sick kid on the couch

We made it approximately three days into fall before the kids got sick. Why is it so hard to keep kids healthy? What IS it with children's propensity to harvest all the germs? We've all been holed up on the couch for days on end, and it's been a real struggle for me with a ton of travel on my plate and a sinus infection that just won't quit.

baby touching everything

I blame the baby. This kid puts everything in his mouth!

sick toddler with tissue

Fortunately, we haven't lived sheltered lives by any means, so the kids are slowly but surely building up their immune systems. By the time they reach kindergarten, they'll both be battling off bugs like Batman. Knock on wood.

Reliable Ways to Keep Kids Healthy

9 ways to keep kids healthy

  • Teach hygiene. Some Boy has been able to blow his own nose since before he turned two, and he can wash his hands like a pro. Encourage children to cover their mouths and use facial tissue to control the spread of germs and keep kids healthy..
  • Minimize exposure. It sounds counter-intuitive, but we put a halt on most of our travel as the holiday season approaches. Getting on a plane right now just isn't the best idea. Enclosed space plus cold and flu season equals miserable times all around.
  • Eat well. This is easier said than done, but I slip healthy food sources into my kids' meals through smoothies and soups. Once you hit the “puree” button, they'll never know what they're eating.
  • Disinfect surfaces. I'm generally anti-antibacterial products, but they really do keep kids healthy during cold and flu season. Use a natural disinfectant to clean up after sick kiddos or visitors who could spread new germs into your home.
  • Rest. Sleep is the enemy of sickness. Leave time for your kids to nap during the day to keep kids healthy, and make sure they get at least 10 hours of sleep per night. Minimize exciting activity too close to bedtime to make sure they're able to unwind.
  • Drink up. My grandma used to say, “Fluid fights phlegm!” Stay hydrated to keep little bodies in peak condition with plenty of liquid to battle bugs through its mucus membranes.
  • Exercise. Brief periods of outdoor activity helps keep kids healthy by getting their heart rate up, causing them to breathe in and out more rapidly and expel any built up fluid in their lungs.
  • See a doctor regularly. Annual checkups can help keep kids healthy by detecting any underlying health issues that may make your child more susceptible to cold and flu.
  • Minimize stress. Avoid disruptions at home and encourage your child to talk to you about any issues they may be dealing with in regards to school, friends, etc.

Do you have any tried-and-true tips to help keep kids healthy?