Wellness Committee Newsletter – Winter 2018
6 Tips to Keep Kids Healthy During Cold & Flu Season
Have kids wash their hands frequently at home and school.
Since kids often touch their mouths and faces, parents should make sure their kids’ hands are washed with soap and water to remove germs before eating, after using the bathroom, and when they come inside from playing. Hand sanitizer can be used for times it’s not possible to wash.
Indoors or outdoors, get active.
Kids should get regular, moderate exercise to boost their immune systems. Studies have shown that being active can help reduce cold and flu episodes.
Get plenty of sleep.
Children need between 9 and 14 hours of sleep a day depending on their age. Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of getting sick.
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Provide meals with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to help boost children’s immune systems. Look for foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin D, and avoid foods high in additives, preservatives, and sugars.
Elevated stress hormones can lead to decreased immunity. Give kids plenty of down time for rest and creative play to help lower their stress levels and keep them from getting sick.
Avoid germy sharing.
Sharing is good for kids, but many commonly shared items can be breeding grounds for germs. Teach children to never share straws and cups, caps and scarves, or anything that comes in contact with their mouths and faces.
When kids do get sick, it’s important for parents to keep them home and take steps to prevent germs from spreading to others. If you’re unsure whether an illness requires a doctor’s visit, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Staff Wellness at Work
Vacations are a great time to relax and unwind. We go back to work promising to take better care of ourselves, which often takes a backseat to taking care of families, students, and job responsibilities. Prescott Unified School District knows that a healthy staff makes for a healthy school environment. Alliance for a Healthier Generation has ideas on taking care of yourself at work.
- Stretch! Every few hours stand up and stretch it out.
- Walk and Talk. Take a walk and talk through your meeting. Give students discussion questions and have them walk with partners.
- Water Breaks. Hydrate yourself to feel awake and focused. Keep a water pitcher on your desk. Be fancy, put a lemon in it!
Easy Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into large cubes (about 8 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig sage
3 c.low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Heavy cream (or coconut cream), for serving
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
- Saute onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and soft. In a large slow cooker, combine butternut squash, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, and sage. Pour in broth and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.
- Cover and cook until squash is very tender, on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth.
- Stir in cream before serving.
Recipe Tip: In the fall/winter Costco has 2lbs of pre-cut organic butternut squash for $4.99!
Fun Facts: Butternut squash has over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving, over half the recommended intake of vitamin C, and an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals. Health benefits include being high in antioxidants, boosting immune system and reducing inflammation.
HOW TO GET YOUR FAMILY ACTIVE:
As you juggle work and family, be mindful that research shows active parents raise active children. Fitness should always be a priority in a family’s daily schedule.
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy children stay active throughout the day.
Kids should get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. This will help them maintain a healthy weight and keep their hearts, brains and bodies healthy.
While an hour each day might sound like a large chunk of time, there are many ways to incorporate activity into your family’s routine. It all adds up.
Here are some ideas:
- Enjoy the great outdoors! Schedule a time each day for an outdoor activity with your children. Hike a local nature trail or ride a bicycle path.
- Join a team. Encourage children to join school or club sports teams.
- Schedule family playtime. Take a walk or play a family game of tag after dinner each night. Choose activities that require movement, such as bowling, catch or miniature golf.
- Choose toys wisely. Give children toys that encourage physical activity, such as balls, kites, skateboards and jump ropes.
- Limit screen time. Experts warn that one to two hours of screen time a day should be the limit for children, but some are logging more than double that amount. Set boundaries, keep the television and electronic media out of your child’s bedroom and limit computer usage to school projects.
- Plant a garden. Caring for plants gives your children a reason to get outside each day. Learning how to grow a garden teaches the food system, while sampling the harvest encourages healthy eating habits.
- Chip in with chores. Rake leaves, shovel snow and do other home-maintenance projects as a family. In the end, your home will be better off and so will your family’s health.