When the weather is hot, it is relatively easy to encourage little ones to take in plenty of fluids with cold drinks, ice cream and lollies to keep them hydrated; but in the cooler weather, it's less obvious that your child may be getting dehydrated. Consuming water is so important, more so than eating food.
Water is vital for life.
How much to drink:
How to encourage them to drink:
All children under five will continue to have the chance to get free milk in preschool settings according to the recent announcement from Downing Street. The Government has confirmed that 1/3 pint of milk will be given to all under fives who attend a day care setting.
It had been reported that Anne Milton, UK Health Minster, intended to scrap the scheme on the grounds of cost. It currently costs around £50m (double what it was five years ago). By 2011/12 it is expected to cost around £59m a year. Instead of providing milk, the value of Health Start vouchers were to be increased, which would help the poorest families rather than all under fives no matter what their parent's income level.
Milk is vital to children's development. It contains vitamins and minerals that are important for growth and development as well as calcium which is important for healthy teeth and bones.
However, Downing Street has confirmed that free milk is set to stay!
It has been claimed that if 90% of American women breast fed their new babies for at least six months, that the lives of 900 babies would be saved every year. According to the research published in the Pediatrics journal, breastfeeding for these vital first six months could avoid health problems and actually save billions of dollars inmedical expenses.
The leading author of the paper, said the link has been "vastly under-estimated". When you add up the medical costs associated with the ten most frequent childhood ailments and the cost associated with treating them, plus the hours away from work that parents have to take in order to look after their sick child.
The composition of breast milk is very complex and ideally suited to the needs of new babies. It contains antibodies (that help fight infection), it affects insulin levels in the blood (which means babies are less likely to develop diabetes) and breastfed babies are less likely to develop obesity.
43% of American women breastfeed their babies to start with. 12% breast feed for as long as 6 months.
In Britain, the statistics are even less impressive. 76% of new mums breastfeed at the start and only 2% go up to six months. It seems that as soon as they encounter problems, they are advised to get a bottle and feed with a formula rather than getting the support and help required to overcome problems and continue feeding naturally.
In Austrailia about 18% of new mothers are still feeding at six months.
The World Health Organisation recommends that ALL babies are breastfed until six months.
Many mothers, especially young mothers feel uncomfortable feeding especially when out and about. But, it needn't be so. There are so many tops designed for "easy access" and a muslin thrown over a shoulder while feeding can give ample cover and thus protect the modesty of any mum. Once mums are confident at feeding, then doing it in public becomes second nature and should be encouraged!
Breastfeeding is also a wonderful way to bond with your child in a unique and special way. A few moments of calm, spent close to each other while having a lovely warm cuddle.
After all, breast feeding is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world for a new mum to do!
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that babies are exclusively breast fed for 6 months, with supplemental breast milk being given for two years - whether you achieve this or not, there comes a point when you want to introduce cows milk. Accepted advice is that cow's milk shouldn't be introduced into your baby's diet until they reach 1 year, and because it lacks manyof the nutrients found in formula milk (particularly iron) that you must balance a healthy diet with solid foods to supplement vitamins and minerals.
Cow's milk has long been a staple of Western diet although in recent times it has stirred up some controversy. Look online and you'll find plenty of debate surrounding milk as to whether it is an important part of our diet or not. There has been increased instance of dairy intolerance in our populations, factory farming has undoubtedly reduced the quality of milk over the last 50 years, and there is lots of research suggesting that milk is actually bad for us. If that is what science tells us as adults, is it wise for children to be given cows milk at all?
Common sense would suggest that milk cannot be overly harmful or dangerous, and that if it forms a part of a balanced diet, then it is difficult to dispute that the nutrients in milk can offer anything but good. If you prefer not to introduce your children to cow's milk then there are alternatives. If you think your baby may be lactose intolerant then you can try goat or buffalo milk as popular alternatives. Goat's milk does contain lactose but seems to be fine for people who suffer intolerance, nutritionally it is very similar to cows milk. Buffalo milk is even more nutritious.
If you wish to give your baby a vegetarian diet then you can use soya or rice milk which are widely consumed as healthy alternatives to cow's milk. They contain less fat and fewer calories and research suggests that they may assist in preventing cancers.
A baby requires around 500ml (18oz) liquid a day, a young child requires up to 1½l (50oz) per day - here are some tips to ensure your young children ges the fluid they require each day...
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