By the time school begins, we will have spent about FIVE months at home. But did you know that being at home, not being exposed to adults, kids, or germs in general is suppressing your immune system? With school right around the corner, and whether you decide to homeschool or keep them at home, here are seven tips for a healthy school year for your little ones.
7 Tips for a Healthy School Year
1. Build your Microbiomes
What are microbiomes? Your body is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Collectively, these are known as microbiomes. In short, this is very critical because most of the microbes are in your intestines and help control the digestions of food, immune system, central nervous system, and more. According to Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Microbiome Project, our bodies are dependent on these bacteria to help regulate our immune systems, aid in digestion and produce certain vitamins. It basically protects us against disease-causing bacteria.
We are exposed to all of these things by human nature, such as touch, hugs, playing in the dirt, kids sneezing on each other, and in general, natural germs your body needs in order to function properly. When we are shut out from the world and the people all around, our immune system starts to suppress. With school starting, or whether you decide to homeschool, here’s what you can do.
So how do you build them while social distancing? Get outside and in nature. Allow you and your kids to play in dirt and grass. Go for walks where there are a lot of trails and dirt for kids to collect dirty sticks they find. Yes! Let them get downright dirty. Bare feet in grass, dirt, and sand will help. Also, sunlight without sunscreen for at least 10 minutes each day. You need to absorb natural vitamin D in its truest form possible.
2. Eat Immune-Boosting Foods
There are so many natural, fresh foods to eat each day that are great for your immune system. Here are a few I recommend for the whole family. You’ll want a wide variety of food, as long as you’re limiting processed foods and sugar that do more harm than good.
- Veggies and fruits rich in Vitamin C: strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cauliflower, pineapple, and mushrooms.
- Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, dill, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, and cloves.
- Fermented foods: sauerkraut, yogurts, kefir: these all contain probiotics.
- Kombucha: Fermented tea, just stay away from the ones that contain sugar.
- Eat prebiotic foods: apples, bananas, artichokes, and oats.
3. Load Up on Vitamins
Be sure that you and your kids are loading up on the necessary vitamins. Now, I’m not a doctor so always be sure to clear everything with a medical professional, but I recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that help restore the gut. A healthy gut microbiome controls gut health by preventing disease-causing bacteria from sticking to intestinal walls. So a good gut is a healthy gut!
I also recommend elderberry syrup. You can drink this daily and it’s great for immune boosting.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
- Gradually move your kid’s bedtime up earlier this month.
- Encourage exercise during the day to ensure kids are tired by bedtime.
- Avoid screens and other stimulating activities for at least an hour before bed.
- Establish a new bedtime routine for the school year including reading or quiet playtime before bed.
- Limit food and drink before bed.
5. Non-Toxic Lunch Gear
It may be tempting to get the cheap gear with the cute pictures on them, but did you know some inexpensive lunch gear has been shown to contain lead, endocrine-disrupting plastics, and other harmful chemicals? Here’s the non-toxic lunch gear that I recommend and personally love:
- Non-toxic lunchboxes: Planetbox or LunchBots
- Lunchbox containers
- Lunch box carrier
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle, plus a more budget-friendly option
- Paper lunch bags instead of plastic baggies
6. Non-Toxic School Supplies
I’ve found all these eco-friendly finds at Earth Hero.
7. Natural First Aid Kit
Related Blog Post: All-Natural First Aid Kit
I hope you enjoyed these 7 tips for a healthy school year. It’ll look much different this year for all of us but WE GOT THIS MAMAS! Stay safe and sane LOL.