We are just about 30 days into the new school year, and there are already the “usual” strep throats, colds, and missed days of school for being sick. Not only in our own school, but with friends and family and in my Facebook news feed. And, I say “usual” because that’s what I hear when Mom’s talk about kids getting sick once school starts. It’s what we’ve come to accept. I can’t tell you how many times I hear a Mom say “that’s what happens when they go back to school. There’s nothing you can do about it” or “It’s the season. Everyone gets sick.” But, there is something you can do about it. Here are some simple things you can do to build immunity this year and stop the sickness cycle.
I recently hosted a Back to School Health Event on Facebook that was our most attended event to date. There were so many Moms-and Dads-that tuned into the event because everyone wants to keep their kids healthy. To find simple things they can do to build immunity and stop that crazy sickness cycle. Because, there really ARE some basic things that you can do to stop your kids from always getting sick.
Ok, so where do you start?
Let’s start out talking about food. What our children eat matters. I know that this can be the hardest part—getting your picky eater to eat well. But, nutrition is KEY in building immunity in our kids-and in ourselves. They need a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats that provide calories, as well as essential vitamins and minerals critical to proper growth, development, and immune function—including all eight B vitamins and vitamins C, A, and D, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc. In addition, growing children should achieve adequate intakes of omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA, which is essential for early brain and eye development. .
If you want to strengthen the immune system, decrease sugar and processed foods and increase vegetables and real food. Sugar causes inflammation and weakens the immune system. We are all so busy with work, kids, school, activities-the list goes on-that it may seem like a daunting task to make sure you and your family are eating a nutritious diet. But, it doesn’t have to be. Planning ahead to make the best nutrition choices as often as possible is very important. Meal planning whenever possible is a huge help. Clean and prep veggies at the beginning of the week so they are ready to go when you need them. Use your Slow cooker to have healthy meals ready for when you get home at night (If you don’t have a slow cooker-go buy one immediately. It will change your life! ) Freeze the left overs for a second meal that you can just pull out and defrost. Keep high protein, low sugar snacks at home instead of sugary snacks.
What about snacks? My daughter is a HUGE snacker. She always has been. I don’t fight it anymore-I just try to keep them as healthy as possible. Here are some healthy snack options you may consider…
-Make your own popcorn. Pop in coconut oil and top with some sea salt. Experiment with different spices. It takes less than 10 minutes and is so much healthier than microwave popcorn. Not to mention insanely more delicious and CHEAPER!
-Rice crackers or veggies with Hummus. Store bought or make your own
-Cage Free hard-boiled eggs. Boil a bunch on Sunday and keep them in your fridge
-Swap out the fruit yogurt marketed towards kids-they have a ton of sugar and a lot of times artificial ingredients and replace with plain organic greek yogurt and fresh fruit. Add a little raw honey for sweetness
-Rice cake with organic almond butter or peanut butter. Sunflower butter is a great alternative for those with nut allergies (Label tip: Read your labels! Your nut butters should contain nothing but nuts and maybe salt. Lots of brands, even the organic ones, contain oils and added sugar)
-Apple slices or bananas with any of the nut butters mentioned above
-Let your kids make their own trail mix. Offer choices of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, even some dark chocolate chips as a treat. They contain healthy antioxidants!
-A Non GMO Protein shake
One way to get your kids to eat better is to get them involved. Take them to your local farmers market or to the supermarket. Make it a game to pick out one new fruit or veggie they’ve never had before and how they think you should prepare it. The first time I ever even heard of a Kohlrabi was when Isabella thought it was a cool shape and asked to buy it at the farmer’s market. Let them help cook. Research definitely shows that kids are more likely to eat something they had a hand in making. I love cooking with my daughter. It’s some of our best memories together, which is an added bonus in addition to teaching her healthy eating habits!
But, with all that said, despite our best efforts to provide our kids with an overall healthy and well-balanced diet, the reality is that most children are NOT getting the complete nutrition they need. (And neither are we as the parents). I want to share with you what I do to supplement my family and what has worked for us.
For those who don’t know, I partnered with the Shaklee Corporation 4 years ago after an exhaustive search for green, non toxic cleaning products that actually worked and didn’t cost a fortune. I chose Shaklee because of the integrity of the company, the science and research behind the products, and the results that my family had using the products. In addition to eating organic, real foods whenever possible, Shaklee is an extremely important part of our daily life and routine, and has made a huge difference in all of our health. I know it will make a difference in the health of your family as well-and that is why i am so passionate about sharing it with others. My 7-year-old hasn’t missed a day of school for being sick in over 3 years. Her last doctors visit was in September 2014 for her annual check up. How can I not share that with every mom out there?
I trust Shaklee for purity. They have been around for almost 60 years and have never had a product recall. Pretty amazing! Shaklee products are always safe, always work, and always green. So many products out there have harmful ingredients that we don’t want to put in our bodies and certainly don’t want to give to our kids. They are the only products I trust for my family and in my home.
I love this short video about The Shaklee Difference.
I used to buy other brands because I trusted the marketing and didn’t read the labels. But, then I started to do my research. And when you know better, you do better. And that’s all any of us really can do.
Ok, so what do we do every day? This is it. Its easy and it works!
Incredivites :a whole food multi vitamin with Immune Support. Incredivites are the only kids vitamins in the U.S. to contain lactoferin, scientifically proven to build immunity. And they contain no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Mighty Smarts :natural, ultra pure DHA for kids. With all the recent Omega 3 supplement contamination, it’s so important to know that you are getting the purist form of DHA.
Chewable Vitamin C : 5 per day and you won’t believe the difference in your child’s health. Build immunity naturally!
Yes, she gets the common cold or starts to come down with something once in a while, but its brief and doesn’t linger because we’ve built up her immunity and give her the foundational nutritional boost to keep her from getting sick for the most part.
If your kids are always sick, I encourage you to give this a try. You have nothing to lose and it could seriously change your life as it did ours. Here’s to a healthy, happy school year….