Thursday, March 12, 2009

@ to raise an intelligent and healthy child

We all want our children to be healthy and the most intelligent. Here are some ways to increase the odds of both, starting before birth and useful throughout childhood.

Difficulty: Challenging
Things You’ll Need:
* Willingness
* Patience

The Beginning - You are pregnant. Congratulations! Now you must do everything in your power to make sure your baby arrives healthily.

First, stop doing anything detrimental to your health (ie. smoking, drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs). You must get enough rest and eat a diet rich in produce and whole grains. Stay as close to organic, locally grown food as possible.

Take your prenatal vitamins daily (preferably prior to conception) and talk to your doctor about including a DHA and omega 3 supplement to your daily regimen. This has been show to help the baby's brain develop and may increase intelligence.

A Child is Born - Now it is time to give your child the best gift, colostrum. This is the nutrient-rich, creamy milk that comes during pregnancy and remains until your milk supply comes in (usually 3-4 days postpartum). Colostrum has been shown to be high in antibodies, protecting your newborn from disease now and in the future. All of the wonderful properties found in breastmilk are concentrated in the colostrum. Even if you do not plan to breastfeed, consider giving your child the wonderful gift of your colostrum in the first few days of life.

To further ensure the health and intelligence of your new baby, continue to breastfeed exclusively (meaning no other food or drink) for at least the first six months of life. Continue to breastfeed for a minimum of baby's first twelve months or longer if it is right for both mom and baby. Remember, your baby will continue to benefit from the antibodies and perfect nutrition of mother's milk.

It should also be noted that when a baby is breastfed he/she bonds more quickly and easily with the mother. This closeness will benefit the parent/child relationship for years to come. Plus, that ability to bond with the mother will result in a less anxious baby, allowing for further bonding and a smarter, healthier child.

Clean Food - As soon as your child begins eating solid food, offer him/her the most high quality food you can. Homemade over processed, organic over conventional, local over food grown further away. Base your child's diet around fresh produce and whole grains. Limit high fat meats and dairy. Eliminate or limit sweets and all processed foods.

Read, Read, Read - The more your read to your child, the better. You will develop a stronger bond with your child and they are likely to be more intelligent. Begin this daily ritual at birth, or before. As an infant, your child will enjoy hearing your voice and spending time with you. Plus, your child will likely learn to speak earlier if read to often.

Engage Your Child - Actively playing with your child will help him/her develop self confidence, learn about role-playing and build his/her mind. You will have a better relationship because of this. Time with your child is worth putting off the dishes, canceling lunch with a friend and watching your favorite show. Make time for your child.

Explore the Outdoors - With the growing obesity epidemic, it is more important than ever to get your kids moving. If you make exercise a habit when they are young (both for them and yourself) they are sure to enjoy better health throughout their lives. Plus, they will have a better attention span and, thus, learn more.

Say "No" to TV - Or at least limit the amount your child watches. TV and video games not only make for lazier children, but it is simply not a healthy activity. Some people may argue that there is educational television. Certainly, if you allow your child to watch TV then educational TV is the best option. However, if you teach them the same skills they might learn on a particular TV show then they will be more actively engaged in the things they learn.

=> let's implement these mamas'...

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