Goodbye to summer! I hope yours was enjoyable and relaxing.
Here in Florida, we’re hoping that the heat will lift soon. The kids are headed back to their classes and with the new school year comes the inevitable increase in colds and flu. Lots of excited little human beings in an enclosed space together, laughing, touching and generally sharing their bacteria with anyone in coughing or sneezing range.
How can we parents help to support our children’s immune systems and overall health while minimizing the chances of bringing home the newest variety of bacteria or virus?
Although these simple habits can be taken for granted as obvious, verbal suggestions and leading by example seem to make all the difference. We all remind each other to:
- Wash hands after using the bathroom.
- Sneeze or cough into our inner elbow, rather than into our hands
- Try not to put fingers into noses or mouths – generally avoid touching the face
- Avoid the drinking fountain at school – bring bottled water if possible – there are some great eco friendly options available
And my favorite – it’s never too soon to teach our children about the dangers of sugar, and that sugar actually increases their chances of getting sick by feeding bad bacteria that make for unhappy sneezes and coughs. So minimizing sugar, both at school and at home, is one of the healthiest things we can all do together.
Which brings me to something I’d really like to say. Over the last decade, I’ve watched our awareness slowly shift from simply treating symptoms of disease to the sound concept that maintaining our natural health is the most intelligent choice we can make – on a daily basis. Sadly, American marketing techniques are often ahead of our best intentions.
Natural health isn’t always “natural” or “healthy”. We can be tricked by products that might contain a few positive nutrients lost in other ingredients that are downright unhealthy, like sugars. Gummy vitamins are the perfect example.
Sure, our kids love them because they taste like candy. Guess what – they ARE candy! And candy isn’t the way to maintain health – period.
Moms and Dads, please read the labels on those supposed healthy vitamins. If you go to your local health food store and ask, they will show you products that are sweetened with stevia or erythritol or other healthy sweeteners. Spend wisely and really preserve your children’s wellness.
Two other valuable tips:
- After breakfast, be sure to give your children a quality multi-vitamin that contains extra vitamin D and,
- Before bed, give your kids a probiotic. Their immune systems will love you for it!
Misery and suffering can be optional. Let’s all maintain our health together.