The 8 Secrets to Happier, Healthier Kids This Winter

As parents, we’re always looking out for our kids’ happiness and health — especially during the winter time. No one said parenting was easy but here are eight secrets to help get your family through winter unscathed!

 

1 Fuel them with immune-boosting ingredients

Start protecting your little ones from within. The stronger their immune system, the more resistant they will be to sniffles and coughs this time of the year. One way to boost their immune system is with the right vitamins and nutrients. Start by introducing these ​top five ingredients​ to their diets.

 

2 Go easy on the sugar

As if you needed another reason to limit their sugar intake — increased sugar consumption weakens the immune system and also causes inflammation. As a result, kids are more likely to succumb to the winter chills. Try limiting your little ones’ sugar intake but remember that you might not be able to control 100% of what they eat — birthday parties and school treats will happen!

 

3 Keep the water coming

The cold winter air causes us to lose more moisture from our bodies. This is why it is so important to keep your kids hydrated throughout the season. Their bodies need the water to carry nutrients to cells, sweep toxins out of the body and fight infections and illnesses.

 

4 Ensure they have enough sleep

When we sleep, our bodies get to work healing and repairing itself. Sleep is an important factor in building a healthy immune system so make sure your kids are getting enough sleep.The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on the individual and certain factors, including the age of your little one.

Here’s a rough idea on how much sleep your kids need:

Kids ageRecommended sleeping time
1 to 4 weeks15 – 16 hours per day
1 to 4 months14 – 15 hours per day
1 to 3 years12 – 14 hours per day
3 to 6 years10 – 12 hours per day
7 to 12 years10 – 11 hours per day
12 to 18 years8 – 9 hours per day

5 Change their toothbrushes

Surprisingly, one of the dirtiest surfaces in the house is your little one’s toothbrush! Germs breed in the bristles, and if the toothbrush is not changed regularly, it can lead to infections and illnesses. Consider getting a new toothbrush at the start of winter and replace it right away if your little one gets sick.

 

6 Teach proper handwashing technique

It can be easy to overlook hand washing — it’s such a simple principle! However, remember that your little one’s hands touch many surfaces throughout the day, making it a breeding ground for germs. Keep their hands clean and they’ll be less likely to develop a winter cold.

Teach your kids to wash:

  • Before and after a meal
  • After touching dirty things (e.g. dirt, garbage, animals)
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose

 

7 Keep active

Kids need some time in the day to release all that energy! Exercise is important for improving bone and muscle health, regulating their mood and preventing diseases later on in life. Here are some activities you could try:

  • Take a walk in the park
  • Go to an indoor swimming pool
  • Try a winter sport like skiing, skating or snowboarding
  • Put on music and dance

 

8 Open your windows

Cold and damp homes are linked to poor health, which is especially harmful for babies and small children — it is crucial for your family’s health that your home is warm and dry this winter.

However, don’t rely too much on indoor heating as it dries out the air. Dry air can make your family more susceptible to colds and aggravate respiratory conditions. Try airing the house by opening a window for a few hours each day to circulate fresh air into your home. You could also use fans and vents, and even get a few indoor plants to clean and circulate the air.

These are the eight tweaks you can make this season to help your family thrive in the winter!