Does the return to school mean that your children have one cold or flu after the other? Our children’s immune systems are being taxed by busier school schedules, extra-curricular activities and continued exposure to other sick children. It is important to keep your children’s immune system healthy by providing a healthy and nutritious diet. Breakfast and lunch are the two most important meals of the day. Do you find it difficult to provide both a healthy breakfast or lunch? Think about what you do spend your time on during the day and set aside time for meal planning. This meal plan will not only benefit your children but it will also mean that you are eating healthier too. Aside from staying healthier throughout the year, your child will also be able to concentrate longer at school. A healthy diet benefits and regulates mood as well.
Breakfast: A multi-grain porridge mixed with seeds and nuts and cooked with dried fruit is an essential way to start the day. Try soaking the grains on the stove over night and then simply cook immediately upon waking. Mix this wet porridge with their favourite dry cereal and ask them what fruits they would like to eat with it. Make enough for the whole family and make sure that you all sit down together to eat it! Children who sit at the table during meals with their parents perform much better at school.
Lunch: Many teachers report of poor, malnutritious lunches in their student’s lunch boxes. Avoid pre-packaged ready-made lunches as they have zero nutritional value and will not benefit your child. Provide your child with cut up fruit, nuts and seeds, yogurt and bread that is dense with grain or sprouted grain. Encourage your older children to help with lunch packing and challenge them to search for new ideas on the internet. Eliminate all quick-fix packaged foods that your children can easily grab when they are hungry after school as well. Plan a baking night whereby you both choose healthy muffin or cookie recipes and bake a large batch at once and freeze them. If you’d like to have a healthy snack visit a health food store for healthier options. Mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit are a good alternative to chips and store bought cookies. Small amounts of Smarties or M&M’s can be added without overloading your child with too much sugar. Regular popcorn that is non-microwaveable is also an easy and nutritious snack.
At the Health Within Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture office we have natural tinctures for children. We have formulas for cough, ear aches and cold and flu remedies as well. Even with a healthy diet our immune systems can still be compromised. These can be used with regular antibiotics or can replace them.
Remember: Health is about prevention. Make time for your health.