A new school year has begun. Help your child stay healthy and free from illnesses with a few simple, positive lifestyle changes.
Reducing your child’s risk of falling ill often starts with implementing and encouraging small changes in their daily lifestyle habits.
Here are some suggestions on what you can do to improve your child’s overall health and wellbeing.
Ensure your child is drinking enough water
Hydration is very important for the wellbeing of adults and children alike. It helps keep us cool and relaxed whilst hydrating our body on a deeper level. Always pack a water bottle for your child to take to school. If they get tired of the plain taste, flavour it! You can do this by adding a slice of lemon or two to the water. Mint leaves and strawberries also provide a unique yet refreshing taste. Never let your child leave home without carrying a filled water bottle with them. Encourage them to take sips throughout the day.
Vitamins and mineral substances
Vitamins and mineral substances help small bodies to function optimally. The best way to ensure that your child gets these nutrients is by including a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in their diet. Aim to include seasonal fresh produce wherever possible. You could also opt for a multivitamin if you are concerned about your child’s nutrient levels. Chat to your child’s doctor regarding which one is age-appopriate.
Teach them to wash their hands
Teach your child good handwashing habits and make sure they are washing their hands often. Always keep a bar of soap on the bathroom counter, and in all spare bathrooms. Pack hand sanitizer in your child’s school bag and encourage them to use it when they are on the go.
Let them get plenty of sleep
When children are sleeping, their bodies are healing, increasing their ability to fight germs, bacteria, and infection. School-aged children (5 to 12 years old) need nine to 12 hours of sleep each night. But many children get only seven to eight hours per night – sometimes even less.
Increase their activity level
If you find that your child is not getting the recommended amount of exercise a day (children and adolescents ages six through 17 years should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each day), try increasing their activity in other ways.
For example, if your child does not enjoy extramural sports, opt to get them physical by taking the dog for a walk or helping someone carry boxes when cleaning out their garage. There are endless opportunities for your child to increase their physical level of activity. You could even give your helper the day off and get your child to help mom or dad with household cleaning chores. Gardening is also a relaxing way to keep your child’s body moving.