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Here’s how birth defects can be prevented!

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When you plan to get pregnant, you realize how important good health is that can protect your baby from defects. Varied nutrition influences the child’s growth, but it is not the only factor that helps prevent congenital malformations.

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Photo by Shutterstock

There are some birth defects that cannot be prevented, but expectant mothers should do everything possible to prevent the others. Usually, birth defects appear in the first 3 months of pregnancy, so they need to be very careful. A birth defect is a developmental problem that occurs when the child grows in the intrauterine phase. Some defects may appear due to genetic causes or under the influence of environmental factors, but most are favored by unhealthy habits. Fortunately, to ensure that you will have a healthy baby, you have simple solutions at hand. Following some healthy lifestyle rules can help you prevent birth defects.

Watch your body weight

Having a normal body mass index before becoming pregnant can help a baby develop smoothly. Women with an index of 30 or above have a higher risk of having a pregnancy affected by a birth defect. During pregnancy, the recommended weight gain for a woman of average weight is between 11 and 16 kg. Women considered to be obese before and during pregnancy have a higher risk of having babies with birth defects, especially those of the brain and spinal cord.

Supplement with folic acid

If you are trying to get pregnant, it is recommended that you take a daily multivitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Also called vitamin B9, folic acid prevents serious congenital malformations of the brain and spine. Include in the diet foods containing folic acid: beef, spinach, broccoli, cheese, liver, green vegetables, tuna, legumes, oranges.

Avoid certain medications

Some drugs are prohibited during pregnancy because they cross the placenta and can cause birth defects. Most medications simply do not have enough research data to support use during pregnancy because few studies are done on medications that pregnant women can take. What is known so far is that you should avoid those such as those with isotretinoin (used to treat severe acne) and the list goes on. Ask the gynecologist who monitors the pregnancy for advice on absolutely any medicine you want to take, even one that is released without a medical prescription.

Eat more diversely

Eating well is one of the best ways to ensure that your baby has the best chance of being born healthy. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium or folic acid, ensure not only you, as a future mother, the daily requirement of nutrients, but also the growing child. Having all these elements, especially if they come from natural sources, the body will absorb them better. Be sure to increase your protein, fruit and vegetable intake throughout your pregnancy.

Quit smoking

Quitting smoking before becoming pregnant is strongly recommended, but stopping this habit even during pregnancy is beneficial for the baby. Smoking can cause dangerous chemicals to damage the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream, causing certain birth defects. And alcohol should be avoided, even just an occasional glass, because it increases the risk of birth defects or miscarriage.

To remember!

Ask your gynecologist for absolutely any medicine you want to take during pregnancy.

Expert advice

Dr. Andreas Vythoulkas, specialist in obstetrics-gynecology, with overspecialization in infertility

Taken before becoming pregnant, but also during the first weeks of pregnancy, folic acid reduces by about 70% the risk of fetal malformations related to the development of the neural tube, such as spina bifida. The neural tube forms in the first 3-4 weeks of fetal life and develops to form the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid also reduces the risk of malformations such as cleft lip or cleft palate, reduces the risk of congenital heart disease of the fetus, reduces the risk of premature births, helps the formation of the placenta. The amount of folic acid needed should only be adjusted by the doctor, according to recent analyses, with special attention being paid to pregnant women diagnosed with diabetes or celiac disease and those who are overweight.

Postnatal period : Best Tips for a faster recovery 2022

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Without a doubt, the maternity period is the most beautiful and exciting in a woman’s life. Being a mother is not an easy task. The new mother is very happy to hold her baby in her arms, but at the same time, she is going through a period full of special moments and many simultaneous challenges. She faces problems related to her own health, but also problems related to feeding and raising the little one.

Postnatal period

During the postnatal period, the mother may have some difficulties in terms of health, which lasts about 6-8 weeks. Doctors say that now physiological processes and certain changes are taking place in the woman’s body.

After birth, the so-called maternal instinct is formed and the new mother’s behavior changes a little.

Her body returns to its pre-pregnancy state and the function of the mammary glands is established. They undergo certain changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Colostrum secretion occurs about 2-3 days after the birth of the baby. Milk secretion is regulated by the nervous and hormonal systems.

