How to Take Good Care of Your Child?

Home Safety
Home Safety
Click to view the video Home Safety

Preventing Home Accidents

Children of 2-3 years old have higher mobility. They like to run, jump and climb around, as well as trying out difficult actions. However, there are many potential risks around and they do not understand the dangers. Accidents occur when parents are not aware of the risks, have not taken preventive measures or have left their children in hazards even briefly. Therefore, besides setting appropriate limits and educating your child about home safety, always be alert and check the safety measures at home regularly to prevent home accidents.

All You Need in Your First-aid Kit

Home accidents do happen. As children are dependent in protecting themselves, parents need to observe home safety precautions, as well as knowing how to handle accidental injuries at home. Parents should equip yourselves with first-aid skills in case of accidents, and prepare a first-aid kit at home to treat minor injuries.

A standard first-aid kit should contain:

The first-aid kit should contain:
Sterilized Cotton Sterilized Gauze Dressing Pad
Adhesive Bandages Elastic Bandage
(5cm (2”) wide and 7.5cm (3") wide each)
70% Alcohol
Mild Disinfectant Safety Pins Round-ended Scissors
Triangular Bandage Disposable Gloves  

Read more on home safety for young children
Download Hong Kong Childhood Injury Prevention and Research Association

Eating

Besides providing adequate nutrients, a balanced diet can help your child develop good eating habit. As children grow up, their eating habit may change. Some even become a picky eater. Your patience is needed to foster good eating habit and healthy growth in your child.

Tips on Healthy Diet

The age period of 2 to 6 years is a crucial time for your child’s growth and development. They use more thinking and language in learning and their eating habits are closer to those of adults. To be a good role model, it is important that you keep to a healthy diet.

How Much Should My Child Eat?

To ensure that your child takes in sufficient nutrients, you need to consider both the “quality” and “quantity” of food in order to have a balanced diet to meet the needs for your child’s growth. The “Healthy Eating Food Pyramid” is your good guide! You can choose a variety of food from each food group according to the proportion.

Healthy Eating Food Pyramid for 2 to 5 Years Old

Healthy Eating Food Pyramid for children 2 to 5 years old

Grains: eat the most. 1½ - 3 bowls of grains a day e.g.brown rice, wholemeal bread, pasta (1 bowl = 250 to 300ml)

Vegetables: at least ¾ bowl of cooked vegetables each day

Fruits: at least 1 medium-sized fruit such as orange or apple a day

Meat, fish, egg and alternatives: 1½ to 3 taels of meat or fish daily (1 tael = size of a ping-pong ball)

Milk and alternatives: 2 glasses per day (1 glass = 240 ml)

Fat or oil, salts and sugar: eat the least

Drink 4 to 5 glasses of fluid every day including water, milk, clear soup, etc

How Much Should Be Served for Each Meal?

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks provide your child with the energy and nutrition needed. You may refer to the following:

Breakfast 30%

Lunch 30%

Morning and afternoon snacks 10%

Dinner 30%

Meal Arrangements to Fulfill Daily Calorie and Nutritional Needs

For main meals, you can provide your child with proper amounts of grains, vegetables and meat by following the “321” ratio.

Grains should make up half of a main meal since they are the main source of energy. Dishes comprise of mainly vegetables takes up one-third of a meal, with one-sixth being the fish, meat, eggs, beans and alternatives. Lean meat, fish and skinless poultry are good choices of meat. Choose water, soy milk with low sugar, low fat milk or pure natural fruit juice for drinks.

Keep in mind that food has to be of wide variety and fresh. Do not choose processed or fatty food for your child.

Balanced diet includes grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, eggs, beans and alternatives and breast milk, milk products and alternatives

Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacks help to top up water and energy lost during activities and act as a supplementary source of nutrients. However, eating too much or unhealthy snacks would lead to excessive energy intake and result in overweight. It also reduces their appetite for main meals, which leads to insufficient nutrient intake and possible negative impact on health. Bear in mind principles of healthy eating when giving your child snacks, so that he can get the most benefits from healthy snacks.

