Welcoming November and the cooler temps, crisp leaves and some flurries starting to fly! With all the splendor of fall comes a bit more indoor time and the dreaded sniffles, colds, flu and more…. just as we’re anticipating the holiday season. How do we keep the kids – and ourselves, healthy, happy and ready for all this new season brings? Here’s a few tips to ensure your family stays in TOP shape!
Stay healthy by getting outside.
Take a hike, walk around your neighborhood or hit the local park! Playing outside is not only fun but can actually strengthen the immune system! Sanford Health says,
“Outdoor light stimulates the pineal gland. This part of the brain is vital to keeping our immune system strong and making us feel happier. Spending time in nature is also associated with improving mood and happiness. An added bonus is that children who identify with nature are more likely to become adults who appreciate nature and want to protect the environment.”
Stay healthy by practicing good hygiene.
Great hygiene is a must! It’s also your best defense against the bugs! Wash your hands often. Having a hand washing song helps hand washing become a habit to remember.
Target sells a new organic wipe – safe for baby — Babyganics All Purpose Surface Wipes! A fast clean way to teach your child to wipe down bathroom countertops, faucets and favorite toys.
Stay healthy by protecting your mental health.
All families have issues – big and small. Health, finances, work and so many other issues can influence how we parent and the stress we bring to our home and children. Address your child’s stress and fears directly and talk with them to show them positive examples of how you handle stress and the situations that our world presents daily.
Incorporating exercise, healthy meals and daily routines can also reduce stress and improve mental health. Disconnect from TV, computers, electronic games and instead play a board game and make open conversations part of your family’s daily routine. You’ll all benefit from unplugging and sharing the high and low lights of our day!
Stay healthy by getting sleep.
Sleeping well and long enough is such a vital component of our health. Studies show that children ages 3-6 should sleep for 10-13 hours (per a 24 hour time period) including naps to be at optimal health. Children ages 6-12 years old should get between 9 and 12 hours per a 24 hour period. Not only are our children growing during these precious hours, but their immune systems are hard at work, resting up to be prepared to fight off any bugs that your child encounters.
If your child struggles to fall asleep, try a nighttime routine to help calm their body! Reading books, taking a bath with lavender bath salts and drinking a hot liquid can all help promote good sleep. It is also important to limit screen time as bedtime approaches.
Stay healthy by hydrating and taking vitamins.
Did you know that kids are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated than their parents? Kids 8 years and under should be drinking at least 4-6 glasses of water, and for older kids (and parents!) a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water is best! Fill up a large, fun water bottle and watch that water disappear. It’s a great habit to always have your bottle handy as when your kids are watching you hydrate, they’re more likely to as well!
Ask your pediatrician or chiropractor to recommend the very best daily vitamins for your kids. Your local health food store is also a great resource and they often have staff on hand to help you make the best product choices! A tasty multi-vitamin, vitamin C, zinc and calcium magnesium are a great place to start to fortify your diet and bolster immune systems this fall!
(Please consult your health professionals for recommendations that meet your family’s specific needs.)
Enjoy all the beautiful moments this fall and holiday season! Implement these tips into your daily life and your family is bound to have a healthy, happy holiday season!