Winter is right around the corner. It’s the season for warm fuzzy blankets, outdoor adventures, and nights spent with your family cuddled up with warm soup and a movie. While it’s easier to catch a cold or an infection during this time of year, it’s possible to protect your family throughout the season. Here are key ways you can keep your family healthy this winter.
Keep your family healthy this winter with these foods
Ensure your family gets their five daily fruits and vegetables by preparing wholesome meals like oats with fruit for breakfast or soups and stews with vegetables for supper. Include probiotics like pickled cucumber or cheese.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your kids to eat more vegetables at supper — outside of stews and soups — consider extending supper time by 10 minutes and cutting the fruits and vegetables up into small pieces. This was proven in a German study where participants had a typical German dinner with bread, cold sliced cheese, meat and bite-sized fruit and vegetables.
When participants extended the mealtime by 10 minutes, they found that vegetable intake increased because the kids felt more relaxed when they were eating, and the longer supper time made the vegetables easier to eat than topping a slice of bread with cheese.
You can also make meals with foods high in Vitamin D like salmon, egg yolk, cheese and tuna for an immune system boost and to support healthy bone growth.
Spend time outside
Although it may seem like a good idea to keep everyone cooped up with soft blankets and butternut soup, too much time indoors often leads to more screen time. In order to keep your family healthy this winter, you need to balance it out by organizing outdoor activities at least three times a week. Your kids need vitamin D from the sun. Plus, natural light helps to keep their circadian rhythms in check for good sleep.
Warm your body up and improve your physical fitness to boost your immune system and fight off colds before they come.
Exercising together also has immune-boosting benefits from time spent with loved ones. When you feel loved, cared for, and connected to your family members, it boosts your immune system and lessens the chance of catching viral infections. Research shows that a loving support system can help people recover quickly from illness.
Exercising together is also a great opportunity to make memories as a family. Try fun winter exercises like ice skating, making ice bubbles, or even a good old-fashioned snowball fight.
Refresh good hand-washing habits
One of the most common refrains in households with young children is, “Did you wash your hands?” However, without reminders, it can easily become an overlooked habit. Your family must wash their hands often to prevent germs and bacteria that cause illness.
Make it fun for your family by making a poster or a silly song. If you have younger kids, sing the “Happy Birthday” song while you wash your hands together to make it a fun activity for them.
Protect your skin
Switch up your skincare routine and add more products that protect you from dryness and hydrate your skin. Look for products with glycerin and shea butter for your kids. These ingredients are gentle while protecting their skin from the elements. You may want to add hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine since it creates a protective barrier to prevent water loss. Honestly, even just using Vaseline or Aquaphor is great for kids — and yourself!
Make sure to moisturize daily and limit products with alcohol and fragrance. Wear your sunscreen, even if it’s cold and there’s no sun. If you’re visiting somewhere it’s snowing, it’s even more important to protect your skin and to keep your family healthy this winter The snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays and you want to prevent sun damage.
Keep your family healthy this winter by hydrating
Make hydration easier for yourself with herbal teas and fruit teas. Herbal tea ingredients fight off inflammation, boost immune function, and are full of antioxidants.
You can make hydration more fun for your kids by alternating between water, healthy hot chocolate, and sugar-free juice. You can make hot chocolate healthier by using dark chocolate milk instead of water and opting for less sugar.
Try making your own with unsweetened almond milk, raw cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. These are all healthy alternatives that still produce the decadent hot chocolate taste you love.
Get more sleep
Nights grow longer as the days grow colder which makes winter the perfect excuse to sleep in and cuddle up a while longer. It’s natural to sleep more in winter. It also has benefits like maintaining a healthy immune system to fight illness.
Get your rest, but limit sleeping to 10 hours. To maintain health adults should sleep for seven to nine hours and children should sleep nine to twelve hours.
Protecting your family’s health during the winter months is essential, and by following these simple tips, you can help to keep your family healthy this winter. Eating healthy foods, spending time outdoors, exercising together, washing hands often, protecting your skin, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep are all important steps in keeping your family healthy this winter. With a little effort, you can enjoy the winter season without worrying about illness.