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With a new school year starting, parents and children alike are launching into busier schedules which can often override healthy choices in place of convenience. But by teaching kids some important healthy habits, parents can help make school and health a priority during the school year. Here are some great tips on how to stay healthy in school.
1. Teach your child about proper hand washing.
Hand washing is one of the most important ways we can prevent the spread of illness in the classroom and elsewhere. By teaching your child how to wash her hands properly—and to especially wash after blowing her nose and using the bathroom and before eating—you can help your child reduce the risk of getting sick, and help her from infecting others if she catches an infection or illness. Likewise, if hand washing facilities are not available, pack some wipes into her bag or lunchbox and encourage her to get into the habit of cleaning her hands before eating.
2. Boost your family’s immune system health.
There are many ways to do this: multi vitamins, supplements, regular acupuncture, or diet habits such as a green juice each morning. Keeping your child’s immune system strong is an important way to stay healthy and ward off illness during the school year.
3. Set good sleep habits in your child.
Making sure your child gets enough sleep is a crucial part of keeping your child healthy. Sleep is important not only for a child’s physical and emotional health, but can play an important role in how well she does in school. This goes the same for after-school rest. It might be far more healthy for your child’s immune system to rest and recuperate in the afternoons with quiet, calming activities like reading books, playing lego, or doing crafts instead of enrolling them in a stack of extra curricular activities like gymnastics, dancing, music, swimming or soccer which only further wipes them out and leads to lowered immunity.
4. Be on the look out for stress and anxiety in your child.
Homework, tests, social pressures—kids can face a lot of stressful situations every day. Research shows that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on kids’ health, just like it can on the health of adults. Research also shows that stress lowers immunity by burning up much of the vitamin C stores. There are many natural ways to manage stress and anxiety in children, from simply encouraging play and imagination when away from school, to things like supplements, acupuncture, essential oils, massage, and homeopathics like rescue remedy. Talk to one of our Health Practitioners to find out what might work for your child.
5. Give your child a brain-boosting healthy breakfast.
What your child eats for breakfast sets the tone for the whole day. A balanced breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates has been shown to be important for immunity and brain function as well as for maintaing a steady level of energy throughout the day. Need some ideas for adding variety and health to your child’s breakfast? Try a nut butter. Or introduce a breakfast smoothie. Leftovers work well for breakfast too. Or invest in a whole grain, nut based cereal instead of the sugary, nutrient deficient ones. And always mix it up. Variety ensures your child is getting a wide range of minerals and nutrients throughout the week.
6. It’s all about the lunchbox.
Diet and nutrition are such a huge part of immune health that you simply can’t have one without the other. Click here and here to grab some healthy lunchbox ideas to make sure their little cells and bodies are getting the best support they can.