It’s Fall and everyone is “ramping up”. Whether you are a parent with a new school schedule to manage or an employee managing new projects at work, it seems that as the days get shorter, the To-Do lists get longer. Changes in schedule and workload can contribute to rising levels of stress. As a result, maybe you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, which can lead to even higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Both stress and insomnia can lead to a suppressed immune system, which can in turn lead to increased susceptibility to any colds and flu being passed around
Do you feel like eating healthily is a chore and enjoying food that is good for you is a challenge? If it is the case and you have children, you run the risk of passing this attitude on to them. Studies show that the children of parents with a high BMI often have similar issues. Therefore, genetics aside, it seems that kids do pick up their parent’s lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to try to build some fun into establishing healthy habits, for the benefit of the whole family.
Make It Kid-Friendly
Making healthy meals fun can be as simple as putting some creative flair into your nutrition. Start a meal with fruit and vegetables, or use them as after-school snacks; a fun presentation using a variety of fruits and veggies adds a colourful punch. Kids love anything small, so try some bite-sized things and serve them on miniature dishes. As they get older, get them invested in meals by taking them shopping and share information about the healthy qualities of what they are eating. Resist the urge to pressure them too much and be patient; most kids simply grow out of the “picky eater” phase.
Sometimes, despite all your efforts, children turn their nose up at fresh produce and it’s natural for parents to then wonder about the health of their immune system, especially during cold and flu season. Probiotics are one way to boost your children’s immunity, but getting kids to take supplements can also be difficult as studies show that children dislike flavours that are not sweet or salty.
Fortunately, LavaRox™ Oral-Biotic offers a fun way to fortify the health of your child’s mouth and prevent ear, nose and throat infections, using Streptococcus salvaris K12, a patented probiotic specifically developed to support oral health. Remember those candy-like granules with the fizzy sensation? These are just as fun, but are naturally sweetened to prevent tooth decay and excessive spikes in blood sugar. They are a great way for parents or dentists to ensure kids are getting a healthy dose of a clinically tested oral probiotic without damaging their teeth or gums, and another version for digestive health and immunity is on the way and will be available soon.
What to Watch Out For
Kids today are often falling short on a few important nutrients, according to recent research. Here are some of the top vitamins, minerals and nutrients to work into your children’s diet.
Calcium – Vital for developing bone mass, this mineral is critical for us throughout life. Yogurt is a great option that comes in several delicious flavours. Vitamin D3 helps in the absorption and use of calcium. Our Liquid Vitamin D3 is tasteless and comes in a children’s dose.
Vitamin E – Another vitamin that can be missed, especially if your family eats fat-free or low-fat, or avoids nuts due to allergies. Try sunflower seeds or make your own salad dressings using healthy oils.
Fibre – Children need it as much as adults do. Introduce a high-fibre cereal or mix some fibre in with their favourite, but watch the sugar content. Fortified cereals are often also a good source of iron, which is critical for healthy brain development. Apples, pears and even popcorn pack a fibre punch as does whole-grain pasta.
Potassium – Important for muscle function. Children who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables may have a deficiency; bananas are an optimal, kid-friendly source. Finally, numerous studies show that positive family time around the dinner table is critical to ensuring children’s physical and mental health. The children of families that eat regular family dinners tend to consume healthier meals and are more likely to maintain good eating habits through the teenage years and into adulthood. As you see, eating healthy is possible and can be enjoyable, for everyone!