Read more on healthy snacks:

Start Smart Parent Guide(Part 6 - About diet)

Healthy Snacks

Make it a healthy and happy day for your child

Example of Everyday Meals

*Tablespoon (tbsp) refers to Chinese tablespoon

Wake up and Brush Teeth

Take your child to his seat for breakfast after he is awake

Breakfast

  • Creamy Peanut Butter Toast
    • 1 slice Bread and
    • 1 tbsp* Peanut Butter
    • 120ml Whole Milk
  • Eat with Dad and Mum
  • Choose cream peanut butter to prevent choking by peanut chunks
  • Don’t let your child drink milk from bottle when he is not fully awake

Let your child play or have plenty of physical activities

This is good for appetite, development and health

Snack

  • 1/2 Pear
  • 120ml Whole Milk

Lunch

  • Homemade Sushi roll with cooked Tuna, Egg and Carrot
    • 1/2 bowl white Rice
    • 2 tbsp.* Tuna
    • 1/2 Egg
    • 2 tbsp.* Carrot (boiled and shredded)
    • 1 slice Nori
  • Water

Afternoon Nap

Afternoon Snack

  • 1/3 bowl boiled Corn Kernels with 1 slice of Cheese
  • Water

Activities (Indoor or Outdoor)

Have more physical activities to replace sedentary ones

Bath time

Dinner

  • Stir-fried Chinese Spinach with Beef
    • 2 tbsp.* chopped Chinese Spinach
    • 2 tbsp.* chopped Beef
  • 1/2 bowl Hairy Cucumber Egg Soup
  • 1/2 bowl Brown Rice
    • Soak the brown rice for 2 hours before cooking with white rice
  • Establish good eating habit. Never feed your child when he is running around. Let him eat by himself
  • Eat together with family
  • Teach him to indicate he is full and let him leave his seat if he finishes his meal in 30 minutes

Quality Time

“Quality time” helps building good parent-child relationship with trust, making parenting easier

Evening Snack

  • 3 Strawberries
  • 90 ml Yoghurt
  • Water
  • Teach your child to share fruits with family
  • Sharing with others is enjoyable

Brush Teeth and Go to Bed

Regular daily routines and bedtime routine help your child sleep well

 

Example of Holiday Meals

*Tablespoon (tbsp) refers to Chinese tablespoon

Wake up and Brush Teeth

Take your child to his seat for breakfast after she is awake

Breakfast

  • 1/2 Plain roll/bun
  • 120ml Whole milk

Let your child play or have plenty of physical activities

This is good for appetite, development and health

Snack

  • 3-4 Grapes (Before going out, wash the grapes and put them into a box with lid)
  • 120ml Whole milk

Lunch (Shanghainese Restaurant)

  • Stewed noodles with chicken
    • 2 tbsp* Chicken
    • 1/3 bowl Shanghai noodles
  • 1/3 Chinese steamed bun
  • 3-4 stalks Baby Shanghai Greens in clear broth
    • about 3 tbsp* after chopped
  • Water

Afternoon Nap

Afternoon Snack

  • Mashed Potato with Tomato
    • 1 tbsp* chopped Tomato
    • Mashed potato (2 egg-sized potatoes)
    • Mix in 60ml Whole milk
  • Mum cooks Tomato Potato soup for dinner

Activities (Indoor or Outdoor)

More physical and outdoor activities to replace sedentary ones and to expand his scope of learning

Bath

Dinner

  • Stir-fried Zucchini, Mushroom and Meat
    • 3 tbsp* chopped Zucchini and Mushroom
    • 2 tbsp* chopped Meat
  • 1/2 bowl Tomato Potato Soup
  • 1/2 bowl White rice
  • Establish good eating habit. Never feed your child when he is running around. Let him eat by himself
  • Eat together with family
  • Teach him to indicate he is full and let him leave his seat if he finishes his meal in 30 minutes

Playtime

Evening Snack

  • Diced Dragon Fruit (about 1/4 bowl)
  • 60ml Whole milk (when needed)
  • By age 1, balanced diet with a variety of solid food replaces milk to be the main source of nutrients

Brush Teeth and Sleep

Regular daily and bedtime routine helps your child sleep well

What Can I Do with My Picky Eating Child?

