It's no secret that our kids aren't exactly the most health-conscious when it comes to their habits. From picking their noses to rubbing their eyes after touching something gross, there are many things kids do that make routine colds and sniffles come as no surprise.
Of course, we want our kids to be happy and healthy, too. So what can you do to help improve your child's immunity and boost their health this year? Here are a few simple ways you can strengthen your kids' immune systems without going over the top.
Meal prep healthy snacks
It's important for kids to eat nutritious meals regularly. In fact, the number of kids eating on a regular basis has actually increased during the 2020-2021 school year since the USDA allowed schools to offer free meals to all students. However, it's just as important to make sure that the snacks we're giving our kids are just as healthy.
While it's often easier for parents to grab cheaper, pre-packaged snacks while we're on a busy schedule, certain snacks can actually do more harm than good. For instance, over 40% of kids have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. Consider meal-prepping your kids' snacks during the weekend so you can grab snacks easily when you need them without having to worry about increasing your child's risk for cavities.
Wear blue-light blocking glasses
Many schools are providing a mix of remote and in-person learning. While remote learning helps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, it also increases the amount of screen time our kids are getting. Blue light blocking computer glasses can help to protect your child's eyes while they're learning online. These glasses help to block out harmful blue light rays that come from our computer and phone screens. Blue light can't be easily blocked by the eyes and can cause vision problems and eye strain.
Reduce screen time
Speaking of screens, it's also a good idea to reduce the amount of screen time your kids get every day. While certain games like Minecraft, which has sold over 200 million copies, and Animal Crossing can help to relieve stress and improve executive functioning, it's also good for your kids to take a break from their tech. Consider letting your kids pick out some books and non-tech related games that they would like to play. When your kids have non-tech options for entertainment and enrichment that they've picked out themselves, they'll be more likely to enjoy the time away from their tablets.
Have a specific bedtime
If your kids don't have a specified bedtime, consider establishing one both for your own sake and theirs. A bedtime helps to create structure for your child's day and makes it easier for them to wind down and get the recommended amount of sleep they need. The National Sleep Foundation advises that school-age children get between nine to 11 hours of sleep every night. That means if your child is waking up for school at 6 AM, they ought to be going to bed between at least 8 PM or 9 PM.
While we may not be able to keep our kids out of germs' way all the time, you can help to boost your child's immunity and overall health by following some of the tips above.