Being a mother of three kids, I have had my share of sleeplessness as night-duty nurse. A couple of times, I’ve had to rush one kid to the emergency room – unbathed, in house clothes, and honking the car all the way.
Really, having a sick child not only brings out the best (or worst) driver in me. It also drives me nuts.
But, thankfully, my kids are generally healthy. The episodes I talk about above have not occurred recently. And I hope it stays that way. Save for the regular visits to the allergologist with Nate and the occasional sniffles, my kids have not been to the doctor for any serious illness this year.
I think I am finally doing something right. Let me share with you how I try to keep my kids healthy.
1. Healthy and Nutritious Food. Sounds so cliche, right? But I think it really does pay to eat more fruits and veggies, less of the junk.
My youngest son, Nate, has skin asthma, and he is the primary reason why the family has decided to adopt a healthier diet.
A lot of the food that we used to eat – chocolates, chips, hotdogs, canned meats, food with artificial preservatives – caused skin allergies in him. His allergies were so severe that we finally decided earlier this year to ditch these allergy-inducing foods from our home diet.
My kids now eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – great sources of natural vitamins and minerals. I try to give them as much raw fruits as they want. Patch now eats fresh green salads with me! (Still need to work on convincing VGood that raw greens aren’t icky at all.) Instead of artificial juice drinks, they love to gulp down water and milk.
As for chips and chocolates? They are contrabands, reserved only for authorized use by authorized person/s. (Translation: The adults eat them only during extreme emergencies such as to cope with stress or during a PMS attack.)
My kids’ bodies were detoxified of all the artificial preservatives. For the most part, I think that is what keeps them in great health.
2. Active Play. I always tell my kids that my childhood was lots of fun because I had the great outdoors of Baguio City as my playground. My parents pretty much let me get all the play I wanted – rolling down hills and slopes, running in open fields, climbing up guava trees…
My kids won’t be able to enjoy these cheap luxuries anymore. So whenever there’s a chance, I bring them out and let them run, play, have fun. The air isn’t as clean as it used to be, but being out in the sun is better than playing virtual games on gadgets.
My eldest daughter, Patch, shows keen interest in sports. She has taken up volleyball lately, so hub and I show support for her new interest by buying gear and actually playing with her. Hey, it could be good for us too!
Active play has its benefits. It obviously makes bones and muscles stronger. It develops social skills as our children interact with others. Emotional skills are also enhanced as they learn to take turns or accept defeat during games.
Set aside a few minutes several times a week to play with your kids. You can take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, or play tag. Choose toys that promote movement, such as bikes, balls, skipping ropes. Teach them the fun games you grew up with – Chinese garter, langit-lupa, freeze-and-melt… The list goes on.
3. Rest and Sleep. I think today’s children are silent sufferers of stress. And that’s a pity. Continue reading Raising Healthy and Happy Kids