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  Health Tips Q & A
   
 
Appetite
Nutrition and Performance
Height and Weight

Fatigue

Stress (Information from American Institute of Stress)
   
   
 
 
 

Appetite

   
 
1.
Why my children lose appetite?
It can be due to few reasons.  First, your child might develop cold or other illness. Keep a close eye on them, check them for rashes, a fever, ask them about any pains they may have.

Second, your child may have eaten sweet foods, large snacks, or beverages such as milk, juices or soda which will dampen their appetite. 

Thirdly, your child may experience emotional stress as well.

Lastly, your kids may have an iron deficiency or intestinal parasites which can lead to chronically poor appetite.
   
2.
How can I help my child to improve their appetite?
Find out what is the reason why your child refuses to eat. If your child has developed the illness symptoms, get the advice from doctor or physician.

Children have high calorie and nutrient need, but their stomachs are small. For children who like to snack, provide them with frequents light and healthy snacks.

Try to understand your children if he is suffering from emotional stress or seek supportive counseling if necessary. 

Provide you kids with sufficient of nutrient intake to avoid malnutrition.

   
3.
Why my child doesn’t like vegetables?
Vegetables taste bitter to children. Vegetables do not taste as sweet as fruits and other foods with sugar. So they do not taste as good to children, as most children are accustomed to the sweetness of milk, especially breast milk, if breastfed and some daily product or cereal which added with honey and other sweetener.
   
4.
How can I help my child to eat more vegetables?
Be a Good Example. Eating habits are set in early childhood. Research found that there is the strong influence of parent’s consumption of fruit and vegetables. Be the best example for you child.

Never Force. Don’t force your kids to eat vegetable. At meal time, be persistent in offering vegetables. Kid’s taste buds change quickly and where as they might not like vegetable the first time they try it, but by the fifth or sixth tasting they may be finishing all the vegetable you offered. 

Keep Trying. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of vegetables, even ones you don’t like yourself.   Your kid may love it.

Have Fun. Get them involve in preparing the veggies where they may find it’s something interesting or get a juicer where you and your kid can have fun in creating their own juices.
   
 
   
 
 

Nutrition and Performance

   
 
1.
Why my child has poor attention in school?
It may be linked to poor nutritional status of your kid.
   
2.
How can I help my child to improve their nutritional status?
Breakfast. Beside taking a proper lunch and dinner, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast consumption has dramatic effects on the nutritional status and learning abilities of children of all ages.
   
3.
What is a healthy breakfast?
A healthy breakfast provides critical sources of calories, fiber and iron that may not be replaced later on in the day. Consuming adequate of iron in children is of serious concern because iron deficiency is linked to poor attention span, poor cognitive development, and compromised learning ability.
   
4.
What are the signs that a child may not be eating a proper breakfast?
When you child start to crave for sugar later of the day, irritability, poor performance in school, tiredness, lack of motivation, complaints of hunger, and poor attention span.
   
5. Why some child likes to skip breakfast?
The most common reasons for skipping breakfast include overslept or too rush, not hungry, don’t like to eat breakfast and trying to lose weight.
   
6.

How to help my child get back to their breakfast?
For those who overslept, set the alarm earlier. Try not to give your child a very full meal in the night which might influence their appetite early in the morning.  For those who don’t have appetite, give them some drinks example fruit smoothies. Prepare some kid preference’s food if they don’t like to take breakfast. Tell you child that skipping breakfast does not help lose weight.  In fact, children who skip breakfast tend to consume more calories later on in the day thereby gaining weight instead.

Be a good example for you child.  Your child is more likely to develop healthy eating habits if he or she sees you eating breakfast each morning. Make it as a habit to have your breakfast together with you child every morning.

   
7.
How to prepare a healthy breakfast?
A health breakfast should contain carbohydrate, protein, fibers and some fat. For example, whole grain cereal top with fruit and low-fat milk, toasted bread with hard boiled eggs and a glass of juice, milk products, fruit smoothie, oatmeal and etc.
   
 
   
 
 

Height and Weight

   
 
1.
What is the healthy weight for my children?
To ensure you children is growing and developing normally, the growth chart will be the best guideline for you. The following are the different growth charts for boys and girls.
   
