Health Check: 5 Household Tips for Heading into the Cold Season

Cover all your bases as school starts so that you kids are armed against colds and flus.

It’s back to school time, and you know what that means: high season for germs! Yes, your child is about to embark on a daily journey through a sea of bacteria, viruses, and, well dirt! Kids are going to get sick, and they should, because it teaches their little immune systems how to fight back. It’s okay, that’s life– we just want to do all we can to avoid weeks of forced downtime due to colds, bugs, and flus.

The way to do that is to make sure our kids’ bodies get plenty of fresh air, water, healthy food, and exercise. If we start now boosting good habits, we put our kids in great shape for fall and winter. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Reusable water bottle everywhere we go. If they come to you thirsty, they’ve gone too long without water. Kids need to be reminded to hydrate, and in fact, they love that word, so build it into their routine throughout the day. There are adorable, high-density, BPA-free bottles on the market that are the right size and style for kids, so play up the water and minimize the juice and soda.
  1. Pack that lunch. Unless your child’s school is rocking out with one of those garden-to-table programs or just has an exceptional school kitchen, chances are, your kid will fair better with the food you make at home. Carrots, celery, or steamed English peas make great portable snacks, as do berries, bananas, and tangerines. Hardboiled eggs travel well too.
  1. Breakfast of champions. If you do breakfast cereal in the mornings, consider a granola sweetened with honey and kefir instead of processed cereal and milk. Nuts and seeds provide valuable vitamins, minerals, and good fats for growth and brain health. Note: most schools prohibit nuts at school due to allergies, so if your child isn’t allergic, utilize their nutritional power at home.
  1. Avoid flavored yogurt. Many commercial yogurts pack in the sugar (sometimes as much as a soda in one container!) and they have a ton of chemical additives. You are better off minimizing sugar and if you do feed the kids dairy, make sure it’s live with active cultures or small amounts of whole cheese.
  1. Probiotics before antibiotics. No matter how much hand sanitizer we use, that sea of microbes we talked about lives on. The object isn’t to obliterate germs when it comes to staying healthy, the object is to cultivate good germs that defend our kids against the bad ones. As discussed, live dairy is a great option, but there are also chewable kids multivitamins with probiotics that help to bolster the body. In that same vein, emphasize hand washing over antibacterial gel. Good old-fashioned soap can be much more effective.

What is that old adage? Prepare for the worst and expect the best. The sick will come around, but if we are diligent to the best of our parenting abilities, we can minimize the ding that sick season brings.

 

 

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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