Keeping your kids healthy is probably something that you work toward each day. I am the first to admit to becoming a germaphobe after having kids. I never noticed all the germs in the world until I saw my kids wipe their noses and grab the door handles, rub their granola bars along the hand rails in a public place before taking a bite, or take a sip from an abandoned cup on the table of a restaurant that WASN’T OURS!
What really put me over the edge was two things: 1) Watching a child sneeze into the macaroni and cheese at a buffet and proceeding to walk away like it never happened. 2) Having to ask my daughter not to put her waffle in the potty that her brother was using during potty training.
Kids are gross.
But following them around with hand sanitizer spray, and pleading with them to not put their hands in their mouth after touching germy surfaces doesn’t seem to work. They are STILL obsessed with dirt and touching EVERYTHING in their environment. The little radar that goes off in our mama brains when we see germs seems to act as a spotlight in the eyes of our littles — drawing them closer and calling their names as we run in the opposite direction.
So how can we feel better about our kids being so gross?
Know that germs offer our kids protection. When we over-sanitize our children’s environment, we are actually killing vital bacteria that their little bodies need to build their immunities! Our bodies adapt and fight off illnesses when they build up the proper antibodies from germ exposure. That’s why kids who go to daycare may get sick frequently at first but eventually become less likely to catch illnesses as they grow. We mustn’t deprive our kids’ bodies from developing a proper immunity. They get one chance!
So next time your kids want to play in the dirt or you find yourself wanting to explode because your kid walks in from outside covered in dog poop…take a deep breath and remind yourself that each germ is a building block for a stronger body.
Do you ever wonder what else you can do for your child’s immune system? Here are some tips…
1. Lay off the antibiotics.
They not only kill the bad bacteria, they kill the good kind too. Kids who have been on antibiotics a lot when they are younger suffer from weakened immune systems and gut health when they are older. Of course, there are some circumstances when your body NEEDS an antibiotic, but just be sure it’s one of the last resorts and not the first thing you grab!
2. Give a daily probiotic.
This replaces the gut with the right kind of bacteria! It also helps your child build an immunity because it keeps his digestion in check.
3. Encourage outdoor play!
The fresh air, the minerals in the dirt, and Vitamin D are just a few reasons why playing outdoors is beneficial!
4. Provide healthy food options for a well-balanced diet.
Lay off the packaged foods as much as possible and buy fresh fruits and veggies for your children! Set out a bowl of healthy foods that your kids can have “anytime” and put away the sweets for special occasions. Of course, this will NOT go over well and they will give you some push back, but remember that this is for their benefit.
5. Exercise together!
I’m going to be the first to say that I am not someone who makes exercise a priority. But I do try to do short segments of yoga with my kids so their bodies are getting movement and their minds are distressing — both beneficial to their health! Go on a family bike ride or take a walk. Run races in the back yard or throw a baseball! Whatever gets your family out and moving — make it happen!
Tell us in the comments, how do YOU keep your family healthy?