*This is for educational and informational purposes only, this is not to be taken as medical advice. Please always consult your doctor with any questions or before taking or giving your child any medications*
Off to school they go! And shortly after they head back, pediatrician’s offices, urgent cares and emergency rooms start filling up. It’s just what happens, kids share their germs and everyone gets sick. I’m going to share my tips on how to stay healthy while everyone adjusts to being back in school.
Part of being a kid is getting sick, it’s how they build their immune system. But that doesn’t mean you have to just let it happen. Let’s talk about 5 ways to stack the deck in your favor.
Grab your free guide on how to keep you and your family healthy as you go back to school!
I know that this is a hot topic. Especially when it comes to the Covid vaccine, but that is not the one I want to talk about today. I’m talking MMR, DTaP, Hib, the regularly scheduled ones. Every parent needs to make their own decision on what’s best for their child and discuss the options with their pediatrician.
That being said… there is a reason diseases like measles and polio are not common anymore. It’s because we vaccinate for them, not because they’ve just disappeared. The “P” in DTaP stands for pertussis which most adults and older children will be able to handle, however it can be deadly for smaller kids and infants. The Hib vaccine protects against H-flu which is the culprit for epiglottitis, another very scary life threatening diagnosis.
This is not mean to put the fear of God into you about vaccinating your children, but I just think it’s good to know the why behind what is recommended. Vaccinations aren’t going to protect you and your kids against the common cold, but they do protect again they really scary diseases.
# 2 Eating a Healthy Diet
I know that this can be especially difficult as kids go back to school and everyone’s schedules get crazy. But focusing on whole foods and getting fruits, vegetables, and good sources of protein into your families diets is important. Try to limit the amount of processed foods.
Here are some of my favorite “on the go” healthy options:
- Smoothies- the options are endless. You can put together baggies of smoothie ingredients and freeze them so you just have to run it through the blender in the morning with your liquid of choice. Maybe add some protein powder for a little bonus.
- Fruit- sliced apples with cinnamon or peanut butter (or both) or Cuties (or other mandarins or oranges) are my favorites because they hold up in a backpack better than say a banana. *In the winter Satsuma mandarins are the best!*
- Veggies- Carrots, peppers, cucumbers (or your veggie of choice) and hummus, celery and peanut butter, I also love veggies and Bitchin’ Sauce. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must. If you’re sending it with your kids, I recommend putting it in a different container… for obvious reasons, ha! My favorite is the original, but they are all good!
- Protein- Chomps beef sticks, cheese sticks, a turkey sandwich (on whole wheat bread), a protein bar or shake. I’ve been loving the Fairlife protein shakes, they have 30 grams of protein each. They are a little pricey, but you can get a case at Costco.
Don’t stress about being perfect, just try your best. I really think that if you keep it in mind, you’ll make more healthy than non-healthy decisions.
Exercise is good for you. This is not ground breaking news. It decreases your risk of a long list of chronic diseases. But one thing you might not know, is that exercise can boost your immune system. This was really brought to light during the pandemic, people who exercised regularly were less likely to get sick (or really sick). The thought is that exercising helps to circulate immune cells throughout your body. Exercise also helps to prime your immune response so your body can respond faster to pathogens.
# 4 Sleep
Who doesn’t want more sleep? As a parent or caregiver I’m sure you would love a few extra hours of zzz’s, I know I would. Getting adequate sleep is not only nice, but an important part of staying healthy. It’s the time your body has to regenerate. And kids need even more sleep than we do.
- Adults need on average 7 or more hours a night
- Teenagers: 8-10 hours
- School Aged Kids: 9-12 hours
- Pre-school: 10-13 hours (including naps).
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Supplements are not a replacement for the points above. They are to be used just as they are named… to supplement. I personally like to use them for the higher risk seasons, such as going back to school, or when cold and flu season starts to pick up, or before we travel. My go-to supplements are Elderberry and Vitamin C, and an Immune Support for Children. I always try to choose brands that are organic or use ingredients that I can actually pronounce.
These are my top choices for the different supplements:
- Vitamin C- Garden of Life
- Elderberry- Garden of Life Organic Elderberry Immune Support
- Children’s Immune Support
My guide, Going Back to School- How to Stay Healthy has a full list of supplements that I like.
Good luck in the new school year! I’m sending healthy vibes your way!
Thanks for being here!