This time of year is synonymous with cold and flu. Short of locking yourself in a germ proof chamber, boosting your immunity to help prevent the spread of illness is you and your family’s best defence. Here are some ways to help boost the whole families immunity.
1. Get More Sleep
If you have young kids this might be a challenge. Whenever you can, try to get more sleep. The same goes for your little ones. Sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to getting sick. Having struggled with years of sleep deprivation myself, I know it’s easier said than done to get more sleep. If you find some time and you can’t sleep, simply resting your body is beneficial to restoring cells and giving your immunity a boost.
2. Blend It
Immune boosting vegetables include leafy greens and fruits like berries are a must to get through the winter unscathed. If your little ones are picky eaters, start making smoothies. I pre-pack zip lock bags with kale leaves, spinach leaves, green apples, mixed berries and bananas in my freezer. I add some milk, honey (water and no honey for babies) chia seeds and blend it in the mornings. This sets you and your kids up for the day. It’s quite sweet so kids should like the taste and have no idea that it’s good for them.
3. Breastfeed Your Little Ones
If you have a baby or toddler, try and breastfeed as long you can. The healing and immune boosting properties in breast milk are second to none. A mother passes on antibodies, protein, fats and cells through her milk.
Exercise is essential for many health benefits as well as boosting immunity. Get out as a family and try to do some fun activities together. Go for a bike ride to the playground, play sports together or chase each other around the yard. Fresh air and sunshine are also vital to staying healthy so outdoor play ticks a lot of boxes.
5. Let Kids Be Kids
There has been a lot of scientific evidence of late to suggest that there is such a thing as too clean. As parents, there is pressure to keep our homes and cars sanitised, to always wash hands and make sure our kids maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. Immunologist, Dr Mary Ruebush, has studied the effects of dirt and children and has released a book Why Dirt Is Good. My favourite quote from her is, “”…as a parent, I would simply say, ‘Relax.’ Mother Nature has built children in order to absorb germs in the environment. The human species has not been on this planet for as long as it has without having an unbelievable, miraculous immune response.”
Stay happy and healthy and enjoy rugging up this winter.