Children's Health, Kids, Kids Health

Back to School Health Tips

In many parts of the world it’s back to school time and that means more colds, flues and other nasty bugs.

Sniffles, sneezes, and gastrointestinal bugs creep into our kid’s lives and affect all of us. Many parents assume that colds, flu, and other common illnesses are simply part of the curriculum when they send their children off to school or daycare. That’s not surprising since some kids can “catch” 5 to 10 colds per year but yet there are others we get through with a lot less. Prevention is the key here.

What are some things you can do to help lessen the threat of these intruders?

There are many, but a few that are my top favorites are:

1) Sleep! Not getting enough sleep can suppress the immune system and increase the odds of catching a cold or the flu. People who are sleep deprived develop fewer antibodies and are more prone to chronic inflammation.

Set up a regular bedtime and stick to it! Routine is very helpful for children and sleep allows time for the body to clean up intercellular waste, rest, rejuvenate, heal, and restore resources. Sleep is absolutely vital for children’s health and ours!

2)Washing Hands Frequently!

Lathering up is one of the simplest ways to prevent sharing pathogens. Most upper respiratory viruses are spread by direct contact and something as simple as sneezing into your hand and then touching a doorknob, desk,computer keyboard, or phone could spread the bugs. In turn touching all of those things means kids need to wash their hands often to remove these pathogens. Supporting Article

storyblocks-young-asian-mother-helping-her-daughter-to-wash-hands-in-a-sink-on-a-kitchen_BCxD0n6cW.jpg

What’s the best way to wash up? Just lathering up with good old-fashioned soap and water will do the trick and most importantly doing it often. Teach your kids to wash their hands and to make it a habit. For example my daughter is now in the habit of not only washing her hands before meals but also when we come home from shopping or other events. As soon as we arrive home, we wash our hands.

3. Nutrition

See food as medicine. We all know it is often tough to get kids to stay on course with health eating so if we see it like a game of trying to get more nutrition in than the negative nutrition we can work at tipping the scales in favor of our children’s health.

It it is also a good idea to teach our children to listen to their bodies and monitor how they feel after eating certain foods. In this way they can tap into what the body intuitively knows is beneficial for it or what foods burden it and make it sluggish.

fruit bowl

Here is a former blog post I wrote on kids and dehydration but it applies to nutrition as well. There are lots of useful tips in here and I encourage you to enJOY this post as well. Link to Dehydration Post

4. Stress
Lower your child’s stress load. Stress comes in many forms. For example video games can cause stress. Too much screen time and stimulation can cause stress. Arguing in front of your children causes them extreme stress!

Help your child to lower their stress levels by spending time in nature with them, unplugging, reading books, reassuring them that the world is a friendly place and that they are loved.

Another thing that helps lower your children’s stress load is by making sure YOU are happy in your life and that you are doing things to support yourself. In life we all want to see our loved ones content and children are no different. If they see their parents as resentful or burdened they feel it. Be sure to teach them that happiness is important and that it is a choice. Choose Happy always! 🙂

5. Supplementing

With all of the toxins we are exposed to, the lack of nutrients in our soils, the presence of heavy metals in our environment and in the world, and the inability to eat adequate amounts of plant based foods on a daily basis, it is mandatory in my opinion, that children supplement with a good multi vitamin as well as a good source of Vitamin C to keep them on top of their immune game. Other supplements that are important as well are Zinc, Selenium, Omega III’s and Probiotics.

As a Board Certified Nutritionist I work will many sources of supplements and I would be happy to make individual recommendations to anyone who reaches out to me. I will though share here for everyone, my favorite kid and adult friendly source of Vitamin C that is delivered in an Isotonic form.

Here is are the links for more info:

USA link for info on Isotonix Vitamin C *Science Based & Backed*

Canadian Info For Isotonix Vitamin C *Science Based & Backed*

I hope you have found this helpful and useful. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.

Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and Certified Life Coach who also runs a Facebook Page to support Parents. If you would like to follow along there, here is the Moms For Kids FB

Two children drinking from water fountain
Dehydration, Kids, Kids Health

Dehydration in Kids

Children are very prone to dehydration. We often work hard at making sure our kids eat their meals and snacks but hydration often gets overlooked.

Children are even more prone to dehydration because of their size, activity level, often lack of interest in drinking fluids, as well as dealing with sensitive taste buds.

If you notice that your child is not urinating frequently and/or their urine is of a darker color and has a strong smell, your child is probably dehydrated. Dehydration can show itself as constipation, low energy, crankiness, nausea, dry mouth, dry skin, lack of tears, skin that does not bounce back when pinched, sunken eyes, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and even headaches, to name a few!

One of the best ways to help with hydrating the body is to encourage the consumption of vegetables and fruit, especially fruit. Fruits are jam-packed with micro-nutrients and lots of water.

Easy ways to encourage fruit eating, is to:

. Lead by example! Eat fruits often and find creative ways to eat more fruits and to try new fruits

. Incorporate fruits into meals as salsas, in salads, as toppings on desserts etc.

. One of my favorite ways and it works very well. Leave cut up pieces of fruit in the reach of children. When my daughter has friends over for a sleepover for example, in the morning I knock on the bedroom door and say something fun like “Room Service” and deliver a plate of various fruits cut up. They always eat it! They may not eat the whole plate but they always eat quite a bit.

. Make fruit bowls. Take a banana and chop it up in small pieces or even mash it and then add any other chopped fruit that you like. I change it up all the time and add things like chopped apples, berries, pears, melon and whatever I feel like. I even sometimes drizzle maple syrup or honey on top for added nutrients and for more deliciousness. I have not met a person yet, child or adult, who can resist my fruit bowls. When you make them into bowls like this it is like eating something substantial and the taste is incredible!

. Make fruit smoothies and homemade fruit juices. There are tonnes of recipes if you search Pinterest or Google. I saw one the other day where you put frozen pineapple and orange juice and it looked amazing!

. And on that note, keep bags of frozen fruits in your freezer and let the kids go at it. My daughter loves to make smoothie concoctions with her friends and they have a lot of fun doing it. Frozen fruits make it really easy.

. Lemon water is a GREAT way to hydrate the body. In the morning juice a half of a lemon, add hot water and a bit of honey in a large cup or tea pot and let it sit for a minute. This is the BEST way to start the day. It wakes up and energizes the liver, provides micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and hydrates the body big time! It is a great source of Vitamin C too. Anytime you can add lemons or the juice of lemons to your child’s diet, it’s a big win! Squeeze lemons on salads and even vegetables and other foods. Lemon helps to kill bacteria and also enhances the flavors in food. You can’t go wrong with lemons ever!

Lemon and honey water

As a side note, as a Nutritionist who is also a forever learner and education seeker, I can say with complete confidence that I NEVER worry about the sugar in fruit, if that is something that comes to mind. The natural sugars in fruit are necessary for the brain and the liver to function properly. People are suffering out there because a lack of this natural sugar!!!! And let’s face it, it is almost impossible to have our kids overeat the healthy stuff, so I just work at ‘more’… getting in more of the good stuff.

I hope you found this post on hydration helpful and happy fruit chopping! 🙂

Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, and Certified Life Coach who loves being a Mom to her daughter Sivanna Roses… as a side note Sivanna is working on a presentation for school called “Healthy Eating” and her mom is quite proud of this. 🙂 Oh ya!