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What is healthy food for kids?

Healthy food for preschoolers includes a wide variety of fresh foods from the five healthy food groups:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • grain foods
  • reduced-fat dairy
  • protein.

Each food group has different nutrients, which your child's body needs to grow and work properly. That's why we need to eat a range of foods from across all five food groups.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegies give your child energy, vitamins, anti-oxidants, fibre and water. They help protect your child against diseases later in life, including diseases like heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Encourage your child to choose fruit and vegetables at every meal and for snacks. This includes fruit and vegies of different colours, textures and tastes, both fresh and cooked.

Wash fruit to remove dirt or chemicals, and leave the skin on, because the skin contains nutrients too.

If your child seems to be 'fussy' about eating fruit and vegies, it doesn't mean she'll never like them. Did you know that if your child sees you eating a wide range of vegetables and fruit, she's more likely to try them too?

Grain foods

Grain foods include bread, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereals, couscous, rice, corn, quinoa, polenta, oats and barley. These foods give your child the energy he needs to grow, develop and learn.

Grain foods with a low glycaemic index, like wholegrain pasta and breads, will give your child longer-lasting energy and keep her feeling fuller for longer.

Milk and other dairy foods

Key dairy foods are milk, cheese and yoghurt. These foods are high in protein and calcium. Try to offer your child different kinds of dairy each day - for example, drinks of milk, cheese slices or bowls of yoghurt.

Once your child is two years old, he can start having reduced-fat dairy products.


Protein-rich foods include lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu and nuts. These foods are important for your child's growth and muscle development.

These foods also contain other useful vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Iron and omega-3 fatty acids from red meat and oily fish are particularly important for your child's brain development and learning.

Try to include a few different food groups at every meal and snack. Have a look at our illustrated dietary guidelines for children 2-3 years and our illustrated dietary guidelines for children 4-8 years for more information about daily food portions and recommendations. You can also speak to a dietitian if you have concerns about your child's eating.

Healthy drinks: water

Water is the healthiest drink for children. It's also the cheapest. Most tap water is fortified with fluoride for strong teeth too.

Foods and drinks to avoid

Your child should avoid 'sometimes' foods. These foods include fast food and junk food like hot chips, potato chips, dim sims, pies, burgers and takeaway pizza. They also include cakes, chocolate, lollies, biscuits, doughnuts and pastries.

These foods are high in salt, saturated fat and sugar, and low in fibre and nutrients. Eating too much of these foods can increase the risk of childhood obesity and conditions like type-2 diabetes.

Your child should also avoid sweet drinks like fruit juice, cordials, sports drinks, flavoured waters, soft drinks and flavoured milks. Sweet drinks are high in sugar and low in nutrients. They can cause weight gain, obesity and tooth decay. These drinks fill your child up and can make her less hungry for healthy meals. And if children start on these drinks when they're young, it can kick off an unhealthy lifelong habit.

Foods and drinks with caffeine aren't recommended for children, because caffeine stops the body from absorbing calcium well. Caffeine is also a stimulant, which means it gives children artificial energy. These foods and drinks include coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate.

Healthy alternatives for snacks and desserts
It's fine to offer your child snacks, but try to make sure they're healthy - for example, thinly sliced carrot with dips like hommus, guacamole or tzatziki.

The same goes for dessert at the end of a meal. Sliced fruit or yoghurt is the healthiest option. If you want to serve something special, try homemade banana bread. Save the seriously sweet stuff, like cakes and chocolate, for special occasions like birthdays.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating says that both children and adults should avoid or limit sometimes foods. It's best to save these foods for special occasions.

Little Brown Bear: nursery rhyme to put on gloves

Put on your gloves like a big ... a breeze with Little Brown Bear that explains to your little one in this video the good gestures. And finally, a little guessing game!

All the videos Little Brown Bear

Find Little Brown Bear in the children's magazines Popi and Pomme d'Api!

Production : Bayard Youth Animation
Montage: Bayard Youth Animation
Production : Bayard Youth Animation

There are now the twins of Debrecen at home

Cushions and tingles of the hands in pregnancy

Cushions and tingles of the hands in pregnancy

Hand numbness and tingling are common in pregnancy. They are also called carpal tunnel syndrome. Although it does not pose worrying medical problems, such conditions can be quite uncomfortable. Find out how to deal with this problem in pregnancy!

