Hands up if you’re concerned and a little jumpy about the health of your little ones amidst this COVID-19 situation. I hope you and your families are keeping healthy and well. If you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to get your hands on sanitizers, anti-bacterial wipes, Vitamin C and immunity boosting supplements, well done!
I always feel prevention is better than cure and I’ll like to share my tips on keeping my kids and family strong and healthy during this period.
1. Eat lots of greens and 1 to 2 servings of fruits daily
I’m a huge believer of this saying “You are what you eat” and it really all starts with a good diet. Personally, I take green veggie smoothies 3 to 4 times a week. With all the goodness of spinach, broccoli, kale and many other leafy greens, combined with some deliciously tasty fruit, green smoothies not only help me to hit my vegetable intake easily, they also provide a good amount of fiber to help with my digestion. It’s so yummy that Marc will sneak a sip or two from me every now and then! And when I need an extra oomph, I’ll add in a sachet of Cheryl W Mango Collagen or Beetroot Collagen.
On a daily basis, Marc eats one serving of fruits (usually a variety of fruits) for breakfast, followed by lunch and dinner that are packed with green veggies, again a variety from spinach, kale, kailan to watercress and other pesticide-free veggies that the adults eat too. Marc is usually prettygood with his greens, especially when he sees us eating them too, but like all parents, we will face the occasional anti-green tantrum and we will need to hide the greens. One great way to hide them is to make little rice balls with the mashed veggie wrapped neatly inside, or veggie muffins with carrots, peas, broccoli, eggs and cheese!
We drink a lot of clear soups at home too, from chicken or pork broths to konbu soups, and it is a great addition to our diet as it is packed with so much nutrients, calcium and collagen. All the goodness boiled to a delicious and hearty perfection!
Though supplements are important, I don’t load my kids with them especially before they turn one year old. Marc now takes some DHA from Swisse, which is sugar free, tooth-friendly, great tasting and tailored for kids. He also gets a dose of Cod Liver Oil from Seven Seas, which contains large amounts of vitamins A, D, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote immune system health.
For us adults, we are diligent with our daily Vitamin C from Swisse to support our immune health.
3. Go outdoor, not indoor
Studies show that kids who are frequently outdoors have better immunity and resistance to allergies. And Roy is a big fan of the outdoors and sports. We make an effort to take Marc and Emma out on walks, or just play on the grass or in outdoor playgrounds with sands, dirt etc. Don’t forget to put insect repellent and sunscreen on your kids before you head out!
During this period, some says, that the bugs and virus are scared of heat, so it’s one more reason to head out for more outdoor activities!
A good gut flora is so important for all ages from babies to 90. A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep and effective digestion. Emma takes a probiotic for babies that is prescribed by her PD, Bifibaby. For older toddlers like Marc, I’ll recommend the probiotics that are packaged in individual sachets from established brands like LactoGG. For Roy and I, we take Duralac or Swisse Probiotics.
For Roy and I, other than our daily probiotics, we take Cheryl W Mango Collagen or Beetroot Collagen Wellness Drinks regularly too as it contains prebiotics. Prebiotics are useful in increasing the helpful bacteria already in the gut that reduce disease risk and improve general well-being. Prebiotic fibre is not as fragile as probiotic bacteria because it is not affected by heat, stomach acid, or time.
Breasts are definitely the best. Breast milk contains a lot of vitamins, minerals and antibodies to boost our kid’s immune system. After I had Emma, whenever I had excess supply, I would feed Marc the excess breast milk, as I’m not a fan of storing too much milk.
There’s so much hype about breastfeeding these days that most mothers feel the pressure to do so. While I do agree with its benefits and I treasure the bonding I’ve developed with my kids during nursing, there are mothers who struggle with it. My take is – do what you are comfortable with. If you are unable to nurse for various reasons, do not fret about it. I feel it is most important to eliminate unnecessary stress and take a more chill out approach to motherhood. Do not worry about how it might affect your kids if you can’t nurse, after all, a lot of people in my generation, myself, my siblings and Roy included, were hardly breastfed and we turned out fine! So please do not let society or social media stress you about what you can or cannot do.
I hope these tips help. Stay safe, strong and healthy guys!
Disclaimer: The brands mentioned in this article are not sponsored. This is a sharing session about what I feel works for my family and I to keep us all in the pink of health.