The beginning of the school year is fast approaching, which means that you and your child may soon be exposed to all sorts of germs and bacteria. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or full-time worker, back to school stress can affect every parent. Organizing pick-up and drop-off times, afterschool practices, and packing lunches all take time out of your day, so finding a routine that works for you is the best way to stay on top of things. What steps are you taking to start the school year off on a healthy foot?
If you are a parent, “back to school” is both a blessing and a curse. The kids are finally out of the house after being at home all summer, but they are also sharing germs with all the other kids in school, coming home with the sniffles, coughs, or fevers. One of the hardest tasks as a parent is to keep your kid(s), and ultimately yourself, from getting sick as the school year begins. Lucky for you, we have some great tips to help you and your kid(s) stay healthy this fall.
During the summer, bedtime was probably not as strict, and kids went to bed and woke up when they pleased. That life is no more! The return to school means that kids will have to wake up earlier than they would like, meaning parents have to convince kids to go to bed earlier. Have fun fighting that fight, but it is for the betterment of their health. Set a good example by turning off screens (computers, phones, and TVs) at least two hours before bed to allow the production of natural melatonin. A regulated sleep schedule with adequate sleep will help to keep immune systems stronger, and they’ll be more focused in class. Aim to get 8-10 hours of sleep for kids between the ages of 5-15.
Feed Kids Healthy Snacks
This tip applies to both adults and children because sugary snacks, potato chips, and other processed food snacks are loaded with chemicals, dyes, and artificial ingredients that can compromise immune health. The body becomes more sluggish when there is an overabundance of these snacks in a person’s diet. Start packing healthy snacks for you and your kid(s) because they are not only better options, but they are also loaded with vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system. Great options include cut up fruit, veggie sticks and hummus, homemade energy bites, or chia pudding.
Clean Kid-Friendly Spaces With Non-Toxic Products
Due to the dangers of chemical cleaning products, more brands, like Meyer’s, are creating cleaning products that sanitize areas without exposing you to harmful chemicals. Maintaining a clean space reduces the chances of you and your children coming in contact with bacteria that can cause common colds or flus. Along with this tip, make sure that proper hand washing rules are set in place. You can obtain natural hand soaps that encourage healthy immune function, as opposed to chemical-based antibacterial soaps, which can actually weaken immune function.
Start The Day Off Right
When you set the example that breakfast is an important meal to boost metabolic function and provide energy & sustenance, kids carry that lesson with them throughout life. Don’t settle for white foods (e.g. white bread, whit rice, bagels, or sugary yogurts) because they have no fiber and those foods lead to unhealthy cravings. Eating a bowl of oatmeal, a smoothie, chia pudding, smoothie bowls, or fruit salads supply the body with fiber, protein, and vital nutrients that can keep kids satiated until lunch. Now just don’t forget those healthy snacks we talked about.
Teach Kids Not To Share
This tip opposes the “sharing is caring” motto, but it is beneficial to limit the sharing of water bottles, ear buds, snacks, and other personal items. All of these items are exposed to bacteria, especially from saliva. You aren’t teaching selfishness with this tip; rather, you are making kids aware that germs can easily be passed if the right measures are not taken.
Even if you put a bunch of preventative measures in place as the school year arrives, you have to face the facts: you and your kid(s) will most likely catch a cold. Remember that if the sickness comes on, it is always best to start with natural remedies before resorting to antibiotics or cold medications, which are often overused and can weaken immune function. Soothing medicinal teas, immune-boosting extracts, sleep, and much more can help naturally fight off colds.