What are the causes?

The carpal tunnel is a bone channel formed by the bones of the wrist on 3 sides and a ligament that runs over the wrist. Swelling of the limbs and fluid retention are common during pregnancy and increase the pressure in this relatively narrow and inflexible space, compressing the median nerve that passes through it. The median nerve is responsible for the sensations you feel in the thumb, forefinger, middle and half of the ring and is also responsible for the movement of a muscle from the base of the thumb. The high pressure exerted on him gives rise to the symptoms of the syndrome.

How do you recognize carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy?

Symptoms are located in the hands, fingers, wrists and even the arm, up to the shoulder. These are felt in the form of:

• tingling;
• burns;
• pain;
• a kind of severe pain.

In more severe cases of the syndrome, your hand may feel clumsy or weak. Both hands are usually affected. They can appear at any time during pregnancy, but it is considered that only in the second half of pregnancy are more common, when pregnant women tend to retain more fluid.

How can you improve the tingling and numbness of the hands during pregnancy?

Whenever possible it is advisable to avoid any activity that requires repeated and powerful movements of the hands. Even if they do not trigger the syndrome, they can aggravate the symptoms.

If you are working on the computer, make sure that the height of the chair is so that your wrists do not bend down when you type. Using an ergonomic keyboard can help. Remember to stretch your hands from time to time to relax.

If the symptoms of the syndrome bother you during the night, consider changing your position and supporting your arm with a pillow or 2 when you feel joint or other symptoms. Avoid sleeping on your arms. If you wake up in pain, try shaking hands a few times until the pain or numbness disappears.

If the discomfort is very high during the night and you cannot sleep because of this, consider immobilizing the affected hand in a neutral position (for example atheists). The neutral position allows the stress relief of the median nerve.

Practicing Yoga can help relieve symptoms and give more power to the hands. You may have heard that vitamin B6 may help, but several studies have shown that it does not benefit.

In general, carpal tunnel syndrome disappears by itself, after birth, without any treatment.

When should you go to the doctor?

It is necessary to consult your doctor quickly if you notice that the pains and numbness or tingling are constant and severe and intervene in your daily routine. Also, before using any pain relieving medication, seek medical advice.

If you experience muscle weakness or a complete lack of sensation in the hands or if the symptoms do not subside after birth, it is advisable to seek medical advice. It may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, and if they do not work, they may recommend cortisone injections.

Tags Health Pregnancy

Saline nasal drops and a humidifier can help sniffly babies breathe easier. Toddlers may feel better sleeping with their heads elevated and eating throat-soothing cold foods. Older kids may be able to gargle and even use a neti pot. And children of all ages can benefit from rest, fluids, and – most of all – lots of TLC.

Lots of rest (all ages)

How this helps:

It takes energy to fight an infection, and that can wear out a child (and even adults). When your child rests, he's healing, which is exactly what he needs to do.

What you need:

  • A comfortable place for your child to rest
  • Quiet activities to occupy him

What to do:

Read to your child, or play an audiobook or music while he rests. Encourage quiet activities like coloring or finger rhymes (like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider").

Sometimes a change of scenery, such as a tent in the living room or a pillow fort in the corner of your office, is helpful. If the weather is nice, set up a comfortable place in the yard or on the porch.

Baby sleep tips:

Don't worry if your baby is sleeping more than usual while he's sick. Let him go to bed a little earlier than his usual bedtime or sleep in a little later, if you can. He may even want an extra nap – just make sure it doesn't interfere with his bedtime.

At the same time, it can be challenging to get an uncomfortably sick baby to sleep soundly. Here are some tips that may help him get better-quality sleep:

  • Try not to be out and about at nap time. Keep things as quiet and unstimulating as possible during his usual sleep times so that he can drift off easily.
  • Get him as comfy as you can before he falls asleep. For example, use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator if he's stuffed up and humidify his room (see below).
  • Give him a warm bath. It's calming and may help relieve congestion, too.

