4 Ways to Stay Healthy During Back to School
The Most Important Meal
Mornings are a busy time in households so it’s natural that you want to reach for something quick and convenient like packaged cereals and muffins. Unfortunately, these standard breakfast options are often full of sugar; too much sugar will spike your child’s blood sugar and leave them cranky and hungry long before lunch time not to mention impact their immune system. The morning meal fuels your child’s brain for a busy day at school and is a great time to load them up with nutrients. Try healthier fast foods like smoothies, fancy toast with nut-butters and sprinkled with seeds (hemp, sunflowers, chia) or unsweetened yogurt topped with fresh fruits and homemade granola. When I have the time, I make ahead these quinoa breakfast muffins.
You already know raising active kids is important but heading outdoors to exercise has further benefits. Physical activity helps use extra energy that can build up, especially noticeable after a summer spent outdoors, from sitting inside classrooms all day. Aim to stay outside right when your children come home from school or turn off screens after dinner and go outside to play. When we’re not busy in the gardens, flashlight walks are one of my family’s favourite evening activities. Being active itself supports a healthy immune system but it also leads to a more restful sleep.
Get Better Sleep
If summer has made your child’s bedtime later, start making changes to bring back an earlier bedtime now. Children ages 3-5 years-olds need about 11-13 hours of sleep a day and 5-12-year-olds require 10-11 hours. Consider what time your child will need to wake up each morning to figure out when their bedtime should be and keep this in mind when planning extra-curricular activities and dinnertime. A restful sleep helps to keep your child’s immune system healthy as well as sets them up for a successful day of learning.
Hand washing is still the #1 way to reduce infections and keeps colds and flus at bay. Show your child how to wash their hands thoroughly-that includes between fingers. Make it a rule in your own home to wash before meals since this is the most common time to touch hands to mouth.
And if your child does get sick during the school season, you can ease their recovery by being the most prepared mom.
Natural Ways To Handle Cough, Colds, and Flus
First, teach your child how to sneeze and cough. Rather than cover their nose and mouth with their hand, demonstrate using their arm. This will help to prevent the spread of illness when a sick child shares the classroom environment with others and then comes home to share with you.
Then, fill your medicine cabinet with essentials before school starts. There’s not much worse than being unable to treat your child’s cough or fever because you don’t have what they need. And if you live rurally like I do, you already know that stores close early and being prepared is part of country life.
I prefer homeopathy solution for my family’s cough, colds, and flus. I always stock up with Boiron Canada.
For colds, I choose Coryzalia which relieves symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose and acute rhinitis in children ages 1 month and up. The sterile, drinkable units are perfect for kids and easy for parents as they’re packaged in doses. Coryzalia is sugar-, dye-, and preservative-free. (We use the pill form for adults at our house too!)
For my children’s coughs, my go-to is Boiron’s Stodal Honey cough syrup. It relieves both dry and wet coughs in children 1 to 11 years of age. Stodal is a syrup with nine homeopathic ingredients. It does not cause drowsiness. There is also a version for ages 5 and up.
And when the flu lands at my house, I’ve been reaching for Oscillococcinum since my children were babies. It works for infants (age 0) right through to adults. You can give it to your children right at the being of a flu to reduce to the duration of symptoms or when it’s already made itself at home in their little bodies. This homeopathic medicine reduces the duration of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headaches, fever and chills. It does not cause drowsiness.