The start of the school year creates a shift from the carefree days of summer to a more structured routine. As kiddos nervous systems tense up while they count down the last days until school, something else tends to travel south too... their immunity.
Worry, stress, and having a hard time adjusting to change can all weaken our immune system. For kiddos, it is crucial to help them boost their immunity before they return to school because of all the germ exposure from the being inside a building all day with so many other kiddos and adults, change in sleep and eating routines, less time outdoors, and more time indoors sitting under florescent lights that can literally be a headache waiting to happen.
* So what can we do to help boost their immune system?
Here are a few ways you can get started today -
1. Prioritize Sleep - During the summer, sleep schedules can become more relaxed, making it challenging for Mom and child to adjust to early school mornings. Start by gradually shifting bedtime and wake-up times about two weeks before school starts. Even as little as a fifteen minute shift every few days is incredibly helpful! Create a calm bedtime routine, avoid screens before bed, and ensure they are comfy and cozy.
2. Elevate Nutrition - Encourage your kiddos to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies to offer them plenty of fiber, vitamins, including vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Limit sugary snacks, processed foods, and beverages, as excess sugar can weaken the immune system. Plan your meals, snacks, and lunches ahead of time when you are prepping your grocery list.
3. Keep them Hydrated - Proper hydration is often overlooked but is crucial for our body's systems to function properly and in sync. Water helps in transporting nutrients, removing waste, and supporting overall bodily functions. Encourage your family to drink water throughout the day by sending your kids to school and sports with water bottles and having water bottles available for after school travel, with meals, etc. Herbal teas and infused water with slices of fruits and herbs are also refreshing options that kids do really like! You just have to let them try it to know they like it!
4. Keep them Moving - Exercise not only contributes to physical fitness but also has immune-boosting effects. Engage in regular physical activity as a family, whether it's going for walks, bike rides, or playing sports together. Exercise helps increase circulation, exercise and open the lungs, rids excess energy and promotes better sleep, and reduces stress, all factors that contribute to a strong immune system.
5. Create Calm - Starting school can bring about stress and anxiety, affecting immune function. Teach your children natural coping techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, stretching, or yoga. Children are more likely to start getting into these habits when they see a parent or teacher doing the same. You can practice these natural, totally free, relaxing practices at home daily with your child. It's good for everyone!
6. Teach Hygiene - This is no new one of course, but it is so overlooked and incredibly easy to take five minutes to talk to your child about coughing in their arm, proper way to blow their nose (one nostril at a time and wash hands after), covering sneezes, and washing hands all over, top and bottom, and in between fingers with soap! Remember, hand sanitizer doesn't kill the Norovirus (dreaded stomach flu!) so it is worth teaching the kiddos these basics. And I must also add, you are also teaching them to keep other children safe, especially those with autoimmune disorders or weakened immune systems.
7. Keep them Outdoors - Being in nature is GROUNDING. I cannot express it enough because stress is a major cause of so many ailments, including a weakened immune system. Be sure to take your child out for a walk in the evenings after work or do things outdoors you both enjoy every day the weather permits. Get curious, open up their curious minds, and explore all the mother nature has to offer. Do you know how much natural medicine is in nature?! As you explore, you can write down what you might be interested in learning more about. Be sure to explore this blog page for more great health and wellness tips that helps you and your child thrive and also click here to Sign up for FREE weekly wellness tips!
9. Stay Ahead of Illness - Ask your children how the kids are at school, if anyone left home that day or is out sick, how their teacher is feeling, etc. You can learn a lot! So many time my children have come stating a child threw up in class and the first thing I do is pull out organic lemons and probiotics! This is just a small start of a routine that we would proceed with when hearing about the stomach flu. If it is a cough, sore throat, or other bug, we may do the same or something completely different depending what we have on hand at that time. Know how others around your child are feeling as much as possible and proceed from their to help your child thrive!
If you jump at these key immune boosting practices, you will be at a much better start to prevent illness the first two weeks of school.
I do know from experience though, that creating self care routines and sleep schedules isn't all that easy, so if you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out so we can start working together!
There is nothing like learning to boost your child's health and wellness in the comfort of your favorite sweats, in your favorite room, right next to your favorite people!
That's what is like when we work together! I make learning simple, fun, inspirational, and deliver education that lasts a lifetime!
Start today so your child can step into those school doors ahead of the health and wellness game!
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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