Extra fluids (all ages)

How this helps:

Drinking plenty of fluids prevents dehydration. It may also help thin your child's nasal secretions, making it easier to flush them out.

What you need:

  • Breast milk, formula, water, or other clear fluids

What to do:

If your baby is younger than 12 months, simply breastfeeding or formula feeding more frequently is the best way to keep her well hydrated. And if your baby is having trouble at the breast or bottle because of stuffiness, try suctioning her nose first. If that doesn't help, you might try giving her expressed milk or formula in a cup.

For toddlers and older children, offer plain water. You can also give fruit smoothies or ice pops made from 100 percent juice; follow the recommended juice amounts set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).


Stick to breast milk or formula for babies younger than 6 months unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Babies that young don't need water, and too much could actually be harmful.

Humidity to help thin mucus (all ages)

How this helps:

Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child.

What you need:

  • A vaporizer, a cool-mist humidifier, or a steamy bathroom

What to do:

Use a vaporizer or a cool-mist humidifier in your child's bedroom when he's sleeping, resting, or playing in the room.


Thoroughly clean and dry your humidifier every day. Mold and bacteria can accumulate inside it, and these can then spray into the air when you run the humidifier.

Instead of using a vaporizer or humidifier, you can give your little one a warm bath in a steamy bathroom. Let a hot shower run for a few minutes before getting the tub ready. Let him play in the bath as long as he likes (supervised, of course).

If it's not bath time, create your own steam room:

  1. Close the bathroom door.
  2. Use a towel to block the gap under the door.
  3. Run hot water in the tub or shower for a few minutes.
  4. Sit in the steamy room with your child for about 15 minutes.

Saline drops and nasal aspirator (all ages)

How this helps:

When kids are too young to blow their nose well, saline drops and a nasal aspirator can clear the nose. Using an aspirator works well for young babies, especially if a stuffy nose interferes with breastfeeding or bottle feeding. (Try using it about 15 minutes beforehand.) But if your older child doesn't mind the procedure, there's no reason not to do it.

What you need:

  • A nasal aspirator. This can be a simple rubber bulb syringe or a device with tubing that allows you to suction out the mucus with a mouthpiece.
  • Saline (salt water) nose drops or saline spray for infants and children. Both are available at pharmacies without a prescription.

You also can prepare saline drops at home. The AAP suggests mixing 1/2 teaspoon table salt with 1 cup warm water (see caution below).


When making saline drops, the FDA recommends using only store-bought distilled or sterile water, or tap water that you've boiled for three to five minutes and cooled until lukewarm. Organisms in untreated tap water can survive in nasal passages and cause serious infection. Bacteria can grow in the solution, so don't keep it for more than 24 hours.

What to do:

To administer saline drops:

  1. Tip your child's head back, or lay her on her back with a rolled-up towel supporting her head.
  2. Squeeze two or three drops of saline solution into each nostril.
  3. Gently massage your child's nostrils. Wait a minute or two for the saline solution to thin and soften the mucus before suctioning.

To suction with a bulb syringe:

  1. Squeeze the bulb of the syringe, then gently insert the rubber tip into her nostril. Some doctors recommend also gently closing off the other nostril with your finger to get better suction from the bulb syringe.
  2. Slowly release the bulb to collect mucus and saline solution.
  3. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb to expel the mucus into a tissue.
  4. Wipe the syringe and repeat with the other nostril.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

To suction with a tube-based nasal aspirator:

  1. Make sure a clean filter is in place. (This prevents you from sucking mucus or bacteria through the tube into your mouth.)
  2. Place the tube end against your baby's nostril, creating a seal.
  3. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and gently suck out the mucus.
  4. Clean out the device and add a clean filter for next time.

Some tips:

  • Don't suction your child's nose more than a few times a day or you might irritate the nasal lining.
  • Don't use saline drops for more than four days in a row because they can dry out her nose over time, making things worse.
  • You can also use the bulb syringe or aspirator without saline.
  • If your baby gets really upset when you use an aspirator, try using just the saline drops instead. Squirt a small amount into her nose, then gently massage her nose and use a cotton swab to swipe just within the outer edge of her nostrils. Be careful not to insert the swab inside her nostrils.
  • If your child's nose is irritated from rubbing or blowing, apply a little petroleum jelly or other child-safe ointment on the outside of her nose.


