As grown-ups we have a pretty good idea of what we need to do to stay healthy all fall and winter long. But as parents, we know that getting kids on board with healthy habits can sometimes be a challenge, especially during the school year.
Here are some of our tips for integrating immune-supporting habits and routines into your child’s daily life, to make staying healthy fun for the whole family (without creating more work for parents).
Let them play outside
Physical activity has the same benefits for kids as it does for adults — healthy lungs and hearts, strong bones, a healthy mood, restful sleep and many more. But exercise (or what kids call “playing”) also naturally supports the immune system, especially when they’re playing outside. Current guidelines recommend one hour of physical activity every day, such as riding bikes, running around outside, playing soccer or dancing.
Set up a hand-washing routine
Proper hand washing is a great habit to teach kids for use all year round. Use running water and soap, and scrub the backs of hands, between fingers and under nails. Teach kids to sing “happy birthday” two times from start to finish to ensure they’re washing long enough. Remind them that we have to wash our hands after using the toilet, touching animals or their food, taking out the garbage and other times when our hands get dirty.
Tip: Give little ones a special stepstool to help them reach the sink. Let kids choose their own soap, and give them their own hand towel. These little steps may help them feel like washing hands is something fun and special instead of a chore.
Eat the rainbow
Set the example about the importance of eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet by filling your own plate with bright fruits and vegetables to start. Explain to little ones that the rainbow-colored food (the kind that nature provides, that is) gives their bodies the nutrients they need to stay healthy and be strong. Choose a variety of whole, unprocessed and organic foods that align with your tastes and values.
Tip: To help kids get excited about eating new foods, let them help with the shopping or choose the menu sometimes.
Staying hydrated is another way to help your immune system function optimally, and it’s especially important during colder months. Not only do fall and winter tend to be drier seasons in many regions, but central heat can also be drying to the system. Drinking water doesn’t always come naturally for kids. If plain water doesn’t appeal to them, try using a fun cup or a kid-size water bottle in their favorite color. Or add a bit of flavor with a serving of Herb Pharm’s Kids Black Elderberry or a slice of citrus fruit.
Make daily herbal support fun and easy*
Integrate immune support herbs, like Kids Immune Fortifier™, into kids’ daily routines. You can keep the bottle on the kitchen table, adding a serving to a couple of ounces of water or juice between meals. Or, make it part of their routines before school and bed.
With Certified Organic Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus), Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lingzhi) and Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), Kids Immune Fortifier™ helps prepare and restore the immune system.* The alcohol-free formula tastes sweet, mildly tart and fruity.
Find ways for kids to relax
Being a kid isn’t all fun and games, and occasional stress is a natural part of life for children and teens alike. Help them find ways to relax and unwind, whether it’s quiet time reading a book, coloring or shooting hoops in the driveway.
Tip: Deep breathing naturally relaxes the body, and it works for kids as well as grown-ups. Show your child how to take a few deep breaths, then ask them to pause and observe the effects in their body. Remind them they always have this tool “in their back pocket” if they need it.
Be ready for immune season*
Life happens, whether we’re ready or not. During immune season, be prepared for whatever life brings. Keep the early onset superhero* Kids Immune Avenger™ on hand for when you need it, along with special books, fresh coloring supplies and even some frozen fruit bars for a tasty treat all season long.
Kids Immune Avenger™, an immune system active responder* that is Certified Organic, contains Echinacea, Black Elderberry, Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Cinnamon and Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana). It’s alcohol-free and tastes pleasant, sweet and slightly aromatic.