Postnatal period

Many women have problems with the pelvic floor, which is the so-called perineum – a group of muscles that have a role in supporting the organs of the lower abdomen. After childbirth, the pelvic floor is affected, because vaginal birth causes the tissues to stretch up to 245% of their resting length, and this leads to muscle weakness. The new mother will go through a rather stressful period (she may also have problems with urinary incontinence), and sometimes in order to heal faster, they could also seek the help of a specialist. In the case of cesarean delivery, the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction is lower.

In conclusion, the mother needs a recovery period, where doctors’ advice can help her recover faster. For example, doctors recommend certain products that help in the treatment of constipation, such as certain essential oils, stool conditioners or laxatives, drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, and eating fruits, vegetables, and cereals that have fiber to normalize bowel movements.

Postnatal period

Specialist doctors can also offer recommendations to women in case of various health problems, such as:

Pain in the vagina, pain when urinating, difficulty urinating

  • Swelling in the rectum or vagina, muscle spasms
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Weakness in the abdominal area during certain activities
  •  Leaking when bending, sneezing, lifting, etc.
  • In the postnatal period, it is important to hydrate the body, to prevent constipation, fatigue, swelling, cramps, and headaches.

During this period, the mother could use certain recovery products that would make her life easier. Postnatal recovery products are numerous and include medicated tampons, postnatal absorbents, and more. Appropriate clothing and items for breastfeeding are also required, such as:

Pacifiers, teat for baby bottles, diapers

· Special care cream for scars and stretch marks

· Body milk for massage and others.

The mother must take care of herself, and do everything possible to restore her health. That’s what it’s for getting enough sleep and eating properly. Sleep helps her recover, and improves her mood and energy.

And her posture is important. This must be correct especially when holding the baby, so as not to affect its posture and cause back pain. Using a baby carrier will help her in distributing the baby’s load on her body. It can be used from birth, it is comfortable and ergonomic, and it adapts well to each child.

The diet must be balanced and rich in nutrients to feel better and full of vitality.

The mother and baby products should also not be missing, which also include a series of diaper changing accessories, feeding accessories, baby bottles, nasal aspirators, baby thermometers, baby cosmetics, pacifiers, baby monitors, toys, etc.

Mother also needs walks in the fresh air, but also very light exercises for her hips, legs, neck, and back. Mood matters a lot during this period, especially since some women can also suffer from depression and need help.

Butterfly children’s drama. What is the condition that weakens them

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One of the merciless conditions that start shortly after birth is epidermolysis bullosa. The disease weakens the skin so much that any touch can cause painful wounds, which are very difficult to heal. Little ones with such a condition are also called “butterfly children”.

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Alex was born with such a disease, a condition that makes his skin extremely sensitive, and any touch, no matter how small, can cause open wounds with terrible pain. Internal injuries can affect his larynx and oral mucosa. The treatment can relieve the pain, stinging and itching, but it does not cure it. His mother, Nicoleta, hopes that one day a cure for this condition will be discovered. Until then, she dedicates herself 100% to him and does everything possible to make the little boy’s life as beautiful as possible together with her husband.

My mother thought she wasn’t going to survive

Alex’s mother told us that she found out about her child’s illness immediately after giving birth. “They told me that Alex had a problem: he was born without skin on his right leg, from the knee down and on his hands. Luck made it so that I had to perform a cesarean section because I don’t want to imagine how much skin he would have had in normal birth”, the boy’s mother told us. The child was transferred to the “Grigore Alexandrescu” children’s hospital in the capital, where there is also a plastic surgery department. The doctors gave them the hardest blow. “They won’t survive, let’s not get our hopes up, there have been other cases when they were hospitalized for up to 6 months,” recalls Nicoleta.

Read also: How to recognize myopia in a child. Doctor’s advice

Bandaging takes an hour

In the beginning, it took up to 3 hours to change the bandages, but that was not a problem. The bandages still fall off as Alex scratches himself, but nothing makes parents more grateful to spend another day with their beloved child. In the meantime, the changing technique has improved and I still lose about an hour of the day to diapering. This way, Nicoleta and her angel have more time to play. He knows that in the future it will be more difficult for him because he will not be able to feed himself if he has injuries in his mouth and esophagus.

