National Child Day just passed on November 20th – and the Nourish team is equally committed to ensuring children are protected from harm and provided with every opportunity to reach their full potential. That’s why we have put together an education series for parents – 5 lessons packed full of information and simple remedies you can make at home to keep your loved ones strong and healthy.
To start the series, we are keeping in tune with the season – cold & flu season, that is! Over a million Canadians catch the flu each year. Runny nose, cough, muscle aches and fatigue – these symptoms are all too familiar. Not everyone with the flu will have a fever, in fact, children may also have stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. We have pulled together 3 of our favourite tips and tricks for cold & flu prevention this winter.
Cold & Flu Prevention, Naturally: Our 3 Favourite Tips
1. Eat your fruits and veggies. Carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries contain important nutrients like vitamin C and carotenoids which increase the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Recommended amounts would be 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. For children a serving is 1¼ cup and for toddlers is approximately 2 tablespoons.
2. Catch some Zzz’s – not a cold. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from functioning optimally and thus when a virus strikes, the immune system can’t adequately fight it off. How much sleep do kids need? A newborn may need up to 18 hours of crib-time a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours
3. Savoury, not sweet. Sugar immediately reduces the immune system for several hours after consumption, plus creates an environment that is more favourable for infections. On the other hand, savoury foods like onion and garlic have antimicrobial effects and act to strengthen the immune system. Try to quench your sweet spot with naturally occurring sugars in fruits instead of processed sugar, and add some garlic and onion to your diet (they are most potent when raw – both in taste and immune boosting!).
Scrub-a-dub to stop the spread of bugs.
Hand-washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of colds and flus. In fact, it has been found to reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses, like colds, by 21%. You should pay particular attention to their hygiene before and after each meal and after playing outside, handling pets, blowing their nose, using the bathroom, and arriving home from day care. To help kids get into the hand-washing habit at home, let them pick out their own brightly coloured hand towels and soap in fun shapes and colours. Below we have provided some basic hand-washing instructions to keep your family healthy this winter:
1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Have your child practice their alphabet or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Naturally Healthy Children’s toolbox
Sign up for the rest of our series discussing easy tips and tricks to keep your little one’s healthy by clicking here!
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