Happy back-to-school season! Whether your little ones are returning to school or getting ready for their very first day, transitioning into the school system may come with some undesirable side effects. Many parents worry about the ‘perpetual sniffles’ their kids get or notice more frequent infections.
Four Health Tips For Kids
These four tips will help keep your child's immune system robust during the school year.
Breakfast cereals are fast and easy, but it’s far from beneficial for growing bodies, especially when it comes to their immune system. If an infection has already started, the sugar found in many a cereal choice will only feed it and dampen the immune response.
If time in the morning is an issue, I always recommend smoothies. Kids can have fun tossing ingredients in the blender and seeing them mix up, and the result is delicious with all the nutrients their growing bodies need. Include protein, fruit, and greens. Check out my The Green Smoothie cheatsheet for tips and ideas.
The use of contrasting temperatures of water is an ancient way to promote good immune function. Alternating hot and cold showers can be very healthful, but kids are probably not going to relish the idea of a cold soak!
Instead, try alternating foot soaks. Fill one basin with hot water, and the other with cold water. Have the kids dip their feet in the hot water for 3 minutes, and switch to the cold for 30 seconds. Rotate back and forth for a few cycles, and end on cold. The contrasting temperatures drive blood and lymphatic circulation, which enhances the immune system. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for soothing stress, or eucalyptus for respiratory infections.
This tutorial for warming socks is another great option.
Certain medicinal herbs are known to help stimulate the immune system. Natural health stores have a variety of options.
Look for liquid preparations developed for kids with a glycerine base (the sweeter taste helps taking easy), and herbs such as Astragalus, Codonopsis, Echinacea, and Elderberry.
These can be given daily during the autumn to support the body during the change of seasons when infections are more likely.
Exercise In Nature
We all understand the benefits of exercise, but doing so outdoors in more natural environments comes with extra perks. Not only does physical activity help expand extra energy and lead to more restful sleep (which is healing in itself), being close to nature directly supports positive moods, reduces stress, and augments the immune system. You don’t even have to rough it – urban green spaces work well too.
Disclaimer: Check with your own doctor before beginning any treatments, or supplements.