IMPORTANT NOTICE: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for as long as possible. Growing up milks are formulated to meet nutrition needs of healthy young children older than 1 year and should not be fed to infants.
According to many studies and scientific reports, obesity is a life-threatening risk since early childhood and obese children often turn out to be obese adults. So, chubby cheeks after all aren’t as innocent as they seem, but your role as a mother gives you the power to turn this equation upside down and protect your child from the negative effects of obesity:
- Make sure your infant gets the right amount of sleep that is appropriate for his age, i.e. 10- 12 hours at night, plus 2- 4 hours a day for babies between 4 and 5 months old, 11- 12 hours at night, plus 2- 3 hours a day for babies between 5 and 8 months old, as some studies suggest that sleep deprivation in babies may increase their weight above the normal average.
- Allow your baby to move freely under your close supervision of course, and encourage him to play and do some physical exercises for at least 15 minutes every one hour. Don’t use strollers, chairs and cribs unless for special reasons and for short periods of time.
- Offer your baby water between meals and limit his daily consumption of fresh juice to half cup or one third of a cup. Do not add salt or sugar to your baby’s food before he’s one year old.
- If possible, try to breastfeed your baby until his first birthday, as your milk provides him with the necessary nutrients without increasing his daily caloric intake, like other types of milk do.
- Serve your baby the quantity of foods appropriate for his age as set by the doctor. Try to focus on fruits, veggies and legumes and always take into account the amount of fats and nutrients your infant’s body needs to grow and develop.
- Provide your baby with his protein requirements from lentils and other types of legumes, in addition to fish, poultry and low fat meat. By 10 months old, start serving your infant low fat or fat free dairy products.
- Don’t force your baby to eat if he’s not hungry and don’t let him watch TV or play with video games until his second birthday.
Those were some of the important steps a mother can take to prevent her infant from obesity and its complications which include sleep disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, asthma and high blood pressure. Be sure to follow through and you’ll certainly be able to maintain your angel’s health and fitness for the coming years!
Read More: 10 Healthy Snacks For Young Children
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