Health education is very important for a child right from the age when she begins to understand. Right habits, if inculcated at an early age, helps the child grow into a healthy and responsible person. One need not go deep into details while imparting health education to kids.
Simple and basic principles of health and hygiene should be taught to the child through various activities and games since hygiene forms an important part of health education. Children also learn a lot through imitation. So, remember you, as a mother, are first educational institution for your child. Whatever you will do, your child will imitate and inculcate. So, be cautious and follow the same rules of health and hygiene which you tell to your kid.
Ways To Impart Health Education To Children
Make sure that you tell your child the importance of brushing teeth daily twice a day. Stand with your child in front of the mirror as soon as her first tooth begins to appear and brush her tooth gently with the baby brush available for the toddlers. My girl never liked the idea of brushing teeth so I once showed her images of germs after downloading a picture from internet. I explained her how these germs decay our teeth.
She enjoyed seeing those funny faces of germs (it was a cartoon image) and asked me several times to show the picture. I showed her the picture every time she asked and explained her same thing. Within a week she started brushing her teeth happily. I also made brushing fun by singing rhymes related to brushing like “Here we go round the mulberry brush”, “Brush brush, brush your teeth morning and night”, etc.
Washing Hands Before Meals
It is very important to make the children learn that washing hands before meals is necessary because it kills germs and makes our hands clean. When we eat foods with dirty hands the germs enter into our mouth and then travel to the stomach and thrive there. It makes us ill. The children will learn this if you will wash your hands before every meal and will encourage them to wash their hands with soap and water.
Eating All Kind Of Foods
This is an issue with which I find most parents grappling on daily basis. To avoid any tantrums related to food, children should be given all kind of foods at the age of weaning. Once the kids acquire taste of all fruits, grains and vegetables it becomes easier to feed them all kind of healthy foods without making any fuss. When my girl had just started eating solid foods, my doctor recommended me to give her all kind of grains and vegetables in different combinations.
So I used to puree different combinations of grains and vegetables and used to feed her. I fed her pulses and rice, chapattis soaked in water and various green vegetables pureed into a smooth mix, pureed fruits, pressure cooked apples and pears, etc. Besides, I showed her pictures of kids playing and told her that we get required energy when we eat all kind of foods. If your children have crossed that age then also do not panic.
You can still manage to feed them nutritious meals by bringing some variation in their favorite foods and by replacing junk with healthy things like whole wheat pasta cooked with lots of vegetables, burger with lettuce leaves and vegetable patty, etc. Also mark one day in the week when children can eat their favorite foods in moderate quantities.
Drinking Plenty Of Water
This is a habit which will go a long way in making them healthy and happy throughout their lives. Encourage your child to drink 7 – 8 glasses of water a day. Every time you drink water, give some water to your child also. Tell her that it is important to keep our body hydrated since 70% of our body is made up of water. Tell her that drinking water will help her grow tall like that girl in her class.
Discourage your child to pick her nose when she does so. Tell her that it is unhygienic and unhealthy since the mucous contains a lot of germs. Ask her to wash hands after picking her nose. Similarly encourage her to wash her hands after using wash room.
Tell your child importance of exercising and make her do some easy exercises while you work out like simple stretches, yogasans, breathing exercises, etc. Encourage your child to go out and play with friends in the park rather than playing video games and watching TV all through the day.
These simple and basic principles of health education will go a long way in making healthy and responsible kids. Remember reinforcement is the key. Keep repeating the same thing to children till they begin to understand and follow them. Do not lose your temper while repeating and be their greatest role model.