With two children who aren’t old enough to get vaccinated yet, the rise of the Delta variant is creating a lot of unforseen anxiety. Just as the US was seemingly starting to feel a bit of normalcy, we’re back to masks indoors and lots of COVID testing. Every running nose or slight cough brings up that wave from the pit of your stomach. Keeping my kids healthy is more important now than ever. To avoid our daily lives coming to a screeching halt, I have 6 tips for keeping them healthy (and us), so I don’t have to press pause:
💤 Sleep: It’s important, but why? How can I attempt to control it?
Studies show that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, like the common cold. And if they do get sick, lack of sleep can also affect how fast they recover.
A lot of parents loosen the reins in summer months and let bed times creep back. I keep my kids on the same sleep schedule throughout the year. A friend recently recommended the Moshi app to get kids to sleep faster, and for longer. Their stories are calming and meditative. On nights when my kids seem particularly wound up, I make them camomile tea to drink while we’re reading bedtime books. It calms them down and they also think it’s a fun pre-bedtime treat.
🍒 Healthy (but fun) meals and snacks
Making sure that our kids are getting the necessary nutrients is important for brain function and development, energy levels, and immunity – all things they’ll need as they go back to school.
Balanced breakfasts (that contain protein and complex carbs) have been studied to support steady energy levels throughout the day, and improve their brain function and immune system. But I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes goldfish crackers and sugary bars have a stronger grip on my kids than I’d like.
I try to make things fun. If time allows, I’ll ask the kids to cook the meal alongside me. When they’re a part of cooking, they’re willing to take more risks with their palate. If I don’t want the added mess of the kids contributing to cooking the meal, I’ll set up something like a yogurt parfait bar so the kids can load on their granola, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, berries, etc. which creates an interactive environment they enjoy!
😖Back to school is stressful for kids, here’s how to manage it
After summer vacation, going back to school can be stressful for our kids. Especially after the year they’ve had during COVID. Stress and anxiety can be detrimental to our little ones and their developing bodies – just as it can impact the health of adults.
There’s a few things I rotate in when my kids are feeling stressed. First of all, exercise is a known stress reliever, but more on that below. Art work (or any creative exploration) is very calming and de-stressing, and helps them cope with their emotions in a healthy, accepting environment. On particularly rough days, I keep a stash of small games that I can surprise them with – not only does it feel like a treat, but it’s a great way to exercise their mind and help them healthily release angst. Most importantly, I encourage my kids to let their feelings out and let them feel heard and understood.
🏃🏾♀️ Run, play, jump… just get outside!
Not only is physical activity good for our kids’ mental health (it’s been shown to decrease signs of depression and anxiety), but it’s also a simple way to help strengthen their immune system.
Not only can activity lower stress hormones, but it can also protect them from infections they may get exposed to in the classroom.
Did you know that when kids run around outside it can help flush bacteria out of their lungs? Pretty wild huh?reduce their risk of getting sick.
💦 Hydration fuels development
Drinking water is so important for our kids – it helps keep their joints and teeth healthy, their bones strong, and encourages blood circulation. Water also improves their mood, memory, and attention span.
🦠Give them added support with probiotics for immunity
To guarantee they’re getting the gut support they need to stay healthy, energetic, and growing, I give them Jettie Melty Stix. I don’t have to force them to take it, because it tastes good and it’s fun (almost like if a pixie stick were pediatrician recommended).
Because they’re packed in convenient single stick packs, I can keep them in my purse for our walk to school.
And when I know Baer and Finn need to hydrate, but they won’t settle for anything less than juice, I mix their Melty Stix in a glass of water – they’re a sugar free, all natural way to turn their water into something they enjoy (and their immune system thanks them for). When I want to make things really fun, I add in Fancy Sprinkles Prism Powder for a special treat (a little goes a long way).
At the end of the day, sending our kids back to school should be exciting – and luckily, keeping them healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. And if all else fails, as long as you’ve got Melty Stix in your bag you’re doing just fine.