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Health

Germ-fighting tips to keep kids healthy
You can't avoid germs, so strengthen immunity
 
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013
by StatePoint

School is a great place to learn, play and make friends. But with 20 to 30 kids in a classroom and even more on the playground, it’s unfortunately also a great place for spreading germs – which children can bring home to their families. 

While you can’t avoid germs, you can take steps to strengthen your family’s immunity and overall health. Here are five “stay healthy” tips parents can follow all school year long:

1. Eat healthy

It's no secret that a balanced diet is key for a healthy immune system. By focusing on a variety of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks, your family will get the nutrition it needs to fight off germs during the school year. Consider finger-friendly, fun, healthy snacks like carrots, celery and apples. They are easy to pack and extremely nutritious. The trick is to create variety, because kids tend to grow tired of the same things quickly.

2. Get plenty of exercise.

Frequent, moderate exercise is important for good health and strong immunity.  On a daily basis, encourage kids to play sports, run, bike ride or dance, all to keep their bodies fit, hearts pumping strong and minds happy. Better yet, join in on the fun yourself.

3. Sleep at least seven hours a night

Sleep is crucial to good health, both mentally and physically. A recent study showed that when you get less than seven hours sleep at night, you're three times more likely to come down with a cold or flu.

4. Take supplements as needed.

Government recommendations call for five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But how many of us really get them? To help fill the gaps, look for nutritional supplements supported by published clinical research.

5. Don’t forget about you

As a parent, your first priority is usually the kids. But you need to make sure that you also take care of yourself too, especially with busy school schedules and chaotic workweeks. Make sure that you drink enough water and get a few minutes each day to relax and recharge your immune battery. 

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