It’s that time of year again! Heading back to school doesn’t have to mean an increase in cold medications and antibiotics. There are daily actions that can be taken to help your family be more proactive with their health this school year!
1. Pack More Plant-Based Foods in their Lunchbox
Packing a healthy lunch is an amazing way to make sure your child is taking in nutrient dense food. Most school cafeterias are loading children up on processed foods high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and very few of these schools offer any plant-based alternatives. Our country is seeing more childhood obesity than ever before, with 1 in 5 children being obese.¹ Making positive changes to a child’s lunchbox will help them maintain a healthy weight throughout their life, help them fight off sickness that comes their way, and also help them have more focus and productivity in the classroom!
Packing more plant-based options doesn’t have to be hard! And your kids will love them! Here are a few plant-based lunch examples that can be included in your child’s lunchbox:
- Veggies and hummus
- Fresh fruit
- Almond butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel Bread
- Veggie & fruit smoothie stored in a thermos
- Soups full of veggies! Lentil soup is always a go-to at our house!
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Vegetable lasagna
- Salad wraps
- Rice or quinoa bowls with veggies
- Sweet potato toast
There are so many options, even for the pickiest eater! There are always creative ways to substitute! A few ingredient swaps can make a traditional family recipe an immune boosting dish, while still tasting amazing!
2. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
A consistent sleep schedule is crucial for proper healing and development. Our body does most of its healing while we sleep. Kids are rapidly growing during this time, so getting enough sleep is even more important. 10-11 hours of sleep per night for children should really be the gold standard, and 14-16 hours for babies. When a consistent sleep schedule is in place, it helps program their bodies to know that it’s that time, and will allow them to fall asleep easier and deeper.
Limiting their screen time 1-2 hours before bed will greatly improve your child’s sleep quality as well! If your child is going to be playing on an iPhone or iPad, “Night Shift” mode will decrease blue light, which has a negative impact on sleeping patterns. There are also apps that can be used on your computer as well that have this same effect.
Better sleep = better healing.
3. Use Essential Oils
Using essential oils can be a game-changer. They enter the system so rapidly and affect the body on a cellular level. Certain essential oils are extremely beneficial for a child to use topically or in a diffuser to greatly increase their immune system. Applying essential oils diluted with fractionated coconut oil is an amazing way to keep the immune system functioning at a peak level. You can apply it using a roller bottle to the bottoms of your child’s feet before and/or after school. Diffusing essential oils in the air when they get home from school is also great way to boost the immune system. Plus, they smell wonderful!
Here are a few essential oils that are great for an immune system boost:
- Cinnamon Bark
- Black Pepper
- Oregano (always heavily dilute Oregano with a plant-based carrier oil if using topically!)
4. Explore Regular Chiropractic Care
Having your child’s spine and nervous system checked by a chiropractor is an important step that you can take to keep them healthy this school year. Every function in the body is controlled by the brain. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves to every tissue and organ in the body. Any misalignment in the spine causes interference to the nervous system, which results in decreased healing and immune function. Children who get adjusted have less sick days and take fewer antibiotics.
These 4 steps are amazing ways to create a healthier school year for your children! Try implementing 1 step at a time, and you will start to see great results in their overall health and immune system!
1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Lawman HG, Fryar CD, Kruszon-Moran D, Kit BK, Flegal KM, Trends in Obesity Prevalence Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1988-1994 Through 2013-2014. JAMA, 2016. 315(21): p. 2292-2299.