When winter rolls around, it’s only a matter of time until your children come home sniffling or complaining of a sore throat. Or perhaps you’re worried about them being glued to their screens 24/7 during holiday breaks and snow days, feeling lethargic and lazy instead of active and vibrant. The winter season can be a difficult one for parents to navigate; when do you let your kids relax, and when should you institute some fun movement time? What if they won’t eat their veggies and only want snowflake-shaped cookies, but you know they need the nutrients?
Whatever your wellness concerns may be, these easy tips will keep kids (and parents!) feeling their best during the winter season.
Lots and lots of hand-washing
One of the easiest ways to reduce germs is to wash your hands frequently. As soon as kids get home from school, send ‘em to the sink! Make sure they wash thoroughly with warm water and soap. Suds up after a trip to the grocery store, to a friend’s house or after walking the dog, or whenever anyone in the house is feeling sick.
Skip that extra cup of hot cocoa in favor of water. Water is essential for general wellness, and keeping your kids hydrated is an important step in supporting their immunity. If they’re not big fans of water, add flavor with citrus fruits or powders or consider trying tea.
When it’s cold and snowy out, sometimes the last thing you want to do is bundle up your kids and take them outside. But when they’ve been glued to their screens for hours, it’s time to put down the tablets and get active. Head out for a day of sledding, fort-building or exploring if the weather cooperates. If not, think of fun indoor activities and get involved alongside your kids: dancing, relay races, obstacle courses, games of flashlight tag. Consider booking a day at the trampoline park for a change of scenery or hitting up the local rec center swimming pool to pretend it’s summer. When in doubt, jump it out!
Eat fruits and veggies
Holiday cookies and treats are great, but try to balance those sweets with healthy options too. If your kids turn up their noses at veggies, blend them up into a smoothie or bake them into muffins instead. Challenge younger kids to “eat the rainbow” every day; they’ll enjoy eating color by color and get lots of good-for-them vitamins and minerals in the process.
Cover your cough!
It sounds so simple, but it can be a big lesson for younger kids to learn. Start teaching them to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and to wash their hands after to help reduce the spread of germs and viruses.
Get lots of rest
When your little ones aren’t feeling well, make sure they’re gettingallllthe rest. This is the time for screens! Keep them comfortable and cozy. Think nourishing soups and gentle foods, plus lots of water. Though the holiday season is busy busy busy, try and keep bedtimes consistent whenever possible so your kids are getting adequate sleep, another important factor of general wellness. If they’re sick, keep them home so they can recuperate and avoid spreading germs to their classmates.