Don't use nasal decongestant sprays on your baby or young child. Doctors don't recommend them for children younger than 6 and often don't advise them for older kids either. Nasal decongestant sprays can have side effects in young children and may cause a rebound effect, making congestion worse in the long run.

Elevating the head (12 months and up)

How this helps:

Elevating your child's head (if he is 12 months or older) while he rests can help him breathe more comfortably.

What you need:

  • Towels or pillows to raise the head of the mattress, or pillows to raise your toddler or older child's head

What to do:

If your child sleeps in a crib, place a couple of towels or a slim pillow underneath the head of the mattress on the crib springs. Don't try to raise the legs of the crib because this could make the crib unstable.

If your child sleeps in a big-kid bed, raise the head of the bed by sliding towels or a pillow underneath the mattress. This creates a more gradual, comfortable slope than extra pillows, and it's safer, too.

Another option: If your grade-schooler needs to be propped up while he sleeps, he may be more comfortable in a recliner.


  • Do not angle your child's sleeping surface if he's younger than 12 months. To prevent the risk of SIDS, your baby should be placed flat on his back to sleep; never prop him up. (He could slide or roll into a position that might make breathing difficult.)
  • Whether it's a crib or a bed, don't overdo it. If your child's a restless sleeper, he might flip around so that his feet are higher than his head, defeating the purpose.

Warm liquids and chicken soup (6 months and up)

How this helps:

Warm, clear liquids can be very soothing and help relieve congestion. Studies have shown that chicken soup, both canned and homemade, actually relieves cold symptoms such as aches, fatigue, congestion, and fever. Broth is a good alternative for babies who are still getting accustomed to solid foods.

What you need:

  • Warm water, broth, soup, or chamomile tea

What to do:

Serve liquids warm, not hot.


Consult your healthcare provider before trying herbal teas other than chamomile because not all "natural" products are safe.

Chilled beverages and soft foods (12 months and up)

How this helps:

Sipping a cold smoothie can help your child's throat feel better. And soft foods, like pudding, may be easier to swallow than the usual fare. It may also be a way to get her some nourishment and hydration when she otherwise isn't feeling like eating or drinking.

What you need:

  • Slushies, milkshakes, crushed ice, pudding, ice cream, yogurt, applesauce, and other cold, soft treats. If your kid is old enough to handle an ice pop, try making your own from yogurt or fruit juice.

What to do:

Offer your child an icy cold treat when she complains of a sore throat or when she hasn't been eating or drinking much.


Your doctor may recommend giving throat-cooling cough drops or hard candy to children who are at least 4 years old, but don't give them to younger children, who may choke on them. Also, don't exceed the maximum daily number of cough drops recommended by the manufacturer.

Honey for cough (12 months and up)

How this helps:

Honey coats and soothes the throat and helps tame a cough. Some studies suggest honey works better than commercial cough syrups at reducing coughing.

What you need:

  • Honey
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Hot water

What to do:

Mix honey with hot water and a squeeze of lemon (which adds a little vitamin C), then let the drink cool until it's lukewarm. You can also give your child honey straight from a spoon. The AAP recommends these dosages:

  • Ages 1 to 5: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ages 6 to 11: 1 teaspoon
  • Ages 12 and older: 2 teaspoons

Because honey is sticky and sugary, have your child brush his teeth after he takes it, especially if you give it to him at bedtime.


Never give honey to a baby younger than 1 year old. In rare cases, it can cause infant botulism, a dangerous and sometimes fatal illness.

Mentholated rub (2 years and up)

How this helps:

These rubs may ease breathing and coughing when the warmth of your child's body helps release the medication into the air for her to breathe.

What you need:

  • Jar of mentholated rub

What to do:

Cover your child's chest and front of the neck (throat) with a thick layer of the rub. Store the container out of your kid's reach.

Nose blowing (2 years and up)

How this helps:

Clearing mucus from your child's nose helps her breathe and sleep more easily, and it can generally make her more comfortable.

What you need:

  • Soft tissues

What to do:

Many kids don't master this skill until they're at least 4, but some can do it around age 2.

