1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for the whole family since it helps set our metabolism and resets our mood. Getting enough sleep is especially important for kids because it helps them grow. According to pediatrician and author Cara Natterson, if you are having trouble putting your kids to bed at night, emphasize that they will grow well when they sleep. “If your kids know that they grow when they sleep, they will put themselves to bed.
2. Encourage A Healthy Diet
Purchase a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and lean meats for your household. Go for fresh, organic produce whenever you can. Carefully read labels to determine portion sizes and make meals that conform to those guidelines. Offer healthy snacks, such as hummus and carrot sticks, throughout the day.
- Invite your child to help you with meal prep. Let them choose a healthy recipe for dinner. Take them with you to the grocery store and turn reading labels into a game. Make food more interesting for finicky eaters by crafting healthy personal pizzas (with their own selected toppings) or by positioning fruit into a smiley face on their plate.
- If your child refuses to eat their veggies, keep offering them. Try out other vegetable options and preparations as well. A child who dislikes straight steamed broccoli may love it when it is topped with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese.
3. Brain Boosting Healthy Diet
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when it comes to school kids. A balanced breakfast of low-fat protein and complex carbohydrates has been shown to be important for brain function as well as for maintaining a steady level of energy throughout the day.
4. Keep Them Hydrated
Probably one of the easiest things you can do in the colder weather to keep your child healthy is to ensure they stay hydrated. In cool temperatures when children are outside and breathing hard, they lose a lot of water through their breath. Staying hydrated is essential when battling through those colder months of the year. Warm drinks and soups are a perfect way to warm your child up while also ensuring they stay hydrated.
5. Keep Junk Foods To A Minimum
Avoid purchasing sugary, fatty, or heavily processed foods. If you don’t buy them, then your child will turn to a healthy alternative that is available in your fridge or pantry. Watch out for ‘sneaky’ foods that appear healthy but are actually the opposite. This can include items labeled “low-fat” or even low-juice fruit drinks.
6. Ensure They’re Washing Hands Regularly
While cold weather is not the cause of colds or the flu, the viruses that cause them are more common in the winter months. When children are in childcare they are in closer contact with each other which means the spread of illness can happen much more frequently. Therefore, it’s really important to ensure your children are in the habit of washing their hands regularly and that if they sneeze or cough that they do it into the bend of their elbow to help prevent the spread of germs.
7. Ensure They’re Dressed In Appropriate Clothing
In the colder weather, it’s also extremely important to ensure your children are dressed in warm and temperature appropriate clothing. Even if you feel warm enough outside, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will feel the same for your child. A good rule to follow when dressing your children for colder weather is putting them in one extra layer than what you would wear. Dressing your children in layers also means that it’s easy to adjust to changing temperatures as you can add or remove a layer.
8. Encourage Regular Physical Activity
Finally, in cooler weather, you should encourage your children to do regular exercise and other activities which get their blood pumping and heart rate up. Physical activity is one of the best ways to boost your child’s immune system and protect them against germs and illness. At The Brook Early Education and Care we have a range of fitness education programs, such as Fun-Key Yoga and Ready Steady Go Kids which encourage physical activity within the winter months.
Other ‘sneaky’ junk foods can include various crackers labeled as kid friendly that actually contain high amounts of sugars or syrups. Watch out for fruit gummies as well. They often contain high amounts of sugar as well. It is better to simply offer your child a piece of fruit.