A couple of years back I remember hearing someone say that worry is second nature to mothers. At that point, though, I didn't really grasp the validity of the statement. Today, however, I can completely vouch for it being true. From what she is eating to why she isn't sleeping, if she is happy to her immunity, my mind keeps going around in circles. I'm perpetually concerned about her, to say the least. What can I say, anxiety is a part of being a mother! Doesn't really go away, does it?
Being a working mother, I'm constantly on a guilt trip for not keeping my child with me all the time. And that's where her well being and health are my major cause of concerns any given moment of any day. And the latter for the most part revolves around her immunity. Her being away from me in the day-care for the most part of the day adds to that concern while I constantly think of ways to make up for that.
Since her health is of prime importance I often find myself reading up on ways to increase immunity in kids or even consulting her paediatrician for the same. And here are a few things I found out.
This is something which is recommended by doctors all around the world. Breast milk contains immunity-enhancing antibodies and as every doctor will vouch for, it is one of the most important building blocks of a child’s immunity. This is precisely one of the reasons why breastfeeding is recommended for a minimum of three to six months.
It goes without saying that a good diet is a balanced diet, one which ensures the body gets all that it needs to function properly. And for children who are growing, it is imperative that every meal provided the required nutrients in the right quantities.
Include more fruits and vegetables in her diet. Fruits and vegetables strengthen the immune system and are a must for any child. These are rich sources of vitamins, folic acid, zinc and iron. I don’t need to tell you how important these are for a child.
Children are often fussy eaters. They might refuse to eat green vegetables or even pulses sometimes. In such cases, we can go for doctor recommended supplements wherever required to meet the nutritional requirements.
The more a child is active, the more likely he or she is to have an appetite and thus eat proper meals providing adequate nutrients for the body’s growth. Also, I read somewhere that just as in adults, exercise increases the resistance of the body to diseases in kids.
We should make sure that children grow up in clean and hygienic surroundings. Anything other than that makes them susceptible to diseases.
It is always a good practice to help the body heal naturally as much as possible. Too much dependency of antibiotics is not recommended. Of course, this needs to be confirmed by your pediatrician.
A good sleep is conducive to a healthy body. Sleep deprivation is the cause of many diseases not only in adults but children as well. So care should be taken that children get enough sleep to rejuvenate their immune system.
We all know that smoking is injurious to health and second-hand smoke more so. In fact, it can cause far severe damage in kids. That’s why care should be taken to keep kids away from secondhand smoke at all times.
Kids are fragile and very quickly prone to illness. I’m constantly worried that she might fall sick. One sneeze or a running nose and my first impulse is to reach for the medicine which, as a practice is very hard to curb. I live in constant fear during changes of weather or rains that she'll fall sick. And many times she does.
Some of the things mentioned above are hard to implement. Most nights my daughter refuses to have dinner which is a concern for most mothers I meet these days. Kids are fussy eaters which makes ensuring their bodies get at least the minimum nutritional requirements per day tricky. That’s where food supplements come in.
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