My family is just recovering from the pneumonia we had over the holidays and, from what I've heard on the news, many others are as well. That sickness set us back for weeks. In order to avoid any further set backs, this is a great time to remind all of us of the importance of routine health practices that'll help us stay healthy.
If you have a daily chore chart it’s a good idea to add some reminders for staying healthy. These are things most kids know already, but setting a good example at home will emphasize the importance of how staying healthy may lead to fewer colds and sicknesses this year. All kids may love staying out of school but they certainly do not like missing basketball games, karate or dance! Here’s a run-down of putting practices into action.
Turn hand-washing into a routine. Make it a game, sing a song until it's all gone! Use foaming soap, set a timer, do whatever you need to do. It’s recommended that proper hand-washing is for at least 20 seconds. Remind them that washing away the germs is an important way to prevent colds and sickness. Hand gel helps but is not a replacement!
Routine Teeth brushing. All kids can have prince and princess teeth, they just need to brush and floss every day, twice a day!
Eat Nutritious and Healthy Foods. Healthy foods fuel the body. Let the kids pick which nutritious foods they want with their meals. Since it’s their choice this may make them more likely to eat it. When it comes to eating, always focus on health not weight to put nutrition and eating in the right perspective.
Vitamins. Make sure they are getting enough. You can also offer extra vitamin C to help boost the immune system through vitamin drops, pops and chewables.
Exercise together! Swim at a pool, do freeze dance together, shovel the snow, do yoga. Whatever it may be turn off the TV and be a good example. Kids will learn that good physical healthy is also an important way of staying healthy.
Drink Water. Water cleanses the system. If they aren’t water drinkers try buying some fun ice cubes or make your own out of 100% juice.
Make Choices. A certain amount of junk food is in everyone’s house, however, some choices are better than others. Hannaford’s Guiding Star’s system is a good example of how you can make smarter choices when shopping for snacks. If an item has no stars is has no nutritional value. You can compare items on the shelves and make the smartest choice.
Eat Meals together. According to the experts, this is a again setting a good example.
Stick to a Sleep Routine. Lack of sleep can contribute to moodiness and inattention. Find your kids balance and what helps them go down and stick to it!
It’s most important to praise and encourage rather than be a police officer. My biggest prayer this winter is that the next time one of us gets sick the recovery will be a lot easier!