Whether we have kids still at home, grandkids, or neighborhood kids, we are usually around them and we know they carry germs that may make us sick. If we can help keep them healthy, WE can be more healthy too.
Here are 5 steps that help our kids stay healthy:
1-Support their microbiome. What is a microbiome? Microbiome is the healthy bacteria in our gut that is a main player in our immune system. The more healthy bacteria we have, the better chance we have to stay healthy. Before we are born, our gut is sterile. Kids that are born vaginally get their first inoculation of bacteria as they pass through the birth canal. Breastfeeding continues the process of establishing the infant microbiome. A balanced diet of dietary fiber and prebiotics (food for the good bacteria) including inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides help keep the good bacteria alive and well.
2- Become aware of and minimize toxic exposures. Some of the most common toxins that affect children are bisphenols found in food and drinking containers, triclosan in hand sanitizer, parabens in lotions, phthalates in plastic toys, phenols in disinfectants and plastics, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in flame retardants. These different toxins have been found to affect the development, function, and life span of immune cells.
3- Encourage activity. Children are meant to run around and play. Staying active helps support the immune system. Screen time for children will detract from time spent running around and it also interferes with sleep. Limit screen time to 2 hours a day and increase activity time to 1 hour or more a day.
4- Optimize nutrient intake. Omega 3 fatty acids help keep inflammation down. Vitamin D supports the immune response. Vitamin A supports the mucous membranes of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin E and selenium are important for antioxidant defenses, and magnesium is a cofactor for numerous enzymes related to immune function. Vitamins B6, B12, and folate, along with copper and zinc, are all needed to support the immune response.
5- Target immune pathways. Vitamin C is great at supporting detox pathways. The more stress we have, whether it is physical or emotional, we need more vitamin C. Zinc supports our mucous membranes and Elderberry is a great antioxidant and immune support.
Here is a quick list of how to support immunity in kids:
*Eat a balanced diet high in fiber
*Exercise 60 minutes a day
*Sleep 9-12 hours per night (grade schoolers)
*Minimize exposure to synthetic chemicals in plastics and personal care products
*Consider daily supplementation with a multivitamin, mineral, omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin D
*Consider occasional supplementation with probiotics, vitamin C, zinc, and Elderberry
This information is from the article Everyday Practice in the Element Magazine
Issue 5, 2020 and is so beneficial in helping us keep our kids healthy.
Much love and gratitude!