HOW TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
There’s little as sad as a child who’s caught something and becomes sick for Christmas vacation or even worse, on Christmas day. Yet, not surprisingly, our children get sick over the holidays far too often. Not only are our children likely to be overly excited, getting less sleep, and stretched thin from more activities than normal, they’re also usually lacking the healthy diet that their bodies have become used to, and to top it all off, the winter air environment is just right for the flu virus to flourish.
This year as we enter into the end of the year just around the corner, I
encourage you to follow some of these favorite tips of mine to ensure that your
children stay happy and healthy all through the holiday season.
Cut a Few Activities:
I know it feels like every activity is necessary, but sometimes there’s an extra ice skating party or a holiday get together that really isn’t absolutely crucial to go to. And when it means putting the kids to bed at their normal bedtime, sometimes it’s worth it. Pick the absolute must-go-tos (school plays and band recitals!) and then try to limit overly excessive activities out and about.
Watch Your Children’s Diet:
This is probably the tip that I would emphasize the most. When your child’s diet suddenly becomes less of the highly nutritional, well balanced meals that are norm and replaced with quick fast-prep style foods lacking nutritional value, your child is likely to become tired, irritable and even less focused on normal day-to-day tasks. Add lots of extra sweets and candy to the diet, and your child is even more likely to be all of the above. Not only that, poor nutrition and lack of necessary vitamins and minerals can also compromise the body’s immune system. This means you’ve got tired, irritable children who are already lacking resistance to fight off diseases that are running rampant right now.
Attempt a Routine:
Stress is another huge factor in compromising immune system. And, with all the hustle, bustle of the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there’s bound to be extra stress in your child’s life. The easiest way to combat this is to attempt to stick as close to their normal routine as you possibly can. Even if there are two extra activities in the day, stick to a normal wake-up time, a normal “get-ready” regimen, and at the very least, a normal bedtime. Evenings will probably be the hardest time to stick to a routine, as that’s when most holiday outings are happening, but if you can make the rest of the day as normal and routine as possible, your child will not feel completely lost. Any semblance of normalcy gives your child a feeling a safety and of comfort. Unwavering at bed times and wake ups is an excellent starting point.
Plan in Advance:
Planning in advance will take some extra time and effort on your part, but it can be the difference between healthy kids and children who wake up sick. Plan to make and do things on a schedule so that you know exactly what you can and cannot make happen. If you won’t have time to pack lunches one day or you know that a sit-down meal will be impossible on another, schedule in time in advance when you can get those things done.
Start working of stocking the freezer now with healthy meals you can pull out
in a flash. Keep lots of fruits and veggies on hand so that you can pull them
out in moments of starvation and not resort to the plate of Christmas cookies
that just got dropped off. Find some fun, healthy “treats” you can feel good
about your children indulging in. Maybe instead of a freezer filled with
peppermint ice cream, you can go for frozen bananas dipped lightly in dark
chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint candies. Instead of sugary cookies, make your own rice krispies with the brown rice variety of your store and add in festive fun with food coloring instead of red and green candies.
Keep Your Home Environment Healthy:
If you can’t keep your kids away from germs any other place, try to maintain
your home as much of a germ-free haven as you possibly can. Keep lots of
disinfectant on stock and make it a habit to wash and disinfect hands as soon
as you enter the home. You can also help to prevent the flu virus from thriving
by using a humidifier in your home. Studies have shown that the influenza virus
is most likely to survive in dry, low-humidity conditions, the conditions that
enable it to stay airborne longer. By keeping your home air humidity up, you
can help prevent the flue from spreading, even if someone in your family does
come home with it.
While certainly not foolproof, hopefully these tips will help you keep your
precious children healthy all season long so they can make the most of it every
moment of every day. Here’s to a happy healthy season for your whole family!