It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season and even though it seems like kids and colds go hand-in-hand, it doesn’t mean you need to run out and stock up on Kleenex. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
It’s true that germs are everywhere, and your kids will be at school, daycare or playgroups with coughing, sneezing and runny nosed children. It’s impossible to avoid the germs, but you can protect yourself and your kids by picking up a few healthy habits at your house this winter!
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables – Encourage your kids to try to eat a rainbow of colors every day. Cut into fun shapes, put on a stick and dip into yogurt, try broiled grapefruit or barbecued pineapple. Freeze grapes or a banana dipped in a little chocolate. Add pureed squash to thicken chili or spaghetti sauce. Make fruits and vegetables part of every meal.
Eat Yogurt – It has good bacteria that help your immune system resist colds! Add to a morning shake, put a few spoonfuls on the kids’ cereal, use as a dip for bananas, melon or apples before bedtime.
Drink Lots – Water is best, or 100% juice, to flush out the bad and keep you well hydrated. Dilute juice with water for same great taste and less sugar! Make your own fun flavours of water by adding lemon, or frozen melon, strawberries and grapes! Add orange, pineapple, passion fruit and cranberry juice together in a fancy glass for a fun treat the kids will love.
Wash Everything – Doorknobs, light switches, telephones and remote controls all share your families’ germs! Wash kids hands and faces, even when not dirty. Get into the habit of washing up after school, before meals and even before bed.
Get Outside – So much fun can be had outside in the winter – go for a hike or build a hill in your front yard and toboggan with the kids! While you are at it, open the windows occasionally to bring some of that fresh air inside to rid your house of any lurking airborne virus.
Exercise Regularly – Did you know exercise that gets your heart pumping and oxygen flowing actually increases your body’s ability to ward off cold germs?
Get Enough Sleep – Getting the proper amount of rest give your body the energy it needs to fight off the cold and flu virus.
Take your Vitamins – Always good to fill in any gaps from your diet with a range of vitamins. Multi, Omega, Vitamin D, B12, and Calcium are all vital to a healthy immune system. Make sure you are getting enough!
The best defense against any illness is always a strong immune system. A healthy diet rich in protein, grains and all the vitamins your body needs, plus regular fresh air, exercise, plenty of fluids and rest, is sure to keep your family feeling good this winter!
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who has worked out her routine through years of school mornings. She blogs about raising healthy kids at RaisingHealthyKids.co. Find her on Facebook, Pinterest or follow on Twitter.