2.
How to read the growth chat? For example, a 4 years old boy weight 15kg.
First
, find the right growth chart. There are different kinds of growth charts for growing up kids.
   
 
i.
Boys and girls will have different growth charts. Blue chart is for boy and   pink chart is for girl.
   
ii.
Age and Growth Chart.
 
a.
Birth to 36 months (Length-for-age and weight-for-age percentiles (Chart I and Chart II)
b.
2 to 20 years (Stature-for age and Weight-for-age percentiles) (Chart III and Chart IV)
c. 2 to 20 years (Body mass index-for-age percentiles)  (Chart V and Chart VI)
   
 

For this case to know his growing stage on his height, you should refer to Chart III: 2-20 years old: Boy (Stature-for age and Weight-for-age percentiles).

Second, on the chart find your child’s age at the bottom of the chart and draw a vertical line.  Now find you child’s height on the right side of the chart, 15kg for example, and draw a horizontal line. 

Third, finding the spot where these two lines cross each other.  Find the curve that is closest to this sport and follow it up and to the right until you find the number that corresponds to your child’s percentile, example 15 percentile for this case.

   
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chart I : Birth to 36 months: Boys (Length-for-age and weight-for-age percentiles)

   
         
       
 
 
 
     
         
       
 
 
 
     
   
3.
What is the meaning of the percentiles?
The percentile curves on these charts represent what percentages of children are of the same height or weight.  Example, for our case, 15th percentiles mean that 85% of 4 years old boys weight more than him, but it also mean that he weight more than 15% of children of this same age.
   
4.
What should be the healthy percentile for height and weight?
It is important to look at a number of different values of height or weight over time to figure out a child’s rate of development. As long as you children follow their growth curve fairly closely they are still healthy. Discuss with your pediatrician any of your concern.
   
5.

If my child drops below the 5th percentile, is my child healthy?
Children at or below the 5th percentile for weight or height may be normal if their growth velocity, or that rate at which they are growing, is normal. Children that are small with a normal growth velocity will have their own growth curve on the charts that runs below, but is still parallel to the 5th percentile. It is important to look at a number of different values of height and weight over time to figure out a child’s rate of development.

It would be concerning and it might be a problem if your kids didn’t follow the curve but fallen down from the previous percentiles example, from previous 75th percentile drop to 5th percentile.

Also remember younger children from the ages of 6 to 18 months can normally move up or down on their percentiles, but older children should follow their growth curve fairly closely.

   
6.
What are the possible factors affecting my children weight?
There are many factors influence children grow, which include their genetic (how tall their parents and other family members are), underlying medical problems and their overall nutritional status.
   
7.
When my child needs to gain weight?
If he or she weight is just below the 3rd or 5th percentile for his or her age and declining and/or a shift downward in their growth percentiles, crossing two or more percentiles on their growth charts or discusses with your pediatrician any of your concern.
   
8.
How can I help my child to gain weight?
First, find out what is the actually reason why your child can’t gain the weight. There are many reasons beside genetically or a medical cause, the most important reason is inadequate nutrient and calories intake.
   
9.
How can I help my child to improve their diet to gain weight?
Make sure your child is taking the proper nutritious meal. Provide your child with the more calories by offering high calories foods that are high in protein with lot of nutrients, especially since the child need additional calories to help him catch-up with his growth.  Avoid child from taking high calories food from junk foods or high fat foods.
   
10.
Why protein is important in gaining weight?
Protein is important as source of building block for the body tissue. Weight gain required sufficient amount of amino acids. Lysine is one of the essential amino acid which plays an important role in gaining weight. A research from Japan proved that the average height and weight of children taking Lysine supplement were higher compare to those who didn’t.
   
11.
Where can I get protein from the diet?
You can get your natural source of protein from fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs bean and bean product, milk and dairy product.
   
12.
What is the recommended amount of protein I should give to my child?
The Food Guide Pyramid for Children Malaysia recommended that children need to take 2-3 servings of foods with protein everyday.  1 serving size is equivalent to 1 medium-sized chicken drumstick, 1 medium-sized ikan kembong, 2 matchbox-sized lean meat, 2 hard taukua or 1 cup or dried legume/beans.
   
