Healthy eating plays a major role in a healthy baby’s brain. Breast milk contains all the nutrients your baby needs, as well as antibodies to fight infection.
Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed without giving any other fluids or foods for the first six months. After six months, introduce iron-rich foods such as meat, meat alternatives and iron-fortified cereal. Include other pureed or mashed foods from the other food groups.
It is recommended to continue breastfeeding up to two years and more.
Traditional foods from all cultures can also be a healthy option. Be a good role model when you eat. Encourage your child to try new foods from all the food groups. Involve your child in meal preparation. Your child will develop a healthy relationship with food, for long-term health.
Being active is an important part of building a healthy body and brain. Babies need to be able to move and exercise the muscles in their arms, legs, shoulders and neck. Some tummy time every day is important for babies.
Toddlers should get at least three hours of physical activity each day. Some of it should be energetic play. Take your child to a playground or to an Early Years Centre and give them room to run, climb, and jump. Children learn from their parents. So, be active yourself!
Sleep is also important to your baby’s health. Make sure your baby gets enough sleep:
• Infants 0 to 6 months – 16 hours per day
• Babies 6 months to 1 year – 14 hours per day
• Toddlers 1 to 3 years – 10 to 13 hours per day
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