Cleaning your baby’s teeth wasn’t such a big priority — after all, there weren’t many to worry about. But since the second and third years are busy times in terms of your tot’s tooth development, get ready to step up the toddler dental care. First, give your cutie plenty of good-for-you foods and beverages to keep those tiny teeth healthy and strong. Then get your child into an oral hygiene routine by following these steps:
Brush twice a day. Baby teeth are vulnerable to decay as soon as they break through the gums. The best line of defense? Brush regularly — and optimally, for two minutes at a time — in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after bedtime snack. Be prepared to be the brusher-in-chief — your toddler won’t have the motor skills to go solo until he’s between five and eight. But teach your toddler to brush and try tooth-brushing games to make cleaning teeth a whole lot more fun.
Get the right brush. Buy a colorful brush with his favorite character — maybe he can even choose it himself. Does two minutes seem like forever to your wee wiggler? Sing a song, tell a story, or ask a nightly riddle as you brush — anything to distract and make the time pass more quickly. Or buy a toothbrush that lights up, plays music, or makes a noise after the job’s done. Whatever type of toothbrush you use, replace it every three to four months.
Get the right toothpaste and mouthwash. Stick to water only or fluoride-free training toothpaste until your child can be trusted not to swallow it (that’s probably not before he turns two). After that, he can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. When he’s around two, you can show him how to rinse post-brushing, and he’ll probably be a fast — and most enthusiastic — student when it comes to spitting. You can also use a fluoride-free mouthwash if the dentist or pediatrician gives you the go-ahead.
Get the right technique. Work on one tooth at a time, and use a gentle back-and-forth motion across the chewing and inner surfaces, then switch to a circular motion along the sides, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. On areas that don’t have teeth yet, lightly brush the gums, and don’t forget the tongue — a popular hangout for bacteria.
You do all you can think of to prevent your children from coming down with a cold or an upset tummy — from feeding balanced meals to scrubbing the floors they plays on. But that’s only half the battle: they have to learn how to keep themselveshealthy. And there are plenty of lessons to teach them: Start by explaining that germs are responsible for the yucky feeling they gets when they sick. Then instruct them on healthy habits. You’ll have to demonstrate these hygiene lessons over and over, but pretty soon they’ll be able to grasp them — and follow through them. So what are the most important lessons to start with? The top-three healthy habits for children are:
HEALTHY HABIT #1: Give Hands a Good Scrub
Hand washing tops the list of healthy habits children should learn for one simple reason: Doing it often — and doing it right — can reduce the number of colds, flu, and other infections children get by 50 percent! A lot of sore throats and runny noses can be avoided simply by stepping up to the sink, especially at key times: before eating or heading to the playroom with a friend (this will keep germs on shared toys to a minimum), after coming in from playing outside, and after sneezing, coughing, petting an animal, or using the washroom.
HEALTHY HABIT #2: Do the “Sleeve Sneeze”
What’s next on the list of healthy habits for children? When your kid feels an “aa-choo” coming on and there’s no tissue in sight, show him how to let loose into the inside of his elbow, rather than into his hand or the air. This way, germs won’t wind up on his fingers — 80 percent of germs are transferred through touch — or spewed out into the air. This healthy habit applies to coughs as well — and to you too, so be a good role model whenever you sneeze sans tissues.
HEALTHY HABIT #3: Toss That Tissue!
Once your child has mastered the fine art of nose-blowing, get her into the habit of disposing of dirty tissues right away, rather than leaving them lying around on a table or the floor: Some bacteria and viruses can live for two hours or more outside the body, so getting rid of tissues is another healthy habit for children to learn. Make sure there’s a trash can in every room your child spends time in.
Toddlers get bored with the usual menu. Moreover, the calories obtained from breast milk or formula milk is no longer sufficient to meet the energy demands of these tiny tots. Introducing new foods to your baby in his or her early years is much easier than trying later on. Nevertheless, if you haven’t introduced new foods so far, it’s alright. It’s never too late to begin.
Let’s find out some ways to introduce new health foods to toddlers. Remember:
- Try introducing only one new food item every week. Don’t overdo it.
- Introduce one food item and then check for allergic reactions.
- Give your child time to look at the food, touch it and examine it for as long as he or she likes. Don’t hurry them.
- Depending on your child’s motor skill development, he or she may want to hold a spoon. Allow them to do so and let them feed on their own. It may be a messy affair; however, it will encourage your child to try new items.
- Don’t pressurize your toddler to taste or eat anything. This will cause the little one to dislike food-tasting sessions.
- Do not introduce new stuff when your baby is extremely hungry, cranky or ill.
You may get all kinds of advice from family and friends, regarding the best time to introduce new foods to toddlers. However, it is best to consult your pediatrician before doing anything. Moreover, be patient and persistent. Don’t be quick to assume that if your child has rejected most of these foods, he or she will be a picky eater. Let your child take his or her time to develop an interest in these new foods. All the best!
Eating habits of your child is an insight to his health in his later years. If candies, chocolates, wafers, cakes, burgers are his first and only choices, get on your toes mommies! It’s time to act! Though junk food looks attractive and tastes better, but it will increase the chances of obesity and droopiness in your child as he grows in an adult.
Learning House suggests these points to be followed religiously:
1. Include servings of fruit in his diet every day.
2. Your kid should have at least one meal of vegetables, chappatis and daal everyday. Ask your kid to eat small but sure portions of every food type.
3. Expose your kid to different types of food at a younger age- give him tofu, soy, dahi, salads, porridges. Variety will get him interested and give some more nutrients too.
If you find it tough to make them eat nutritious food, try it with a twist. Decorate your servings of vegetables; fry your daal with lots of veggies; cook some stuffed paranthas and serve it with chutney instead of ketchup; replace plain dull-looking dahi with tasty fruity smoothies. There’s no limit to letting out your creativity in your cooking skills. Make it presentable; make it look delicious and your kid will learn love all the healthy eating options he has.