13.
Beside protein why should we provide the adequate amount of carbohydrate in gaining weight?
Carbohydrate is the major source of energy. Adequate amount of Carbohydrate is needed to provide the required “fuel” for energy, thereby saving the protein content for tissue growth.
   
14.
Where can I get carbohydrate from the diet?
You can get your natural source of carbohydrate from rice, noodle, other cereal product and tubers.
   
15.
What is the recommended amount of carbohydrate I should give to my child?
The Food Guide Pyramid for Children Malaysia recommended that children need to take 6-10 servings of food with carbohydrate everyday. I serving size is equivalent to 1 slice of wholemeal bread, ½ cup cooked rice, ½ cup soaked bihun, mee or pasta, or 1 medium-sized potato.
   
16.
How can I help my child grow taller?
Give your child sufficient amount of vitamin and mineral. Your child need calcium with other mineral and vitamins, example phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D, in increase bone density and skeletal growth, thus helps to achieve maximum height.
   
17.
Where can I get the sufficient amount of vitamin and mineral?
You can get it by taking the sufficient amount of nutritious food. Most of the vitamin and mineral are from vegetables and fruits. Milk or dairy products are the major sources of calcium.
   
18.
What is the recommended amount of vitamin and mineral I should give to my child?
The Food Guide Pyramid for Children Malaysia recommended that children need to take 2-3 servings each from fruits and vegetables groups. I serving is equivalent to ½ medium-sized guava, 1 small whole orange, pear or apple, 1 slice of papaya, pineapple or watermelon, ½ cup cooked dark green leafy vegetable or ½ cup cooked fruit or root vegetables.
   
 
   
 
 

Fatigue

   
 
1.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is a common health complaint. It’s also known as weariness, tiredness, exhaustion or lethargy, a general defined as a feeling of lack of energy. It can happen physically or emotionally.
   
2.
What is physical fatigue?
Physical fatigue is the inability to continue functioning at the level of one’s normal abilities. It is usually become particularly noticeable during heavy exercise.
   
3.
What is mental fatigue?
Mental fatigue is just as a general decreased wakefulness or decrease of attention, not necessarily including sleepiness.
   
4.
What are the causes of fatigue?
Fatigue is typically the result of working, mental stress, over stimulation and under stimulation, jet lag or active recreation, depression and also boredom, disease and lack of sleep.  It may also have chemical causes, such as poisoning or mineral and vitamin deficiencies. 
   
5.
How to manage fatigue?
There are few tips to try on. Try to do sometime you enjoy and learn to say no from the pressure working environment, be active by including at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity or physical movement in you day. Eat well with a low-fat, high-fiber breakfast that includes plenty of complex carbohydrates. Stay away from caffeinated drink or sugary cereals and also alcohol.  Very low calories diet can increase fatigue. The most important is have a good rest and good sleep. 
   
 
   
 
 

Stress (Information from American Institute of Stress)

   
 
1.

What is stress?
Stress can be defined in many ways. Stress is most commonly defined as a state of mental and physical tension, caused by a sense of importance or urgency that could result in negative vibes.     

   
2.
What are the effects of stress?
Physical or mental stresses may cause physical illness as well as mental or emotional problems. The body parts most affected by stress include hair, muscles digestive tract, skin, brain, mouth, heart, lungs and reproductive organs.
   
 
   
3.
What are the further links to stress?
There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances, contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and also influence the gastrointestinal system.
   
4.
How to overcome stress?
There are many ways to overcome stress it’s all depend on personal preference and way.  Some people found exercise is helpful for them or taking deep breathing, massage therapies, visual imagery, acupuncture, bodywork or postural techniques, and with their own hobbies. For long term, it will be effective if you can identify the sources of stress in your life and finding ways to avoid them or reduce their impact. The key to reducing stress is to prevent it.  Getting enough sleep, a proper diet, avoiding excess caffeine and other stimulants and taking time out to relax may be helpful.
 
 
 
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