The other day, I spoke for a few minutes on the Kathleen Show about boosting our immune systems. The show's host (yes, Kathleen) unintentionally inspired today's topic as she mentioned that her son had had been fighting one bug after another this season. As kiddo wellness is a topic I'm especially fired up about, I decided to spend a little time today empowering those of us with the will to make positive changes!
As many of us have experienced, this has been a particularly challenging season to keep our kids healthy. But, say I, it CAN be done! Just by making a few changes in your child's routine and diet, you can be assured that they will spend less time illin and more time chillin. Oh, and please don't leave--I promise the bad jokes will stop...
So, without further bad jokes, here are my...
TOP TEN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILDREN HEALTHY THIS SEASON.
1. Make sure your child gets plenty of vitamins A and C (which both work as preventative and curative medicines). The best way is via whole foods--Kid-friendly sources include carrots, yams, and oranges, as well as other yellow and orange vegetables and fruits. However, if you aren't able to get these vitamin-rich foods into your child's diet, you can give her a daily vitamin.
2. Along those same lines, you can help your child eat more fruits and veggies by making it fun! As illustrated in the above photo, kids love helping in the kitchen. That's my daughter, using our spiralizer to make carrot "hair." Do you think I had any trouble getting her to eat that beta-carotene rich hair after she made it? No, she chowed it down and asked for more! Make fun shapes out of veggies and involve your children in the kitchen as much as possible. And please stay tuned on my YouTube Channel--my next video will be all about getting kids to love their veggies!
3. Help your child develop the habit of washing his hands more often (and especially before meals). Mentally walk him through his day at school and help him visualize the times he will wash his hands (after recess, before lunch, etc.). This habit will go a long way in preventing the spreading of germs. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to head over to the health food store and pick up a natural hand sanitizer that he can store in his desk. I bought one recently for about $3 and it smells like peppermint!
4. Incorporate kale into your child's diet. This amazing superfood is incredibly immune-boosting and strengthening. I have put two highly kid-pleasing kale recipes from my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth on this blog and also posted a video for how to make the uber-healthy and yummy Krazy Kale Chips. You can watch the video and observe my daughter munching away on them!
5. Get your garlic on. Garlic is antibiotic, antibacterial, and just an all-around wide spectrum medicine, great for preventing and also helping to cure illnesses. The fresher the better, I say, so try crushing some and working it into your child's diet wherever she'll allow it. My daughter, for example, professes to hate garlic--but loves it when I put lots of fresh garlic on her garlic bread. If your child absolutely refuses to eat any garlic, however, there are garlic supplements available (many of them odorless) in stores.
6. Get some natural vitamin D. With all the hype over excessive sunlight exposure these days, I feel some of us have gone a bit too far in the other direction. I firmly believe it is healthy to get some sun exposure daily--and the vitamin D effects from that are proven to boost the immune system as well! Just make sure not to overdo it, though. Even 10 minutes in the sun daily works well for a natural vitamin D boost.
7. Incorporate as many whole, organic foods into your child's diet as possible. Eat real food. Make it taste good. This is simple stuff, but it has become complicated, unfortunately, by all of the misinformation and availability of processed food these days. But, let's get back to basics here. When a child's diet is based upon real, whole, fresh food, she will naturally be healthier, stronger, and more able to resist illnesses. And for those of you with my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, be sure to check out the section on pages 249-250 where I list the dozens of recipes and meal ideas for healthy kids.
8. Zinc. Incorporate it. Whether through the magic of zinc-rich foods like roasted pumpkin seeds or vitamin-C tablets that have been enriched with zinc, this nutrient will help prevent and cure colds.
9. Work it, baby! Help your kids incorporate exercise into their daily routine--especially outdoor exercise if possible. Staying physically fit does wonders for boosting the immune system! Some examples of winter outdoor exercises that kids love include: downhill skiing, cross country skiing, hiking, walking, sledding, and running around like lunatics.
10. Teach your child how to relax. Nothing takes the system down quicker than stress! A simple relaxation technique can be as simple as sitting down, relaxing the body, and focusing on the breath. Again, please stay tuned to my YouTube Channel, as I will also be posting a simple relaxation technique within the next few weeks.
Thanks so much for tuning in today, my friends! As always, I wish you and your little ones abundant health and happiness.
I'd like to mention as well that the Kathleen Show has a wonderful program called Prevention Not Prescriptions which is chock-full of ideas on staying healthy naturally, without the use of prescription medicines. New topics are added every Tuesday, so be sure to check it out for more great ideas.