Why does epidermolysis bullosa occur?

The disease is caused by a genetic mutation. The signs of the condition are observed shortly after birth. Manifestations vary from child to child, from mild forms with the appearance of lesions mainly on hands, feet, knees, and elbows, to those with vesicular eruptions on large surfaces, including mucous membranes.

Epidermolysis bullosa can have serious complications because it can affect joints, teeth, eyes, and nails and even cause limb malformations. Because they cannot feed themselves properly, they end up with serious protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies.

Here are the amazing benefits of swimming kids!

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When swimming or playing in water, children enjoy the beneficial effects of movement and socialize. Find out how much swimming helps them, given the sedentary lifestyle and widespread fascination of kids with gadgets these days!

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Swimming helps children to have more confidence in themselves. Photo: Shutterstock

The lack of physical exercises causes children to have an improper posture, but also a reduced body resistance and flexibility, which arouses parents’ concerns. For all this, swimming, with all the appropriate safety measures, is a solution. The beneficial effects of swimming for children make it one of the best ways to exercise at a young age. Moreover, it is a very valuable skill that the child would do well to learn.

Swimming is a great way to create a beautiful bond with other children. He will learn to swim faster with children of his age and through play, with an instructor. This activity can transform him from being shy or afraid of water to a confident person. However, safety measures should not be forgotten either. Whether it is a private pool or a public one, ensuring safety while swimming is of great importance. The swimming helmet, goggles, bathing suits and other accessories not only give the little one the feeling of well-being that heralds a short period of swimming, but also contribute to his safety.

See also: Sudden death in adults: what is the main cause

Advantages over other sports

One of the biggest advantages of swimming is that it allows children to be naturally adventurous and have fun. Children tend to exercise in the water for a longer period of time than if they were doing other sports. Also, swimming is less demanding on the body compared to other sports. A major physical benefit is that it triggers the release of endorphins. Known as the “hormones of happiness”, endorphins raise morale, which is why swimming is an effective form of exercise for both mind and body. It also improves cardiovascular fitness while increasing muscle strength, providing a good alternative to higher-impact activities like basketball or weightlifting. According to studies, thanks to swimming, children develop the connection between mind and body. This, in turn, helps children significantly improve their brain development and intelligence. By stimulating young children’s senses, regular swimming improves mental and emotional development.

Read also: Here is the simple gesture you should do 3 times a day!

Dispels fears and increases self-esteem

When learning to swim for the first time, many children seem to fear the water. However, when they overcome this fear of swimming, children benefit from developing confidence and self-esteem. And this confidence can become very useful for them in social situations when they enter into discussions with peers. Children also develop a positive attitude towards physical activity by improving their self-esteem.

Improves heart health

For children, swimming is a sport that can help them in many ways. If they have problems with their body weight, it gives them the opportunity to lose more pounds and even maintain their optimal weight. It increases their muscle strength and tone, improves their heart health, gives them flexibility and better skin hydration. It is important for children to learn to swim as early as possible for the simple fact that this skill can save their life in the future, in the event of an accidental fall into deep water. Parents can start with an accommodation session to stimulate their appetite, then continue if the child wants it too. Once he is comfortable in the water, he will become eager to set goals and improve his own times. This process will go a long way in forming self-motivated and high-achieving adults. In addition to mastering swimming moves, he can participate in water games that make the pool a great place for group activities.

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– Swimming offers 30% more mobility than other sports, without straining the joints.

– It is a type of movement that helps prevent and control juvenile diabetes.

Expert advice

Anca Grecu, Doctor in Physical Education and Sports, swimming club manager

Hydrotherapy or water therapy is beneficial for all children, including those with disabilities. The temperature of the water is a factor that relaxes their muscles and allows them to make movements with a greater amplitude than outside the water. Aquatic education programs are based on lightness of movements in water. By stimulating aquatic motor acquisitions, the foundations are laid for land-based motor acquisitions as well. The exercises that children perform in the water strengthen their cardio-respiratory system, which translates into an increase in their capacity for effort.

