What are the correct lifestyles of children? The Bambino Gesù children’s hospital in Rome dedicated the last issue of its monthly to this topic. In particular, the number focuses on each phase of a child’s daily life , with useful advice and directions for families and teachers. We pass from nutrition to sleep , up to in-depth studies on smoking and a sedentary lifestyle . Space also for leisure time, with two articles dedicated to video games and reading .

At breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, there must be all the nutrients on the smallest plate: carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral salts, to be combined as a variable percentage depending on the time of day. Choosing different foods, fresh and in season. By avoiding high calorie foods too , too salty , the excess protein and animal fats . In short, a few snacks and more fruit. To quench your thirst only water or homemade juices without added sugar or sweeteners. Meal time is an important educational and social occasion. The supply of food – the specialists point out – must be accompanied by adequate ‘care’ (do not leave the child alone), removing the feeling of anxiety not to feed one’s child enough. During growth some periods of loss of appetite are physiological. Beware, however, of the persistent rejection of food and drink , weight loss and the presence of associated symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. In this case the indication is to seek the help of an expert .

In the first months of life the little ones have a sleep-wake rhythm that is very different from that of adults: it is independent of the environment, with light-dark alternation and is regulated above all by primary needs such as hunger and thirst. After 4 months the child gradually adapts to the external rhythms. This is the time to establish regular habits that help him concentrate sleep at night . In order not to compromise normal sleep development – the experts explain – there are some mistakes to avoid, how to put the child to bed already asleep. Instead, it is important to let him sleep in his room, in the cot and not in his arms. Before sleeping, avoid too stimulating games and prefer relaxing activities such as reading a fairy tale and creating a ritual for falling asleep , to be repeated every night.

Reading is essential for the development of children. The newborn is attracted by the rhythm of the parent’s voice and the musicality of a story read aloud is able to enchant even the youngest, from birth. Snuggling together and reading greatly strengthens the bond between parents and children . Moreover, a child used to listening to readings on a daily basis, will develop the language more easily , will be more curious , will want to learn to read and will have better attention times because they are used to listening. The suggestion for parents is, therefore, to read a lot together with their children, much more effective activity than watching an animated story on a digital device or listening to an audio version.