We are all very weary about the health of our children and the people that surround them. Now more than ever.
There are some clever steps that can be taken to help the risk of your child getting sick.
Some may seem more obvious than others – but if we keep all of these steps up on a daily basis, we really reduce the risk of our kids getting sick.
Kids need LOTS of sleep
According to the Sleep Council, babies need 14-15 hours of sleep per day, toddler needs 12 – 14 hours, pre – schoolers need 10 – 12 hours, 7- 12 year olds need 10 – 11 hours and 12 – 18 year olds need 8 -9 hours per day. Studies show that lack of sleep can make your more susceptible to illness, so the more sleep this flu season, the better!
Eat Loads of Fruits & Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables contain immunity- building goodness such as Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the body’s infection-fighting white blood cells. Some of the powerful ones to note are:
Blueberries – they are filled with antioxidants that can help treat and prevent coughs and colds. According to reseasrch conducted by the University of Auckland, consuming flavonoids – a class of antioxidants found in bluerries made adults 33 percent less likely to catch a cold than those who did not eat flavonoid-rich foods or supplements daily.
Oranges are packed with Vitamin C – an essential nutrient when you’re feeling under the weather. Vitamin C is also helpful in preventing the common cold for people exposed to sickness inducing environments (such as childcare, kindy and school).
Tomatoes – just one medium tomato contains a little over 16 milligrams of vitamin C. Studies prove that a deficiency in vitamin C an lead to a weaker immune system and a lower resistance to certain pathogens that can lead to illness.
Broccoli – research shows that sulforaphane, a chemical in the vegetable switches on antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which combat free radicals in the body and prevent sickness.
Smoothies are a great way to get loads of fruit and veg into your kids. They are fun and also super delicious. Try our Delicious Hawaiian Green Smoothie for breakfast! It’s a winner in my house.
Kids need lots of exercise
Exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off colds and flu. A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching colds and viruses. Failing that, those who did get sick – their infection was far less severe. Be a good role model and exercise with your children rather than just telling them to play outside. Go biking together, play a game of soccer or basketball, go for a run or a hike, play a game of tennis, go for a swim, the possibilities (and fun of course) are endless!
Wash hands and sanitise frequently
This is a great way to reduce stress on your childs immune system. If you start with a healthy hand washing regime from when your child is little it will stay with them. Make sure they use soap and wash the front and back of their hands and in between their fingers. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ is a fun way for the kids to know how long to wash their hands for. Make sure they wash before a meal, after playing with a pet, after coming home from school or kindy, after using the bathroom and blowing their nose. If you’re out, make sure you have some hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes handy for easy cleaning. Make washing fun, we have made ‘Fun Soap‘ before which adds little toys into the soap dispenser encourage kids to wash. You can check out the post here.
Help keep kids calm and stress free
As a society, we are all so busy, running from work to school to soccer to swimming to music to playdates…the list goes on. When parents are overstressed, kids are overstressed and it can take a toll on their immunity. Kids bodies have the same response to stress that adults do – their cortisol and adrenaline rises. When this elevation in stress hormones is sustained, their immune systems response is lowered.
It’s super important for kids to have lots of down time, busy little bodies need lots of rest for their immune systems to thrive. You could also have a look at our Bedtime Yoga post – it helps dramatically with sleep and helps children feel relaxed and soothed.
We hope this article helps you fight the good fight against all of the nasties going around at the moment!
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