Depending where you live, your kids may be weeks, days or even just hours from hopping on the bus for the first day of school.
To your kids, a new school year may be all about a new classroom, new teachers and new friends, but to a parent, it's also about the many germs, bacteria and viruses that your little one can be exposed to and bring home with them.
How can you prepare your child for a healthier school year? Check out our top tips for strengthening your little one's immune system to keep them feeling their best and performing at their best all year long:
1. Help them get the sleep they need.
The summer months tend to take children away from their bedtime routines. This is a big no-no for parents who want their kids to remain in top germ-fighting condition. A solid eight hours of sleep is essential for strengthening and "recharging" the immune system. Reducing stress is another factor. Stress also triggers damage to the immune system, so avoiding bedtime fights is important. Keep your kids on their school year routine (with a few exceptions and treats of course) to help limit sick days.
2. Schedule a back-to-school physical.
It's always a good idea to have your child get an annual physical a few weeks before they head back to school. This will help you get any health concerns under control and be sure they have all the right shots and immunizations.
3. Do a diet check.
Just as the sleep routine can get tossed to the side during the summer months, so too can a typically healthy diet. Kids staying at home during the day begin to forage on all available junk food, knocking out their appetite by meal time. Make sure your home is full of healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, fresh and dried fruit and plenty of vegetables. Fruit and veggies with organic nut butter is an old favorite that provides vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein. Try to have them eat at the same time each day.
4. De-potato the couch.
A lot of kids stop doing a lot of physical activity during the summer months and enjoy laying around in front of the television or playing video games. Encouraging daily physical activity is crucial in the fight against childhood obesity. Put a limit on TV time for everyone and get out of the house for a daily family walk or trip to the park.
5. Fill in the gaps.
Your child may eat well compared to some of their friends, but every kid has some healthy foods they just can't stand. A multivitamin for kids is a perfect way to supplement their diet. A kids' fish oil supplement looks after their eyes, heart and mind and can be added to a beverage.
6. Teach them healthy habits.
This is crucial when it comes to hygiene. Lead by example and wash your hands as often and for a long as you should (sing "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice). You also show them the value of proper diet and exercise when you engage in the activities with them.
Don't let the summer months derail your child's normally healthy patterns. Give them the tools they need to succeed.
Get everything you need to send your kids back to school, including BPA-free lunch boxes, hand sanitizer and cold and flu remedies, at eVitamins. Have a great year!