It’s back-to-school time! The seasons are starting to change, the weather is getting cooler, and my brand new kindergartener is sitting a room with 27 other kids. If you’re like me, you worry about the ensuing coughs, sniffles, fevers and GI issues that accompany the new school year.
 
To help your child fend off those seemingly inevitable classroom-transmitted ailments, here are five ways to bolster their immune system.
 
Provide Healthy Meals: Make sure your child consumes sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables in her diet, as they are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants — both of which are natural nutrients that boost immune system. Stock up on seasonal fruits like strawberries or opt for apples, pears, broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, grapes, and pomegranates.
 
Strive to help her eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. Aim to include an portion of fruits in their breakfast, lunches, and snacks, and include vegetables in their lunch and dinner plus snacks.
 
Practice Regular Sleeping Habits: Children can be susceptible to illnesses due to lack of sleep. So, tuck your child in bed early and ensure that he/she has a sound sleep. According to experts, Studies suggest toddlers and preschoolers need about 12 hours per day with one nap; school-age children need ten hours; and preteens and teens nine.
 
Hand Washing: Teach every family member the importance of hand washing. Many infections are brought into kids’ mouths (and noses!) traveling on unclean fingers. Pay attention to your child’s habits at home. Make sure he/she washes hands before and after each meal as well as after returning from school or playing outside. If you head out with your kid, carry disposable wipes and a hand towel.
 
Cover Your Mouth: Teach children with cover their mouth when they have to sneeze or cough. Teach them to sneeze & cough inside the elbow to avoid spreading germs to their hands.
 
Get Them Moving: Exercise increases the body’s white blood cells’ ability to fend off infections. So, encourage your kid to take up physical activities after school. The best way to get your kid to exercise is to join him yourself. If the weather isn’t suited for outdoor play, set up an indoor hop scotch station, or, turn on some music and get the dancing or create a fun obstacle course. Any type physical activity is a good thing!

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