Parents know how difficult it is when their child suffers from discomfort or ailments.
Luckily, there are simple but very effective ways a parent can do to enhance the health of their child. Read along to know more about these methods.
Serve More Fruits and Vegetables
Serve your children healthy foods like green beans, strawberries, oranges and carrots. These foods contain phytonutrients like carotenoids and vitamin C that help in boosting your children’s immune system according to William Sears, M.D., the author of The Family Nutrition Book. These phytonutrients raise the production of white blood cells that wards off infection, and antibodies called interferon that coat surfaces of cells, blocking out potential viruses. According to studies, a diet high in phytonutrients helps protect against chronic diseases including heart diseases and cancer. Hence, ensure your kids consume about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (each serving is equivalent to 2 tablespoons for toddlers and 1 cup for older kids).
Boost Sleep Time
According to studies in adults, insufficient sleep makes you more prone to sickness by lowering natural killer cells, which are weapons of the immune system that fights cancer cells and microbes. The same is true among children, according to Kathi Kemper, M.D., director of the Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Children in day care centers are the ones who are at risk for sleep deprivation; theirdaily dynamic activities make it hard for them to take a nap. If you are wondering how much sleep should children need? Newborns require 18 hours of sleep per day, 12 to 13 hours for toddlers, and about 10 hours for preschoolers. According to Dr. Kemper, if your child can’t take a nap, then taking them to sleep earlyis advisable.
Exercise as a Family
Studies show that exercise can raise the number of natural killer cells among adults, and consistent activity can also benefit kids the same way according to Ranjit Chandra, M.D., a pediatric immunologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. For your children to have that lasting fitness habit, show them and be a good role model. Dr. Renee Stucky Ph.D., who works at the University of Missouri Medical School as a clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation says that it is much better if you exercise with your kids rather than urging them to go outside to play. Activities that would be fun for the whole family are hiking, basketball, tennis and bike riding.
Banish Secondhand Smoke
If you or your spouse is into smoking, then it’s time to quit. Smoke from cigarettes contain 4,000 toxins, a lot of which can irritate cells in the body or kill them according to Beverly Kingsley, Ph.D, an epidemiologist in Office on Smoking and Health at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Children are more prone as compared to adults from the damaging effects of secondhand smoke since kids breathe faster and their detoxification system has not yet fully developed.
Secondhand smoke raises the risk of kids to acquire bronchitis, SIDS, asthma and ear infection. It may also have an impact on their neurological development and intelligence. According to Dr. Kingsley, if you can’t stop smoking, then consider smoking outside the house to reduce the risk for your child.
Have Fun Under the Sun
Vitamin D is very important for the development of a healthy bone and immune system of your child, but a lot of kids and even adults border on low levels of Vitamin D. One good source of Vitamin D is the sun, but sad to say that a lot of kids spend their walking time indoors. Around 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure everyday will give your child the needed vitamin D.
Encourage your kids to have exposure in the sun before 10 am or after 4pm to lessen the risk of sun damage.
Let Them Be Little Kids
Forget about team sports, at least when they are still small. Instead, bring them to the park and see what happens. Children are naturally active and love to work out, so make a healthy exercise framework that your kidscan surely participate. Do not reduce your kids’ love for daily exercise by providing too much structure.
Plant a Garden
When you and your family plant a garden, your kids will gain 2 benefits. They will get dirty and of course they will love vegetables. It’s quite good for kids to get dirty in gardens, because believe it or not, when they are exposed to dirt and dust they are building a healthy immune system for life. And children will enjoy as part of the planting and harvesting of the vegetables.
Help Calm Their Stress and Anxiety
In today’s world where parents are too stressed and kids are over-scheduled, everybody suffers. When kids are stressed, they respond the same way with adults, their adrenaline and cortisol levels rises. If these stress hormones increases, the response of their immune system decreases.
It is vital for kids to have lots of time for play, down-time and times for rest. Bodies that are busy basically should have time to rest for immune system to increase.
Maintain Your Child’s Microbiota
Probiotics are bacteria naturally found in your guts which are considered as friendly and helpful bacteria. They help digest your food better, assist in clearing toxins, protect digestive tracts and defend you from attacking viruses and bacteria. Whenever this bacterial balance in children is disturbed, you will observe alterations in the child’s ability to fight off infections.
It is recommended to start kids with probiotic supplements that contain lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains early, from 5 – 20 billion CFUs or colony-forming units every day.
Throw Some Salt in the Tub
Bath time is a perfect chance for you to bond with your kids, and also it’s a best way to enhance their health. To encourage a good night’s sleep and soothe those itchy skins, add a pinch of Epsom salt in their bath water. This will also help in addressing low levels of magnesium which is associated with anxiety and insomnia.
It doesn’t require a lot of money and time to improve your child’s health. Just make minor lifestyle choices to develop the immune system of your children and their general well-being. These natural ways are easy to implement and easy on your budget.