· Indian parents remain concerned about after-effects of the pandemic on their children as they begin returning to a normal lifestyle, reveals a new Abbott-Momspresso survey
· Abbott’s Grow Right 2.0 Charter can help parents address concerns with expert-backed guidelines to help encourage healthy habits in children
The pandemic has shifted many normal routines, especially related to parenting, and a new Abbott-Momspresso survey has brought to fore several concerns and apprehensions that Indian parents continue to face. To encourage healthy, holistic growth in kids, Abbott has launched its Grow Right 2.0 charter introducing M-E-A-N-S guidelines for good practices in Measuring growth, Eating, Activity, Nurturing and Sleep. The charter – backed by health and nutrition experts – can help address parents’ concerns by providing tips to encourage healthy lifestyle habits that will positively impact their children.
The survey, conducted online earlier this year with over 2,500 moms across India, highlights changes in eating habits and physical activity – two key lifestyle functions impacting healthy growth in children:
68% of the respondents feel that their child have become fussier with food choices
84% feel that the pandemic has led to reduced physical activity and increased use of digital technologies
70% feel that their child’s immunity is not strong enough to be safe in external environments
The Grow Right 2.0 Charter developed by Abbott acknowledges the survey results and includes recommendations from a guild of leading experts in childcare pediatrics, nutrition and behavioral science, including pediatricians Dr. Indu Khosla and Dr. Sumon Poddar, nutritionist Dr. Eileen Canday and child psychiatrist Dr. Shiva Prakash Srinivasan.
An Underlying Need to Adopt the Right M-E-A-N-S to Grow
With the world re-opening and with physical schools and offices resuming, there is a noticeable momentum in the shift back to the highly anticipated normal. It is important for parents and children alike to unlearn some habits formed over isolation – like inactivity – and disrupted living patterns.
''The early years of a child’s life are foundational and very important for lifelong health and development,'' said Swati Dalal, general manager of Abbott’s nutrition business in India. ''Nurturing growth is critical, which is why Abbott is acknowledging parents’ concerns and empowering them with the Grow Right 2.0 Charter with the right M-E-A-N-S to ensure their child is not just growing physically but also holistically.''
The M-E-A-N-S guidelines include disciplined sleeping patterns, meal schedules, physical activity time and intellectual pauses/reflections:
Measuring & monitoring growth: Correct measuring is important to understand and monitor a child’s growth. It can also help identify shortfalls in growth so that parents can act early and address the cause.
Eating correctly: Nutrition is key for holistic growth and immune system support. A child’s daily diet should include the five food groups – cereals, pulses, milk & meat, fruits & vegetables, fats & sugar. For parents of fussy eaters, oral nutrition supplements can help ensure children receive balanced nutrition.
Actively playing: Physical activity helps improve bone health, enhances sleep, and promotes overall physical health. It can also help lower risk of health issues, including pediatric obesity.
Nurturing & disciplining: Parents can promote emotional well-being by showing empathy and encouraging kids to share their feelings. Experts recommend avoiding punishing children frequently but instead allowing them time to reflect and resolve to help fix their behaviour.
Encouraging sleep: Early-age healthy sleeping habits are important to promote physical and cognitive performance in children. It is recommended for parents to build a bedtime routine for kids and maintain timing consistency.
''The foundations of lifelong physical and mental health are laid in early childhood. Building healthy habits and routines can help promote optimal growth and enhance children’s chances of succeeding in school,'' said Dr. Shiva Prakash Srinivasan, Child Psychiatrist. ''Parents and caregivers have the opportunity to find effective and creative ways to engage with their children and to lead by example.''
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