Immune system boosters: strategies to stay healthy

Throughout this time of year it can feel as though someone is always coming down with a cold, a virus or some sort of bug. A lot of it comes down to the fact that when the weather is cold we spend more time in confined spaces with one another. But whatever the reason, we all want to prevent the spread of illness – especially in childcare centres.

Immune system boosters: 5 approaches

These five strategies will help you to boost children’s immune system and ultimately result in less sick children – and educators!
Some can be used in centres and at home so this list is handy for families and educators alike.
1. Boost children’s immune systems through food: Fresh foods have phytonutrients which are perfect for kicking the immune system up a notch. They can be found in carrots, strawberries, beans and oranges, to name a few. Focus on fresh and aim for five serves of fruit and vegetables each day. But of course, any amount of fruit and veg is better than none! Handy hints for getting children to eat fruit and veggies here. And try this healthy immune boosting recipe the whole family can enjoy.
2: Encourage healthy sleep patterns: Sleep is when our bodies work hard to repair themselves. And not getting enough of it can make us more likely to catch whatever illnesses are going around. Learn how much sleep children really need.
3: Keep a clean environment: Coming in to contact with germs is something to avoid obviously! And the best way? Keeping your home and childcare centre germ free (or as close as possible!). Wipe down surfaces regularly, wash hands, use and dispose of tissues thoughtfully…
4: Water, water, water: Water is useful as one of your immune system boosters. Drinking water will help to flush your system and keep it functioning optimally. Water is also great warmed up with honey and lemon, and pop some in a humidifer or vapouriser to combat dry winter air in your home or centre.   
5: Keep it to yourself: An obvious but important one – when you’re sick, try to keep your germs to yourself so others can stay healthy and the spread of illness is reduced. Avoid sharing things like cups and cutlery, cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough… Stay home if needed – give yourself or your child the time and rest you need to get better. It’s good for you and others in your life.
With these immune system boosters, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, happy home or childcare centre!

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