As moms, we all want nothing but the best for our kids. Did you know that everything starts with us, even before our babies are born. This is what prompted Nestlé to launch its global advocacy for health called Start Healthy, Stay Healthy. With the next generation’s health in mind, the program focuses on guiding new parents how they can ensure proper nutrition for their children during the period that matters most—the first 1,000 days of life.
Because the advocacy tackled heath and nutrition, during the event, this was our backdrop. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's a veggie wall! And not just any kind of vegetable, they're organic.
The first days of the lives of our kids is so critical. This is what influences their future. The fist 1000 days of the lives shape their future health.
With the vital stages of overall development occurring before a child turns two, this crucial window for growth often has more challenges than the average new parent can handle. I admit when I learned more about the first 1000 days, I actually got pretty overwhelmed. Preparing your child's health does not only start when your pregnancy test says positive. It actually starts when you yourself prepare your body for your growing baby.
Here are some things that I learned from seminars I've attended, from my own personal experience and from the Start Healthy, Stay Healthy campaign.
A lot of things affect how you program the early life of your child. First would be the mom's condition. Genes affect the child's health, his growth, metabolism and vasculature. During pregnancy, it's important to continue eating healthy. Bidding goodbye to any vices. Limiting salt and sugar intake and regularly having a moderate physical activity.
MYTH: Eat for 2!
I highly suggest breastfeeding for the first year of your baby's life. I have been an advocate for breastfeeding ever since I learned I was pregnant. Exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months. I promise you, it's a good investment for your baby's future health.
When it's time to feed solids, complement breastfeeding with healthy food. Make healthy home made baby food packed with nutrients. Don't be afraid to expose your child to different taste and textures. This makes his palette more adventurous and he will not be a picky eater in the end.
And at the age of 1, it's important to play with your child. It makes them more active and it will really help build their muscles and strengthen their bones.
When your child is 2, expect to be running around chasing after him. Haha! But don't worry too much, it's good that he's active and he's an explorer. Think of it as your exercise as well. ;) Hitting two birds with one stone.
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy employs various channels to educate parents about proper nutrition and healthy feeding practices. In the Philippines, the program has established www.starthealthy.nestle.com.ph as a parent’s handy companion for understanding the intricacies of early nutrition—from day 1 in the womb until the child’s 2nd birthday.
Advocates of the program are also sharing their health manifestos online to emphasize the importance of working together for the next generation’s health. Nestlé seeks to spearhead a conscious and committed effort towards improving the health and quality of life of the next generation.
For expecting parents, new parents or for anyone who want to know more information on nurturing a generation of healthier and happier Filipinos, visit the website at www.starthealthy.nestle.com.ph and let's all raise a healthier generation.
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