Kids and colds seem to go hand-in-hand at this time of the year. Germs just seem to be all over the place - at school, daycare or playgroups. Everywhere we turn, there is a child is coughing, sneezing or wiping a runny nose.
You can’t avoid the germs, but you can protect yourself and your kids. Here are seven simple healthy habits you can introduce at home to keep the immune system strong and the germs at bay this winter.
Eat Plenty of Fruits & Veggies
It is best to get your nutrients naturally so your body can benefit from everything the fruit or vegetable has to offer.
Quick Tips - Experiment with your kids and try these simple ideas: see if they can eat a rainbow of colours every day, cut the fruits and veggies into fun shapes, or try broiled grapefruit or bbq’d pineapple. For an after school snack, have them munch on a banana dipped in a little chocolate. At dinner add pureed squash to thicken the chilli or spaghetti sauce.
Yogurt has good bacteria that helps your immune system resist colds.
Quick Tips - Make a yogurt shake for breakfast or nibble time and add tons of healthy fruits and vegetables. Throw in some almonds and you have a delicious and healthy snack. For a before-bedtime treat put seasonal fruit on a stick and your kids will love to dip them into yogurt.
Water or 100% juice is best to flush out the bad and rehydrate with good.
Quick Tip - 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. For a fun treat, add any combination of orange, pineapple, passion fruit or cranberry juice together in a fancy glass. Your children will love the flavour and the swanky cup.
Clean, clean clean. Doorknobs, light switches, telephones and remote controls all share germs.
Quick Tip - Wash kid’s hands and faces, even when they are not dirty. Get into the habit of washing up after school, before meals and even before bed. Make sure they lather the soap and scrub for a minimum of 30 seconds. Have them sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When the song is over, they can rinse off the soap.
Beat the chilly weather by bundling up and getting outdoors.
Quick Tip - So much fun can be had outside in the winter –go for a hike or a bike ride if you are short on snow. If there is plenty of the white stuff, build a hill in your front yard and make your own toboggan hill. While you are at it, open a window and bring some of that fresh air inside. This will help rid your house of any lurking air-born viruses.
Get Some Exercise
Did you know exercise that gets your heart pumping and oxygen flowing actually increases your bodies ability to ward off cold germs! Get some 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 defence against any illness is always a strong immune system. A healthy diet rich in protein, grains and all the vitamins your body needs, plus some regular fresh air, exercise, plenty of fluids and rest is sure to keep your family feeling good this winter!