This is how you protect your child from violence at school! The psychologist’s opinion

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In a society where violent acts are present in cartoons, news, movies, stories and video games, it is no wonder that more and more teenagers are behaving aggressively, not only in the family, but also at school. To manage to control their bouts of violence, young people need the guidance and support of their parents.

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School violence is a form of emotional outburst caused by many factors such as disappointments, family problems, depression, anger, frustration and insecurity. Aggression can manifest itself verbally, mentally and physically. Another type of violence is bullying – a child or group of children using their physical power and coercion on a peer or more peers. Psychologists warn that, most of the time, aggressors come from disorganized families.

See also: The effects of bullying on Generation Z and Alpha

According to an American study published in 2014 in the journal Personality and Psychology, violent video games featuring antisocial characters increase the risk of delinquency and other harmful behaviors among teenagers.

“It was found that most antisocial or violent behaviors appear during adolescence, which can be correlated both with natural physical and hormonal changes, as well as with the need for attention and validation of personal strength. Exceeding the limits, taking risks and even aggression can be ways in which a teenager believes that he could occupy a leadership position in his group”, explains psychotherapist Livia Căciuloiu.

Info: Aggression should not be tolerated, because it causes, in turn, violence.

Give him a peaceful home

If parents are violent in front of children, they are likely to become aggressive. Moreover, if you habitually use abusive language in front of children, then there is a possibility that they will imitate you.

“Behavior models at home – and even that of teachers who are perceived as powerful, who are listened to by those around them – definitely leave their mark on how teenagers choose to act. In this way, a teenager accustomed to aggressive behavior in the family environment will naturally repeat the same behavioral pattern in the relationship with those weaker than him, outside the family”, explains the psychotherapist.

How to help your child if he is bullied

Psychologists say that in this case it is very important to listen to your child and accept his emotions and needs. Wait for him to tell you what happened to him and reassure him that he has nothing to be afraid or ashamed of what you might think of him. If he gives you the impression that he has thoughts of revenge, make him understand that his gesture will not fix the situation. Instead, you could help him find new ways to react, both if he is bullied and if he witnesses a violent action. Additionally, talk to the bully’s teachers and parents.

Read also: How to help your child who is being teased by peers

What do you do if the abuser is your own child?

If your own child is the one who assaulted someone else, it is vital to realize that his violent act can be a sign of an inner suffering that you need to find out, in order to avoid other incidents of this kind from happening again. In addition, talk to him about the consequences of his actions, and if he does not change his behavior, ask for the help of a psychotherapist.

Expert advice

Livia Căciuloiu, psychotherapist,

[email protected]

Even if parents cannot constantly protect their children from potential aggressive behaviors they may encounter at school, they can teach their children some healthy responses to prevent or defuse potential conflicts. It is necessary for the little ones to understand both what can fuel aggressive behavior and the natural reactions (of fear, flight, anger) that they themselves can have in these situations. By talking with them about these circumstances and possible reactions, we will help them to form alternative reactions to the conflict and at the same time increase their self-control. Equally, parents can prevent a possible alliance of the child with the aggressors by discussing the ways of reaction for the moments when they witness an aggression.

How premature children should be cared for in order to develop normally

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A baby born before 37 weeks is considered premature and needs special care immediately after birth. With the help of doctors and specialists, however, the baby can be recovered to benefit from normal development.

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Premature babies may need an incubator and IVs to stabilize. Photo: Shutterstock

If the pregnant woman has diabetes or suffers from heart or kidney disease, she is at risk of giving birth prematurely. Children whose mothers have high blood pressure, developed after the 20th week of pregnancy (preeclampsia), are also at risk of being born prematurely; congenital defects of the uterus; a weakened cervix, which begins to dilate too soon; urinary, vaginal or amniotic membrane infections; premature rupture of the membranes (placenta praevia). Other factors that increase the risk of preterm birth are maternal age (younger than 16 or older than 35), race (African-American women), lack of prenatal care, smoking, and use of cocaine or amphetamines. Premature babies born between 35 and 37 weeks may look normal and not need intensive care, but they still have a higher risk of developing health problems than full-term babies. Signs of prematurity include disproportion between too small a body and too big a head, an elongated figure, low body temperature and lack of sucking and swallowing reflexes.

