Is your winter filled with endless runny noses and coughing?
Here are 10 simple ways to keep your kid’s healthy this winter!
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A child averages 6-8 viruses a year. I don’t know about you but that sounds like an awful lot of time blowing noses, catching barf, checking temperatures and worrying. Are all those viruses really necessary? Or Normal?
I’m going to share with you 10 simple ways you can boost your child’s health for this winter.
1. Reduce the Sugar! Eating sugar can suppress the immune system for up to 5 hours!1 Think how many times our kids eat sugar. I bet they hardly go a single meal without it, sugar hides in almost everything. Breakfast cereals, popular yogurt brands and “healthy” juices are all full of sugar. Some fast food joints soak their fries in sugar water before they fry them. Even pasta sauces are full of sugar. When we eat sugar for each meal we keep our immune system suppressed all day, leaving us open to bad bacterial growth and viruses.
2. Exercise! When winter rolls around, temperatures drop and so does play time for most kids. Not only does exercise burn off extra calories but it strengthens the lungs and cleans out the lymphatic system which is a huge part of the immune system. Lymph nodes need drained on a regular basis, they depend on movement to drain so when you sit, they sit. Exercise strengthens hand eye coordination in the brain, strengthens muscles and allows kids to burn off energy so they are not restless at night. Get creative in the winter months, exercise to youtube videos or join a local YMCA.
3. Probiotics! It’s estimated that 80% of your immune system is located in the gut.2Gut bacteria can make a world of difference in your health. “Friendly bacteria train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately” according to Dr. Mercola. Adding in good bacteria will help crowd out the harmful bacteria, reduce allergies, help digest food and help the body respond properly to new viruses.
4. Vitamin D3 A study done in 2009 report in the journal Pediatric Research stated that infants and children appear more susceptible to viral rather than bacterial infections when deficient in vitamin D. It’s hard to get adequate sunshine in the winter months which decreases the natural vitamin D your body makes. Simply adding in vitamin D will give you a fighting chance against viruses this year.
5. Early Bedtime! Kids that get 8 or more hours of sleep a night have fewer viruses through out the year, less absence from school and better grades. Set a regular weekly bedtime and don’t slack on it. Kids need rest so their little bodies can reboot for the next day. REM cycles are vital to the brain’s function and help kids focus in school. Sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system and children need more sleep than adults.
6. Time Management! You may be thinking, “what does this have to do with my kids health”? Well stress greatly effects the immune system, switching on the fight or flight response in our bodies. Kids all deal with stress differently and little things can stress kids out. Having a crammed schedule for example, always running late, arguments at home, and bully’s at school all wear on a kid’s immune system. Try not to pack the schedule too tight for your little ones and remember to give yourself plenty of time to travel so your not late! Encourage your kids to talk and express themselves so they don’t keep those feelings bottled up.
7. Reduce Grains! A large amount of grains is hard on the digestive system and for some children it can cause an autoimmune reaction. This causes inflammation throughout the body. I would rather have my child’s immune system triggered for a virus rather than a meal of junk food. You don’t have to eliminate grains all together, just be mindful of their behavior after a large meal of wheat for example. Rashes? Short tempered? Sleep issues? Constipation? Maybe substituting out wheat for quinoa or rice is a better choice for your family.
8. Essential Oils! We use essential oils for almost everything at our house. At the first sign of a sniffle we have a diffuser going with Thieves oil for example. We also place essential oils on our kids feet around flu season. There are a variety of oils that help build the immune system and increase the overall frequency of your child’s body, we use Thieves, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Peppermint and Tea Tree oil quite often. We trust Eden’s Garden brand of oils and have had amazing results with them. No need for multilevel marketing oils here.
9. Water! How often do your kids drink just water? Hopefully a lot! Water is essential to maintaining our health. Kid’s bodies are sensitive to chemicals that come from sugary juices and sodas. A glass of water with every meal will ensure they are not getting dehydrated. My kids get so busy playing they forget to get a drink. It’s ok to remind them to stop and relax and get a drink of water. Their bodies are growing quickly and they have to stay hydrated.
10. Your Words! This gets so overlooked as being a health benefit. Words of affirmation make a huge impact on your children. Teaching them they are strong and powerful, they are healthy and happy. Teaching them to be thankful and look for the good in life. It really does rewire their brains to think positive and believe for the best. Your thoughts eventually filter down to your actions so let’s help our children think the best thoughts about themselves and others.
These simple tips can help keep your children’s bodies running at full throttle and reduce the chances of a virus taking hold.