The Kids have headed back to school, now what?
Summer is filled with swimming pools, friends, laughter and family vacations. It’s October, and the kids and I have been settling back into to our school routines. Days are now being filled with homework, after school activities, sports and the days are getting shorter. The kids are spending their days sharing many things, not just their lunches. So, how do I help to combat the changes in the seasons and keep my kids healthy?
4 Nutrition Tips for Keeping the Kids Healthy this School Year
1. Water, Water, Water
Why is water important? Proper hydration can help your child avoid heat-related illnesses, decreases brain fog, move waste and toxins out of the body, decreases illness and controls temperature. As a result, most schools are now equipped with water bottle refill stations; so sending your child to school with an easy refillable water bottle can help them stay hydrated throughout the day. How much water does my child need? A good rule of thumb is a half ounce of water per body weight. Tips to encourage water consumption in kids, flavor the water with lemon, cucumber slices or fresh fruit, let them pick out their favorite water bottle and decorate it with stickers, drinking from a straw and reducing the amount of sugar sweeten beverages is also important.
2. Probiotic Rich Foods
A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is essential for helping kids thrive. It is said that 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. With all the amounts of excess sugar and consumption of highly processed foods, it’s no wonder our systems are out of balance. Probiotic rich foods and supplements can have positive effects on not only our mood and sleep, but also on keeping our immune systems healthy and functioning. Probiotic and Prebiotic; Probiotic foods contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve the “good” bacteria in the body. Prebiotics are foods (typically high-fiber foods) that act as food for human microflora.
- Probiotic Foods:
- Yogurt or Kefir
- Picked Vegetables (those made without vinegar)
- Prebiotic Foods:
- Whole Grains
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Onions and Garlic
3. A Healthy Outside Starts from the Inside
Fiber helps make us full and keeps things moving in the digestive tract. For instance, fiber may help in reducing constipation, reduces our risk of heart disease, obesity and some cancers and usually comes from foods also high in vitamins and nutrients, Most adults and kids do not consume enough fiber everyday. How much fiber does my child need? A good rule of thumb is to ADD 5 to their age. If they are 7 = they need 12 grams of fiber a day. Good sources of fiber are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, avocados and nuts.
4. Good Sleep for Good Health
We all know the value of a good nights rest. Kids are rapidly growing, full of hormones and blasters of energy. Without the proper amount of sleep kids can feel cranky, have a hard time focusing and find it difficult to follow directions. Sleep allows our bodies to rest, heal and grow. Studies have also shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep; can also lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression and anxiety. What are some tips you can do to help insure your kids are getting accurate sleep?
- Set up a regular bedtime routine
- Ensure the TV, computer, video games, cell phone and tablets are out of your child’s bedroom and off at a resealable time (its recommended at least 1 hour before bed)
- Have the room be as dark as possible and keep the room cool
- Read a book before bed or take a warm bath
- Listen to a Meditation – my kids favorite is Cory’s Conscious Meditations on YouTube