Note on healthy diet for Infants

If you have an infant or kid at your place, make sure that they get enough nutrition in their growing years of age. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Breast feeding should be started within an hour after delivery and do not discard first milk (colostrum), as it boosts the immunity of the baby and protects baby from several infections. Exclusive breast-feeding ensures safe nutrition to the infant thereby reducing the risk of infections and also helps in the overall development of the baby   Breast-milk is the most natural and wholesome food for growth and healthy development of infants.  Breast –fed infants do not need additional water.  After six months, you can feed your baby with complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed. Complementary food should be rich in nutrients. These complementary foods can be prepared at home from commonly used food materials such as cereals (wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, etc.); pulses (grams/dals), nuts and oilseeds (groundnut, sesame, etc.), oils (groundnut oil, sesame oil etc.), sugar and jaggery. You can feed your baby to variety of soft foods like potatoes, porridge, cereals, or even eggs.

According to WHO,

  • Infants should be breastfed exclusively during the first 6 months of life.
  • Infants should be breastfed continuously until 2 years of age and beyond.
  • From 6 months of age, breast milk should be complemented with a variety of adequate, safe and nutrient dense complementary foods.

Infants cannot eat large quantities of food at a single time so they should be fed small quantities at frequent intervals (3-4 times a day). Also, the food should be of semi-solid consistency so that the infants can swallow it easily.  A balanced diet is the key to protect your child against nutritional deficiencies. Protein Energy Malnutrition more commonly affects children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Malnutrition is defined as “a state of poor nutrition caused by insufficient or unbalanced diet”.

Points to Remember:

  • Start breast-feeding within an hour after delivery and do not discard colostrum.
  • Breast-feed exclusively (not even water) for six months.
  • Continue breast-feeding in addition to nutrient-rich complementary foods preferably up to 2 years.
  • Breast-milk alone is not enough for infants after 6 months of age. Complementary foods should be given after 6 months of age, in addition to breast-feeding.
  • Feed low-cost home-made caloric and nutrient rich complementary foods.
  • Observe hygienic practices while preparing and feeding the complementary food for infants.
  • Read nutrition label on baby foods carefully as children are most prone to infections.
  • Avoid junk foods.

 

A note on Children’s health

Nutrition and fitness are the cornerstones of children’s health. You can help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits.

To give your child a head start on lifelong fitness, consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities. Chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Consider other classic tips from children’s health experts, such as encouraging activity — not exercise — and setting a good example yourself.

You can also promote children’s health by encouraging your child to eat a variety of healthy foods and control portion sizes. Learn which nutrients are necessary, in what amounts and how the guidelines change as a child grows older.

Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.

Be a good role model – You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is important to your family.

Limit TV, video game and computer time – These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.

Encourage physical activities that they’ll really enjoy – Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it.

Make dinnertime a family time – When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much. Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.

Stay involved – Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school.

Work related back pain : tips for managing

Back pain is a major health concern for workers. Backs are complex structures comprising the interlinking vertebrae bones of the spine, cartilage or discs, muscles, tendons and nerves, and backs play a central role in supporting, moving and protecting our bodies. Any problems with our backs can have a debilitating impact on us physically and mentally.

A number of factors can contribute to back pain at work. For example:

Force: Exerting too much force on your back — such as by lifting or moving heavy objects — can cause injury.

Repetition :Repeating certain movements, especially those that involve twisting or rotating your spine, can injure your back.

Inactivity: An inactive job or a desk job can contribute to back pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit all day in a chair with inadequate back support.

Of course, factors such as ageing, obesity and poor physical condition also can contribute to back pain. While you can’t control your age, you can focus on maintaining a healthy weight, which minimises stress on your back.

You can take steps to avoid and prevent back pain and injuries at work. For example:

Pay attention to posture: When standing, balance your weight evenly on your feet. Don’t slouch. To promote good posture when sitting, choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Remove your wallet or cellphone from your back pocket when sitting to prevent putting extra pressure on your buttocks or lower back.

Lift properly: When lifting and carrying a heavy object, lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body. Maintain the natural curve of your back. Don’t twist when lifting. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, ask someone to help you.

Modify repetitive tasks: Use lifting devices, when available, to help you lift loads. Try to alternate physically demanding tasks with less demanding ones. If you work at a computer, make sure that your monitor, keyboard, mouse and chair are positioned properly. If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset. Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting and reaching. Limit the time you spend carrying heavy briefcases, purses and bags. Consider using a rolling suitcase.

Listen to your body: If you must sit for a prolonged period, change your position often. Periodically walk around and gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension.

Sleeping style : There is no evidence that one brand or type of mattress is better than another; however, it is important to choose one with a good support system. How firm a mattress should be is a matter of personal preference and depends upon your own comfort level. If you wake up in the morning with back pain, it could be a sign that your mattress is not properly supporting your lower back and spine.