Getting kids interested in learning about their own wellness is a key part of their childhood journey. As they grow and develop and start taking responsibility for things such as timeliness, self control, and being a responsible member of their community, they also need to know how to look after their own wellness, especially during winter.
One of the most important things that can help your child’s wellness is their immune system, so we’ve gathered our top tips for helping your kids nurture their immunity for winter wellness.
A bit of fresh air and Vitamin D
Getting the kids outside can sometimes be hard – and grey, wet or cold days certainly don’t make it any easier. Some exercise and getting some Vitamin D through skin exposure to the sun can both help support the immune system. Some kids naturally gravitate outside while others require a bit of encouragement. The more time they spend outdoors the more comfortable they will be out there, and more likely to want to take themselves out.
Remove any barriers to getting outside – keep easy to put on shoes at the door and a warm top or jacket that they know is fine to get a bit muddy. Keep balls, scooters, bikes, and outdoor chalk easily accessible. Another tip is to have the trampoline close to the house – they are more likely to go out if they can still see you!
Let each child have a turn choosing an outing – being clear that the choice is where, not if! For really reluctant kids, start small and build up the duration of time outdoors.
Fueling the immune system
A healthy diet can be a great way to support an immune system, but we all know kids can be a bit fickle about what they will eat. Try and involve your children in the food shopping and preparation process so they are not only learning lots of great new skills, they also have some ownership over the food they eat.
New Zealand Manuka Honey is a great alternative to simple refined sugars for kids. Comvita have a range of winter wellness products formulated with the power of Mānuka honey and specially developed for little taste buds. You can find Comvita’s Soothing UMF10+ Mānuka Honey Pops in selected Countdown, New World, PaknSave and Life and Unichem Pharmacies.
Wash those hands
We’ve heard a lot about the importance of regular hand washing and for good reason, because it really does help prevent illness and the spread of infection. Busy kids on the go, however, often don’t want to stop playing long enough for an effective hand washing session. So how to encourage them to do this really important thing for their wellness?
Number loving kids might want to know that a single gram of human faeces (which is about the weight of a paper clip) can contain around one trillion germs 1.
Making hand washing easy and fun is the key to turning it into part of their routine. Get a little step stool so they can easily reach the basin and let them choose the soap next time you go to the supermarket. You might also let them choose their own fun hand towels. You could try a reward chart, and teach them a few fun songs to sing while they’re washing. Be consistent in your routine – ie, we always wash our hands after using the toilet, playing with animals, coming inside after play, and before we eat. And make sure you model good hand washing behaviour!
Comvita Lozenges, Elixir and Lollipops are available from selected Countdown, New World, PaknSave and Life and Unichem Pharmacies.
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass”