With the cooler months upon us, how can we help ward off nasty colds up the anti on our little ones immunity?
Winter can be a more challenging time of year for our immunity; colder temperatures and the use of heaters producing dry heat can both increase the prevalence of illnesses such as colds and flus. Keeping active, implementing a healthy diet and sleeping, all contribute to building resistance and keeping our families fighting fit.
SAY GOODBYE TO SUGAR
Sugar often gets a bad wrap and it’s for good reason – not only is too much sugar linked to nasties such as poor dental hygiene, childhood obesity and malnutrition but it can also weaken our little one’s immune systems. The simplest ways to avoid bad sugars are too avoid white foods and by cutting down on processed food, filling up on fresh foods.
EAT THE RAINBOW
It has been noted that what we eat directly impacts our immunity. Could the snacks that we are feeding our kids be affecting their chances of getting sick? Making healthy choices may increase our body’s natural defences. Some of the foods that are heralded as immunity boosters include;
- Fruit and Vegetables: Some leading experts advise on looking out for those fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in Vitamin C including citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potato and capsicum. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables is another way to incidentally increase water intake into your kids diet by incorporating high water content foods into the families diet, supplementing heir H2O intake.
- Yoghurt: Look for yoghurts that contain probiotics; probiotics live in our guts, improve the way we digest food but are also linked to fighting off sickness within the body.
- Nuts: Nuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids which benefit our bodies in multiple ways, one being immunity. Walnuts were found in a study to help with respiratory infections in kids and are perfect for a snack or to sprinkle on salad or cereals.
- Lean Meats: Lean meats although perhaps not the first thing we reach for when looking for an afternoon snack contain zinc and have protein which combined help build strength in our bodies and help our white blood cells and can be a part of a healthy diet.
STEPPING UP SLEEP
Getting the right amount of sleep is important for kids, essential for their development and improving their immunity – whilst sleep won’t necessarily prevent your little one’s from getting sick lack of sleep adversely impacts on the bodies ability to fight off illness.
HYDRATE FOR BETTER HEALTH
As the months begin to get a bit cooler, it can be harder to keep up our water intake up and stay hydrated! Staying warm but keeping our little ones hydrated is important – encourage kids to keep refilling their water bottles, offer water throughout the day and try not to wait until one of the kids say that they’re thirsty as that generally means they’re already dehydrated!
Staying hydrated helps keep away nasty bugs, unwanted flu germs and naturally flushes out toxins from the body.
STOP THE SPREAD
COVID-19 has helped bring to light the importance of good hygiene and healthy habits in the prevention of spreading germs and whilst it might not boost immunity in our children, fighting the spread of germs puts less stress on your kids immune system, and your own!
One of the easiest ways to keep germs at bay is hand hygiene, encouraging kids to wash their hands with soap and water and to wash them often. Observing good hygiene practices should be maintained throughout the entire day however making sure kids wash their hands before a meal, after playing with pets, when blowing their nose, using the bathroom and arriving home from school, then shops and outside activities are vital.
KEEP THE KIDS MOVING
We’re all about movement! The benefits of regular movement for kids are endless; keeping kids active is beneficial for their physical development as well as their social and cognitive production, enhancing confidence and building teamwork skills.
Regular exercise can help the bodies natural ability to fight off common nasties and rather then just urging your kids to play or move on their own, be a good role model and get involved in their daily movement – join them for a walk, get involved in an online class together, check out our facebook page if you’re stuck for ideas. Fun family activities will build relationships as well as improve their health
…And where possible smile J “Happiness is an immunity” – Syliva Townsend.
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