Keeping Your Family Healthy This Winter
Tis the season for running noses, fevers, and everything in between. Here are a few tips to help you and your family stay healthy all winter long.
- Eat a good breakfast
- The chilly, dark winter mornings make it extra challenging to get up early to whip up a nourishing, hearty breakfast for the kiddos. But a sugary bowl of cereal isn’t the kind of high-octane fuel they need to make it through a demanding school day. The good news? A protein-and-vitamin-packed breakfast can be pulled off with little effort. Opt for simple, nutrition-loaded fare like eggs (keep a couple hard-boiled eggs in the ‘fridge for days you’re running late), milk, cottage cheese, whole grains, fruit, and yogurt.
- Wash your hands of course
- In case you sustain any lingering doubts, the science is in: hand washing helps ward off illness. Danish research found that kids taught proper hand washing techniques and required to wash three times a day missed 26 percent fewer school days and had 22 percent fewer illnesses than kids who weren’t trained or required to wash. Scrub scrub.
- Get moving
- Exercise is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to shaking off stress, which for children can compromise a healthy, growing brain. So take advantage of the nippy weather by going skating, or taking a brisk, pre-dinner walk. Not only will your childrens’ endorphins be doing the happy dance, their I.Q.’s might be ramped up a few notches.
- Embrace the outdoors, even in the cold
- Your parental instincts may be telling you that to keep kids healthy, you should keep them safely out of the cold. But that can mean long hours staring, inert, at a screen. As long as they’re dressed warmly, don’t hesitate to take a foray into the great outdoors — or even a quick jaunt to your local park. According to the National Wildlife Federation, spending time in nature offers a wealth of health benefits for kids, including helping to prevent sleep deprivation, as children need to be outside in natural daylight to regulate their internal “sleep clocks.”
- Get adequate shut eye
- If your New Year’s resolution to make sure the kids get a good night sleep have fallen by the wayside, time to do a sleep check at your house. There’s plenty of reason to ensure your children are getting the rest they need. Researchers have found a link between sleep and cognitive abilities. One researcher found that sixth graders who lost just an hour of sleep performed at a fourth-grade level. Other studies show a link between getting enough sleep and higher grades.