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School is back in session and I can already sense the germs trying to make their way into my home. After just two days of school, Zoë already had a sore throat! Hopefully we can keep it at bay so she doesn't miss any school this early in the year.
We really try to prevent illnesses from taking over our family by living a healthy lifestyle. It's much better to prevent your family from getting sick in the first place than to treat them once they've come down with something. That's no fun for anyone!
There are a lot of natural things you can do to build a strong immune system that can battle off bacteria and viruses. I'll share some tips with you that we use to keep our kids healthy, even when school is in session.
Eat a Real Food Diet
The food you eat has a direct impact on the health of your body. Fill it with chemical-laden packaged and fast food, and your body will make you pay for it. Fill it with wholesome, real foods and you will reap the rewards. And don't fall into the trap of packing your child's lunch full of convenience foods. Bake your own bread, choose organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and other healthy options and your child's body will be healthier. And try to avoid packing lunches in plastic containers, which can leach chemicals. Choose stainless steel or glass containers instead.
Drink Plenty of Water
Make sure water is your family's go-to beverage. Since our body is around 70% water, it needs a lot of water to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated keeps your body healthy and can give you energy as well. Unless your squeeze it fresh at home, juice is much more processed than you may realize and it contains a lot of sugar. Read more about why you need to drink water to stay healthy.
Eat Your Probiotics
Taking probiotics if often overlooked, but it's so important to keep your gut healthy. The bacteria in your gut are the base of your immune system, and if they aren't healthy then it's hard to stay healthy yourself. While you can take a probiotic supplement, you can get even more good probiotic bacteria from making your own cultured foods, like sauerkraut, pickles, spicy carrots, salsa and kombucha. My kids drink some kombucha nearly every day and they love spicy carrots and cultured salsa. Another plus is it's much less expensive to make your own cultured foods than to buy a quality probiotic supplement.
Get Fresh Air
Indoor air can be 10 times as toxic as outdoor air. So make sure to get outside every day and breathe in fresh air. It helps if you live in the mountains like us where the air is crisp and clean!
Soak Up the Sunshine
Vitamin D has been shown to be critical in maintaining health, especially through the winter months when we get less sunlight. Make sure to get 10-15 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight every day to optimize your body's vitamin D levels. And it's a good idea to get your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor. I have read that 50-75 is a good level for maintaining optimal health. For kids, you can get vitamin D drops to add to their drinks or food and they'll never even know they're taking a vitamin!
Move Your Body
Exercise is so important! This year, my daughter's teacher created a form for the parents to fill out each day recording how active our kids are. They are supposed to get at least 45 minutes of activity per day (playing outside counts). It's so great to teach kids that movement is important at a young age.
Keep Essential Oils On Hand
You'd be surprised at how powerful essential oils can be for boosting the immune system and battling off threats to your system.Make sure to always properly dilute your oils, and make sure you know which essential oils should not be used on children.
These are just 7 simple ways you can help keep your child's immune system healthy now that school is back in session. The basic message to take away is that if you live a healthy lifestyle, your body will thank you for it!