See also: Causes of premature birth

Respiratory and digestive complications

Most premature babies require hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit, due to respiratory (apnea, bronchopulmonary dysplasia), digestive (necrotizing enterocolitis) or neurological complications. Babies can also suffer from anemia or retinal problems (retinopathy of prematurity). The main disadvantages that a premature baby faces are “first of all, asphyxia at birth, so it’s a baby that can’t breathe on its own and needs help. Later, all his organs are immature and then respiratory complications can occur, and the lower the gestational age, the more intensively he needs respiratory support. There can be neurological, digestive complications – it is very difficult to tolerate food, it can cause intestinal perforation -, metabolic complications – it does not maintain its blood sugar, temperature. For this reason, premature babies always need machines, incubators, infusions, until they manage to stabilize. Practically, in them, all the organs do not work properly. If they have an added problem, such as an infection or a malformation, then things get even more complicated”, says Dr. Roxana Aldea, head of the neonatology department at the Târgoviște County Emergency Hospital.

Recovery is possible in full

Depending on when the baby is born, the baby’s risks of having long-term health problems are higher if he was born much earlier. These complications include eye, hearing, dental or behavioral conditions, chronic diseases and learning disabilities. In most cases where they have the support of doctors, premature babies fully recover and become perfectly healthy children, and later adults. “The younger the gestational age, the greater the risk of sequelae. There are children who escape well, without any problem, there are also children who remain with deficits and need help throughout their lives. There are follow-up programs. Practically, any child born before term is good to follow in the first 2 years of life, preventively, so that, in case of deficiencies, physical therapy and recovery can begin. The more you take care of a premature baby, the higher the chances that it will be normal at the age of 2, when we draw the line,” says Dr. Aldea.

Everything about hemorrhoids in pregnancy

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Hemorrhoids are dilatations of the veins around the anus and are classified as external hemorrhoids or internal hemorrhoids.

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Is it normal to have hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Hemorrhoids are an unpleasant but common part of pregnancy. The good news is that they are usually easy to manage with home treatments and often go away after birth. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are common, especially in the third trimester and up to a month after the baby is born. About 85% of pregnant women experience hemorrhoids in the last trimester of pregnancy.

What are the possible symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

· Pain during stool.

· Itching around the anus.

· Intense pain that may be caused by a prolapsed hemorrhoid.

· Bleeding during stool, usually caused by an internal hemorrhoid.

What causes hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

When it comes to hemorrhoids in pregnancy, they appear especially when the growing fetus exerts pressure on the pelvic area and the lower part of the digestive tract (intestine). The pressure can be so great that the blood vessels in the anus are affected so much that they dilate, thus causing hemorrhoidal disease. Among the main causes of hemorrhoids in pregnancy are:

· The weight of the fetus puts pressure on the veins in the anus, which is completely normal and unavoidable during pregnancy.

· Increase in blood volume. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy to support the fetus. This means that the blood vessels are much more stressed and the extra effort that puts pressure on them can lead to the appearance of hemorrhoids.

· Constipation. It is a very common cause of hemorrhoids. Hormonal changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy slow down the digestion process. In this case we are talking about regular bowel movements. The extra weight in the gut can put pressure on the veins in the anus, making it harder for them to move blood.

How are hemorrhoids diagnosed during pregnancy?

If there are symptoms and the problem is quite obvious, it is recommended to schedule a check-up. There are specific checks and procedures that apply when symptoms of hemorrhoids appear, and only a specialist doctor can make a proper diagnosis, especially in such a delicate situation as pregnancy. Certainly such control is not at all pleasant, but it is necessary for your health.

What can you expect if you are pregnant and have hemorrhoids?

