Dr. Ma.Jesusa Christina Calagos-Macalinao believes that good nutrition is an essential key to a healthy body, and there is no better time to teach your children the value of a balanced diet and exercise than from the time they begin to eat solid foods. Right now, one out of every three children in America is either overweight or obese – an epidemic that your child does not have to be a part of.
Your child should only consume breast milk or formula during infancy. However, at approximately six months old, you may start to introduce foods to your baby, such as pureed or strained fruits and vegetables. Introduce foods slowly. If your child does not like a particular vegetable, reintroduce the vegetable again after a few days or weeks.
As your children grow and begin to eat solid foods, avoid feeding them processed foods or foods high in sugar, hydrogenated oils or refined white flour. Instead, give your child a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, lean proteins and dairy. A balanced diet will have plenty of fiber and calcium for healthy growth.
Above all, limit consumption of empty calorie beverages, like sodas, and do not feed your children excessive quantities of chips, candy and other snack foods.
Like adults, children need physical exercise to have strong bones and healthy bodies. Send your children outside to play for an hour a day, or enroll them in extracurricular activities. Dr. Ma.Jesusa Christina Calagos-Macalinao herself teaches a ZumbAtomic ® zumba-for-children class every Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Wellness Center in Macon, GA. The class is for ages 4 to 13, and is a great way to teach your children that exercise can be fun.
As your children grow, encourage them to participate in athletic activities at school, such as football, dance or swimming. Just be sure to visit our office for a sports physical prior to beginning a physical activity program.