School is here, and unfortunately, COVID 19 is still here as well. With in-person school as the primary school of choice, it’s important we load our children up with the right foods for immune system success.
Food, at any age, is FUEL. It’s the gasoline that empowers our health, feeds the brain, and gives us the strength to meet all our goals. On the flip side, the wrong food choices can hamper learning, lower immune function, and leave health as a secondary thought.
Our children are our prized creations. When I gave birth to my son, a dear friend said… “you are growing an adult from scratch with every bite of food they eat,” and this is the TRUTH. I know so many parents that have great intentions, but they allow food to become a reward or something they deserve, instead of putting thought into its nutritional content and health benefits… at the end of the day, IT’S FUEL!
To give our children the right fuel to strengthen their immune system and brain, it’s time to place a bit more thought into all our food choices. Summer has just ended and maybe a few bad habits became the norm, but it’s never too late to make a change and create the right food plan to empower health for the entire family.
Here are my TOP 5 school year, must-haves to keep our children strong and safe!
1. Sugar suppresses the immune system.
Basically, the more sugar someone has, the longer it takes for the immune system to start back up after a long coffee break. To make things even more complicated, sugar is not just sugar. Sugar, flour, dairy, and (for the adults only) alcohol, all digest as sugar in the body. In other words, the body treats it all the same. The next time you think mac and cheese is better than a piece of cake, please remember that once it enters the mouth the body treats them all the same… as sugar. The nutrients needed to metabolize the sugars are the same ones that keep the immune system in tip-top shape. When we eat anything that breaks down as sugar, those nutrients leave their post. This leaves the immune system short-handed, while they help with the digestion process of the sugars. More sugars take more time, leaving the immune system in jeopardy longer.
2. Quality foods equal quality health.
If I were to spray an apple with bug spray and then hand it to you to eat, would you eat it? Probably not. Those chemicals from the spray have carcinogenic properties and hamper the effects of our immune system as well. Choosing organic, when possible, will empower the health of you and your family. Now, not all fruits and vegetables need to be organic. Check out the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen to help you choose which should be organic and which can go either way.
3. Get your multi-vitamin from your foods first.
Fruits and vegetables should be the multi-vitamin of choice. The darker, the richer the color, the more nutrients they offer. Making sure your children always include a fruit or vegetable, with every meal and snack, can empower their health and provide the needed nutrients to keep the immune system strong. Attention parents: Get CREATIVE, blend up a smoothie and mix in some kale for the INCREDIBLE HULK drink or make marinara sauce with more veggies than you planned. There are tons of ways to hide the good stuff and keep your crew eating right.
4. Garlic is your friend.
OK, maybe your real friends won’t like it, but your immune system loves it. Adding fresh garlic to a meal is a great boost that can ward off more than vampires. One of my quick and easy recipes is hummus. You can add this as a creamy dressing to a sandwich or pack it in a lunch with some carrots for dipping.
5. LET’S PLAY… Outdoors!
When your little ones come home, let them enjoy quality time outside. The vitamin D from the sun helps to boost the immune system. Not to mention exercise and running around. With COVID variants and more, keeping our children lean and healthy is key. I know too many parents who exercise, diet, and do so much to keep their own weight down, yet their children are on the verge of obesity. PLEASE, workout with your kids, keep them lean, and, as a family, do what’s needed so that everyone remains strong and healthy.
Parenting has its challenges. No matter if you have a healthy household or one that needs some fine-tuning, change is ALWAYS possible. Prioritizing the health of you and your family is more important now than ever. A pill or shot will not do it alone, empowering your health from the inside out is the key to a strong immune system!
Here’s to empowering our next SuperHeroes of Health!
With love and light,