 9-12 hours, and teens need 8-10 hours per night. Help children wind down at night by keeping lights dim in the hour before bedtime. Have a consistent bedtime routine. Make sure bedrooms are cool, quiet and dark enough to sleep well. 

  • Foster Positive Relationships

No matter whether you’re caring for your biological child or a child from a foster agency like Fosterplus in Glasgow, it’s important to build positive relationships. Caring relationships provide emotional support that bolsters children’s resilience, self-esteem and overall well-being. Show your unconditional love through words and actions. Be patient and fully engaged when they want to talk to you. Maintain open communication and learn techniques to discuss difficult topics effectively. 

  • Encourage Good Hygiene Early On

Instilling proper hygiene habits early on means they are more likely to stick. Make hand-washing part of your family’s daily routine – before meals, after using the toilet, playing outside or touching pets. Teach children to wash their face daily and brush their teeth twice per day. Bathe young children regularly. As children grow up, talk about how hygiene needs change during puberty. Provide the hygiene products they need.

  • Administer Recommended Vaccinations

Following the NHS vaccination schedule protects children against serious and potentially deadly diseases like measles, polio, meningitis and pneumonia. Discuss any vaccine concerns with your child’s GP. Keep track of vaccinations received and schedule all future recommended jabs. 

Helping children grow into healthy, well-rounded individuals requires meeting needs across physical, mental and emotional domains. By providing a nurturing environment, protecting your children from harm and modelling positive choices, you can give your children – biological, adopted or fostered – the foundation they need to become healthy, resilient adults.