Raising Resilient Children Starts With The Right Nutrition From Young
There may be many different parenting styles but parents unanimously agree on one thing – that they will do whatever it takes for their children to grow up to be happy, healthy and the best version of themselves. Given that we are living in an ever-changing and uncertain world, it is even more imperative that we raise our children to be resilient.
Life will throw them challenges and surprises from every corner, but we can give our children an edge by building their physical and mental resilience from young. How do we raise resilient children? We can start by providing them with the right nutrition.
Raising Them Right Starts With The Right Nutrition
What Is DHA And Why Is It Important?
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can be found throughout the body, and is a primary structural component of the brain, cerebral cortex, skin and retina. It forms an essential building block for a child’s brain and eye development. DHA helps to form prime structural components of brain cell membranes that help your child’s brain carry vital signals and information from one cell to the other.
How Much DHA Does My Child Need?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the recommended daily DHA intake for children is as follows:
- 6-24 months: 10-12mg/kg body weight
- 2-4 years: 100-150mg per day
- 4-6 years: 150-200mg per day
To help your child meet their recommended daily DHA intake, incorporate DHA rich foods into their regular diet. Examples of such food include: salmon, eggs and milk fortified with DHA. You may also look for formula milk with high DHA to support your child’s growing needs.
Prebiotics And Probiotics For Gut Health
You’ve probably heard that good gut health is important for a child to grow up strong and healthy. While many people associate good gut health with probiotics, prebiotics are equally important. They may sound similar, but they are very different and have different roles in contributing to gut health.
What Is The Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics?
Prebiotics are sources of food for good bacteria in the gut. They are non-digestive dietary fibre that can survive in the acidic environments like the stomach and intestinal tract. As they pass through the large intestine, the undigested fibre undergoes a fermentation process, which helps to selectively stimulate the growth and activity of good bacteria. This in turn supports your child’s natural defenses and overall health.
Prebiotics can be found naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables. For example: bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, leek, chicory roots etc. Some formula milk formulations can also be good source of prebiotics. These contain prebiotics that have been clinically researched to support your child’s digestive systems to provide immunity support1.
In fact, in a clinical study1 published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, it was evident that the consumption of formula milk supplemented with Unique Prebiotic Blend and Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LcPUFA) led to reduced risk of infections in healthy children attending daycare. The study was conducted on 767 childcare-based children across Europe and Asia.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are live bacteria. They are what people commonly refer to as the “good” bacteria that is important and beneficial for one’s gut health. Probiotic bacteria are naturally created as a result of the fermentation process of certain foods and can be found in many sources such as miso soup, yoghurt, cultured milk drinks, and many others. They can also be added into formula milk and other health drinks.
Aptamil Gold+ For Your Growing Child’s Growing Needs
Feeding your child a balanced and nutritious diet is very important for their overall health and well-being. Hence it is imperative to ensure that they are not only getting the right nutrients, but also in the right amounts to support their growth and development. As it can be difficult to track a child’s diet closely, formula milk can be a good supplement to ensure that the child’s nutritional requirements are being met.
Aptamil Gold+ Toddler Growing Up Milk contains a scientifically proven Unique Prebiotic Blend for Immunity Support*, and has the highest DHA^ (169.6mg per 100g) compared to other growing up milk for Brain Development Ω , to help support your growing child and meet their nutritional needs as they build physical and mental resilience.
* Contains unique prebiotic blend, scGOS:IcFOS (9:1). Arslanoglu et al. 2008. Journal of Nutrition, 138:1091-1095
^ Applies to Aptamil Stage 3 (169.6mg) and Stage 4 (169.6mg) Growing Up Milk vs. other Growing Up Milk (Stage 3 and 4) sold in Singapore as checked on 3 Aug 2020. Excluding Aptamil HA Stage 3
Ω Contains DHA. For Aptamil Gold+ Stage 3 only.
Raising Your Child Resilient
Building a child’s physical resilience is important, and it helps in strengthening their mental resilience too.
In their formative years, children should be learning skills such as self-reliance, adaptability, perseverance, and resourcefulness. For younger children between the ages 2 and 3, be a good role-model and show them how to accomplish a daunting task without getting upset or losing their composure. Encourage them to keep trying and to not give up no matter how challenging something may seem to be.
For older children between 3 to 6 years of age, teach your child to communicate and express their feelings instead of discouraging them or rushing to provide solutions. Introduce and teach them how to set targets and work towards achieving them. Last but not least, praise them for their efforts and for trying their best, no matter what the outcome may be. Celebrate them!
Doing fun activities together as a family can not only strengthen the bond and relationship between you and your child, the physical activity can also help build your child’s physical resilience. Some activities that you can consider are:
- Going for a hike at MacRitchie or Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Building sandcastles at the beach
- Playing in the rain
- Going camping
- Growing a plant together
- Giving them a chance to make choices when shopping together etc.
Take on tasks that are challenging and see them through it. Give them the space to make choices, grow, and learn from the experiences!
There you have it, mums and dads! Raising children during such challenging times sounds like a daunting task, but with the right mindset, proper nutrition and fun activities, you too can raise your children resilient!
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1 Chatchatee P, Lee WS, Carrilho E, et al. Effects of growing-up milk supplemented with prebiotics and LCPUFAs on infections in young children.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014;58(4):428-437. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000000252