You will probably experience some discomfort until the more severe symptoms may appear. Even at this stage it is necessary to schedule a check-up, because we are talking about a condition that can worsen and become extremely troublesome. Sometimes pushing during labor makes hemorrhoids worse immediately after birth, but within a few weeks things will return to normal.

Are there reasons to worry about hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

There is no need to worry about hemorrhoids, especially if you took the necessary measures in time and went to a specialist doctor both for routine checkups and the first time you had simtpome. Hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable, but they are harmless and usually disappear eventually after giving birth.

The unknown reason why children may have low grades at school

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A child who is having problems at school, whether due to inattention or performance, prompts parents to turn to a psychologist or meditation teacher. However, before that, the little one should have an ophthalmological consultation. Vision problems can cause exactly such effects, explains Dr. Mihaela Florescu, primary ophthalmologist.

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The main signs that a child has vision problems are a tendency to sit as close as possible to objects, tilting the head, closing or covering one eye with a hand while watching TV, headache or eye pain, tiredness, tearing or blinking excessively , rubbing of the eyes, excessive sensitivity to light, redness of the eyes, abnormal movements and any unusual appearance of the eyes.

See also: Attention to cataract symptoms! The disease can lead to vision loss

“Certain eye conditions can be unilateral and asymptomatic, that’s why I recommend a full ophthalmological consultation around the age of 3, even if there are no signs of eye damage. In addition, I recommend a consultation before the start of the school year to rule out or treat a possible eye condition that could affect the child’s vision and, implicitly, comfort and school performance”, says Dr. Mihaela Florescu.

Studies show that good vision is extremely important, because the eyes perceive 80-90% of the information from the surrounding environment, so we need to check and treat possible eye conditions from childhood in order to benefit from the maximum capabilities of the eyes and reach performance in the activity that everyone wants.

What problems can arise

According to the specialist, the biggest problem that a child who can’t see well has at school is the difficulty of following the writing on the blackboard, and from here many other derivative signs appear such as inattention, delayed reactions, nervousness and, implicitly, drop in school performance. “In this way, I also encourage the teaching staff to recommend to the parents the complete ophthalmological control of the children in situations where they notice unusual visual behavior in the classroom”, declares Dr. Mihaela Florescu.

The doctor points out that if one of the parents wears glasses, there is a much greater chance that the child will also need glasses. Studies show that parents with changes in strabismus, farsightedness, myopia or astigmatism have a 70-80% risk of having children with the same type of deficiency.

Children who have been recommended to wear glasses should go to the ophthalmologist’s office once a year for a check-up or whenever various symptoms appear that would be related to a deterioration of the child’s vision. Failure to diagnose and treat certain eye conditions in a timely manner can lead to permanent visual disability.

What to give the kids as a snack

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What to give the kids as a snack. Because children have smaller stomachs and eat less than adults, for them, snacks are actually meals in themselves. In order to stay healthy and grow properly, children need to eat once every 3-4 hours, so, throughout the day, it is advisable to have 3 meals and 2 snacks, if they are small, and if they are older, 1 snack is enough.

Doctors say that it is good to establish certain places where children can have their snacks (the kitchen counter, a small table in the living room, etc.), not to let them eat all over the house. In order for the snacks to be as nutritious as possible, it is good that they contain proteins and fibers.

Try not to accustom your child to unhealthy foods like chips, pretzels, candies, cookies or biscuits. Tastes are formed very easily in childhood, so it’s good to offer them snacks that are as healthy and delicious as possible, but without added sugar, without a lot of salt and not fried. Try to always have them in the fridge, ready in the morning or the night before. Usually, when they come home from school, the little ones want to eat something quickly, so until the meal is ready, it’s good to have a light snack ready for them.

What to give the children as a snack?

  • Mixed nuts and seeds: hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds cooked or raw, not in oil
  • Slices of pear or apple, pieces of orange or tangerine
  • Plain yogurt, in which you put nuts, honey, or a few strawberries or blueberries
  • Dried fruits: raisins, apricots, figs, dates, plums
  • Celery and carrot sticks
  • Slices of turkey breast, boiled or steamed

Read Also: How To Get Your kid to eat Healthy?

Maybe interested in the benefits of swimming to kids!