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Daily Bite: Raising Healthy Kids: A Checklist of Parenting Basics

May 29th, 2012 by eHealthGuide

Parenting does not come with a manual, but there are some basics that every parent needs to follow--for the safety and welfare of her child.

Nutrition 101

Eating a balanced diet consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is important to maintain good health. Healthy snacks that include protein and carbohydrates offer an energy boost. Encourage water as the drink of choice and avoid sugary juices.

Body Image

Eating disorders are the result of an altered body image. Monitor your child's comfort level with her body type and size.

Health and Wellness

The fundamentals of good health are found in preventive medicine. Annual physicals, updated vaccinations for common childhood diseases and bi-annual dental examinations are a good foundation. Good daily hygiene and dental care are imperative. Daily bathing, hand-washing before eating, and brushing teeth at least twice a day are the basics. 

Fear is real and should never be downplayed. If children are afraid of something, they need to learn coping skills, which might include deep breathing and guided imagery.

Depression is serious and must be dealt with as soon as a child displays any warning signals. Watch for sadness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, changes in sleep or eating habits, or thoughts of suicide. Seek medical care immediately.

Bike Safety

Seven hundred people in the U.S. die every year from bicycle accident injuries. Review the dos and don'ts of road safety. There are no exceptions to the rule: always wear a helmet.


There is absolutely no exception to this basic rule when riding in a moving vehicle: always buckle-up. 


Whether in response to a fire or a medical emergency, it is important that all children know and respect the 911 emergency system. Teach them how to dial 9-1-1 and the importance of listening to and following the operator's instructions until help arrives. 


Worldwide, there are roughly a million earthquakes, of varying magnitude, annually. Having a disaster plan might save your life. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, protect your eyes, and stay put until the tremor stops. Be ready for aftershocks. 

This list of parenting basics covers a broad and varied range of topics. Begin educating your children about life's basic rules today.

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