Tips for teaching nose blowing:

  • Demonstrate how to do it. For some kids, that's all it takes.
  • Explain that blowing her nose is "smelling backward."
  • Have your child hold one nostril shut and practice gently blowing air out one side.
  • Teach her to blow gently and explain that blowing too hard can hurt her ears.
  • Teach her to throw used tissues in the trash and to wash her hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel after blowing her nose.
  • Be sure she knows not to rub her eyes after blowing her nose (so she doesn't end up with an eye infection).

If your child's nose is sore from all the sniffling and blowing, you can rub a little petroleum jelly or other child-safe ointment around her nostrils.

Learn more about how to teach your child to blow her nose.

Gargling with salt water (4 years and up)

How this helps:

Gargling with salt water is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat. It also helps clear mucus from the throat.

What you need:

  • Warm salt water
  • Lemon (optional)

Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water and stir. Add a squirt or two of fresh lemon juice if your child likes the taste.

Your child must be old enough to learn to gargle. For many kids, that means school age or older, but some children can manage it sooner.

What to do:

Aim to have your child gargle three or four times a day while he's sick. Have a younger child gargle only if he's willing and it makes him feel better.

A few tips for teaching your child to gargle:

  • Practice with plain water.
  • Tell your child to tilt his head up and try to hold the water in the back of his throat without swallowing it.
  • Once he's comfortable doing that, have him try to make gargling sounds in his throat. Show him what that looks and sounds like by demonstrating a gargle yourself.
  • Remind him to spit out the water rather than swallow it.

Neti pot (4 years and up)

How this helps:

A neti pot flushes a mild saline solution through the nasal passages, moisturizing the area and thinning, loosening, and rinsing away mucus. Think of it as nasal irrigation.

What you need:

  • Neti pot. This looks like a very small watering can or teapot and is typically ceramic, metal, or plastic. You can buy neti pots at drugstores, natural-food stores, and online.
  • Saline solution. Either store-bought or homemade works. If you make your own, follow the recipe recommended above for use with bulb syringes. Note: The solution that may come with the neti pot might be too strong for a child.


Use only store-bought distilled or sterile water, or boiled and cooled tap water. Untreated tap water may contain organisms that are safe to drink because stomach acid kills them but can survive in nasal passages and cause serious infection. Boil tap water for three to five minutes, then cool to lukewarm. After boiling, tap water can be stored in a clean, covered container for use within 24 hours.

Don't force a child who's not interested. This needs to be a very gentle procedure to prevent upsetting her or possibly hurting her nasal passages if she struggles. The procedure isn't painful but does feel strange at first. It's definitely not for babies or young toddlers, and older children (and even adults) might not go for it.

What to do:

Practice on yourself before teaching your child to use a neti pot. You may also want to watch videos of people using a neti pot to see how it works.

Here's the basic method:

  • Fill the neti pot with warm water or saline solution (see caution above).
  • Bending over a sink, tilt your head to one side, breathe through your mouth, and place the spout of the pot deep in the top nostril. The water will flow gently through the nasal cavity and out the other nostril.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Let your child watch you use it, and then help her if she's up for it. Tilt your child's head sideways over the sink, and place the spout of the pot in her top nostril. Then gently pour water or saline solution from the neti pot through the nasal passages to clean and moisturize them. This may take a little trial and error, but it's easy once you get the hang of it. (At first you may want to practice with your child in the tub or shower.)


Make sure you clean the neti pot well after each use.

Nasal strips (5 years and up)

How this helps:

Like the nasal strips made for adults, kids' versions (sized for small noses) reportedly use gentle pressure to lift the nostrils so that breathing is easier while sleeping. They don't contain any medication.

What you need:

  • Package of nasal strips made for children

What to do:

Place the strips as directed across your child's nose at bedtime. Remove them in the morning.

Lots of TLC (all ages)

One thing that most kids will appreciate when they're suffering from a cold or flu is extra love and attention.

Keep in mind that you don't always need to treat cold and flu symptoms. If your child seems unfazed by the stuffy nose or cough, it's okay to skip the suctioning, gargling, warm liquids, and other remedies and let the illness run its course. When it comes to helping your child feel better, good old TLC may be the best of all remedies.

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