Keeping kids and teens healthy can be a challenge during the busy school year. Fortunately, there are some simple, and natural, things parents can do to help kids stay healthy and energized for all their activities.
The single most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands. When there's not a sink and some soap around, use natur- al hand sanitizers, either wipes or gel with 100 percent pure essential oils.
Growing bodies and brains need fiber and nutrients to stay healthy. A child's health can suffer from too few of these good things and too many sug-ary, highly processed foods.
The USDA Food Guide Pyramid rec-ommends nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. One serving size of fruits and veggies for children is:
• ½ cup juice
• 1 cup raw leafy salad greens
• ½ cup chopped raw, canned or cooked fruit or vegetable
Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, are vital for development and health of the brain, heart, nervous system, tissues, skin and immune system, especially for school-age children. DHA is found in fatty cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, and in DHA-enriched eggs and milk.
Rest, relaxation and sleep are keys to handling stress. While moderate stress is normal, the demands of school life can cause stress overload for youngsters and adolescents, and their parents and teachers! Schedule downtime and allow for adequate sleep when you're planning the week.
Kids need more sleep than you think: 3-6 year-olds need 10¾-12 hours per day; 7-12 year-olds need 10-11 hours/day; 12-18 year-olds need 8¼-9½ hours/day.
If you would like to know more about natural ways to help your kids stay healthy, the Whole Body Team Members at WholeFoodsMarket.com are well educated about all the products they offer and are happy to answer questions.