Winter is the time when adults and children get the flu. With holiday travelling, staying up later than usual, and eating sweets, kids are bound to get run down. Their immune system becomes compromised and that results in an increased risk of symptoms of cold and flu.
SUGAR COMPROMISES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Most people don’t realize that sugar is one of the main components that depresses the immune system. Within 30 minutes after consuming sugar, the immune system becomes weakened. This effect can last for over 5 hours…plenty of time to make the body more susceptible to illness.
According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. More shocking are the amounts children consume:
- 1-3 year olds consume an average of 12 teaspoons of sugar per day.
- 4-8 year olds consume an average of 21 teaspoons of suger per day.
- 14-18 year olds consume an average of 34 teaspoons of sugar per day.
HOW TO KEEP KIDS HEALTHY
Following these simple tips will help keep kids healthy through cold and flu season:
Sleep – lots of sleep. The body heals and repairs during sleep.
Nix the sugary snacks. Don’t send sugary snacks to school with kids.
Water vs. Juice – Drinking more water and less juice will reduce daily sugar consumption. Most fruit juices are very high in sugar.
Turn off the television. Encourage children to get outdoor physical exercise. Exercise not only strengthens the immune system, it helps to rejuvenate brain cells and wards off obesity.
Healthy colors – Serve kids whole foods – colorful fruits and vegetables – such as purple cabbage, beets, spinach, watermelon, kiwi, cherries, blueberries and strawberries.
What steps do you take to keep your kids healthy during cold and flu season? Join our community and share your thoughts!