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7 ways to keep your family healthy during Winter

In Body + Soul, Features, Stories, Wellness by Nicole Fuge

It’s cold and flu season [doesn’t it always kinda feel like that when you have little kids? … IYKYK]. This means your family needs a nourishing boost. Don’t stress too much about it babe, there are loads of easy ways you can make sure you and the kids are kicking health goals this Winter.

By Hayley Blieden

1. Eat the rainbow

Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and disease-fighting phytochemicals, so eating plenty of them everyday can help boost immunity.

Vitamin C in particular is a powerful immune boosting nutrient, naturally found in oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, papaya and capsicum.

And eating the rainbow ensures you have a great variety of all the necessary vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients to keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Get your kids involved in choosing, preparing or simply displaying their vegetable and fruit rainbows depending on their age – rainbow skewers are also a fun way for kids to get involved.

  • Red fruits and vegetables have lycopene and anthocyanins which help your organs and circulatory system stay healthy.
  • Orange fruits and vegetables are rich in beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, and antioxidants and they help support your immune system and protect your body against cell damage.
  • Green fruits and vegetables get their colour from chlorophyll, which helps your body eliminate toxins.
  • Purple fruits and vegetables contain tonnes of antioxidants that raise your good cholesterol and support brain health.
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2. Increase your intake of pre and probiotics

Probiotics are tiny living microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast, believed to improve and restore healthy gut flora and enhance immunity.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, serve as food for the probiotics, supporting the probiotic growth of gut bacteria and potentially enhancing digestion and metabolism.

As well as benefiting digestive health, pre and probiotics are believed to aid mental health and general wellbeing.

3. Get outside

Vitamin D is essential to the health and functioning of our immune system.

Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D – but only when the ultraviolet levels are below a three rating to minimise the harmful effects.

So time to catch some of those golden rays.

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4. Sleep, sleep, sleep

When you sleep, your immune system releases proteins to help promote sleep, and when you’re stressed or have an infection or inflammation, you need more Zzzzs.

Sleep deprivation may decrease production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. So make sure you’re getting as much sleep as you can (which can be hard for mamas!).

And make sure your bambinos are getting enough sleep. Infants need up to 16 hours of cot time per day. Toddlers between 11 and 14 hours. And pre-school-aged children need 10 to 13 hours.

If they don’t have a midday sleep, pop them in to bed earlier.

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5. Stay hydrated

There is no magic amount of water that kids need daily. It depends on their age, body size, health, and activity level, plus the weather (temperature and humidity levels).

Usually, kids drink something with meals and should definitely drink when they’re thirsty.

But if you’re sick, it’s warm or you’re exercising, you’ll need more.

Good news is our body regulates the amount of water in our system. And is able to hold on to water when we don’t have enough or get rid of it if we have too much.

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6. Stay active

Moderate levels of regular exercise reduces susceptibility to illness, so take the kids for a scoot around the block, a bike ride around the park or even get the heart rate up playing games at home.

7. Wash your hands

Washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of the germs (like bacteria and viruses) that cause diseases.

Teach your babes proper hand hygiene by encouraging them to sing their fav song while rubbing soap on their hands and between their fingers. 20 seconds can make all the difference.