Picky eating is common among little children. However, most of them grow out of the problem when you understand the reasons and help them appropriately. Your child needs your patience and modelling to help them get rid of picky eating.

More recipes can be found under
Download ‘EatSmart Recipes / Menu’ and Recipe ‘Sharing Platform’ at StartSmart@school
Physical Activities

Children of 2 to 3 years old are very energetic. They enjoy    running, jumping, and climbing around rather than slowing down. So do not expect your child to sit still all the time or restrict his activity. He will need space for physical activities from which he learns about his capabilities, his body structure and characteristics. Physical activities help to build up a healthy body.

Children of 2 to 6 years old should have at least 3 hours of physical activities carried out in separate time slots every day.

Bring your child to open areas like parks or playgrounds. Let him run and play to discharge his energy.

When you go out, let your child walk on his own without staying in your arms or the stroller. Just stay close by your child to ensure his safety.

 
Read more on physical activity for young children
Download Start Smart Parent Guide (Part 6 - About physical activity)

Avoiding Screen Time

From TV, video games, computers, smart phones to tablets, there is a wide variety of screen-media products nowadays. Many people consider screen-media learning an inevitable trend for children, and the earlier the better. However, “screen time” is mostly sedentary. Studies have shown that screen time is negatively associated with the well-being of children as it:

Reduces the amount of physical activity children should have and leads to obesity

Hinders motor and language development of children

Leads to unhealthy eating habits

Increases chances of children Imitating problem behaviours

Affects sleep quality, attention, social and communication skills.

Therefore, you need to cut down screen time together with your child as a role model.

Recommendations of Sedentary and Screen-time:

Limit the time accumulated for TV or computer games to within 1 hour

Replace screen time with singing, dancing, physical play and parent-child activities.

Tips:

Be a role model and cut down your screen time.

Monitor your child’s screen-media use. Do not leave the screen-media on, or place them in the bedroom.

Turn off screen-media during family meals to facilitate communication among one another.

Set up limits and consequences on your child’s screen time. Follow through firmly and consistently.

Do not use screen time (e.g. watching TV) as a reward or punishment for your child.

Be careful in choosing the content of screen-media.

Accompany your child and talk about the content of the screen-media with him to make the activity educational. Give him short breaks from time to time during screen time.

Try to replace screen time with quality time, including talking, reading, playing and physical activities in order to enhance his cognitive, physical and emotional development.

Read more on screen time for young children
Download Does your 0 to 5-year-old child need electronic screen products?
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Oral Care

By 2 years old, your child has most of her teeth although not all! It is time for your child to learn brushing her teeth and take good care of them.

For children 2 to 6 years old, mums and dads can let them use a toothbrush with the length of the head less than the diameter of a 20-cent coin. Let your child brush her teeth in the morning and before going to bed. When your child knows how to spit, you can let her brush her teeth with a pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste for kids.

However, your child’s hand muscles are still developing and may not master tooth-brushing skill yet. Therefore, re-brush your child’s teeth every night to make sure that they are clean. You can stand behind her and tilt her head slightly upwards by supporting her chin with one hand.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Keep a good dietary habit.

Avoid your child eating too frequently. Two-year-old children should not feed more than 6 times a day.

Get your child into the habit of eating at regular time. Provide your child main meals 3 times a day with sufficient portions. She should have snacks only once before the next meal if she needs it.

Include your child’s favourite snacks and drinks in the same meal or snack time.

At other times, give only plain water to your child.

Two-year-olds should have weaned the bottle. Let your child drink with cups instead. Never let her sleep with her sucking on the milk bottle.

Have regular dental check at least once a year. The dentist can detect any tooth decay early and give your child timely treatment.

Read more on teaching your child to brush teeth
Download Brushing Teeth is What Children Can Do



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