Raising Healthy, Happy Children
14 Jun 2019
Every parent wants to raise a child that is happy, healthy and well rounded, however there are many confronting statistics surrounding the wellness of our children today. Did you that 1 in 4 children is overweight or obese, 1 in 10 children has a food allergy, 1 in 14 children have anxiety and 1 in 35 suffer from depression? During the Oac Inspired Parent Series at our Coogee Brook St campus, Holistic Paediatrician Dr Deb Levy shared 5 practical ways to improve the happiness and wellbeing of your child.
What you feed your child is crucial for their growth and development. It’s not just about the calories they eat but also about the quality of foods and meeting all their nutritional requirements. Dr Deb shares the concept of food as medicine and how we can use foods to help our children’s growth, health and behaviour. Raising children who are good eaters is easier when you start young and introduce them to a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, protein, grains and healthy fats everyday.
Play is essential for your child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. The type of play children engage in will vary according to their age and abilities, their strengths and personalities. Play is a wonderful way for children to challenge themselves and develop into the unique individuals they are. Dr Deb believes unstructured and outdoor play is particularly important and that play helps children develop a sense of being, belonging and becoming.
Sleep, relaxation and meditation are all important for your child’s wellbeing. How much sleep your child needs will depend on their age, and to encourage quality sleep it is essential to build a sleep routine early on. If your child isn’t sleeping well, it’s important to look for underlying conditions such as breathing problems or nutritional deficiencies. Dr Deb’s tips for improving sleep include limiting screen time before bed, ensuring they’ve eaten well, avoiding stimulants like chocolate and having a bath with magnesium or essential oils to increase relaxation.
Children need to feel calm, safe and protected both within themselves, their family and the wider community. It’s important to check in regularly with your child to understand how they’re feeling, what they are thinking and to give them your time, empathy and love.
Our children are exposed to thousands of toxins before they are even born. Many of these toxins like plastics and chemicals cause direct damage to developing children. Dr Deb discussed the 3 barriers that serve to protect your child: their skin, their lungs and their gut. Beyond forming a barrier, the gut microbiome influences many aspects of our children’s physical and mental health. Promoting good gut health is an integral part of helping your child be healthy and happy. Dr Deb’s tips for promoting good gut health include building garlic, asparagus and fermented foods into your child’s diet.
Do you have questions or concerns about the health or wellbeing of your child? Visit Dr Deb Levy’s website for more information www.drdeblevy.com