Question: It is one thing to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, wear a mask and keep a social distance, but all those are precautions to take from the outside. When I grew up we learned to value staying healthy from the inside–by eating well, exercising and sleep. We had it drummed into our heads to eat balanced meals, go outside in the fresh air to play and adhere to a strict bedtime. Why are these old-fashioned basics being left out when they are really the most important protections against getting sick? ~Ruth who wants to hear the whole Truth
Answer: Ruth, I am so very glad you asked that question. You are 100% correct that our tried and true health practices of yore are being ignored and left out. As a matter of fact, what you said opens up for parents a whole new and wonderful focus to have at home–Healthy food, lots of moving and a regular sleep time to stay well. Each of those topics lend themselves to fitting right into a wonderful daily schedule, the real structure for having a smooth-running day.
Let’s start with food. First and foremost why have we all forgotten about eating an orange or clementine a day and having a wedge of lemon squeezed into our water or seltzer as well? Vitamin C has always been known as a way to ward off colds and flus; and oranges, lemons and grapefruits too have always been the best way to get it.
Protein, vegetables and whole grains round out the picture. Starches like sweet potatoes are great too.
What about that schedule?
Set up three meals a day at regular times and stick to them. Snacks are okay from time to time but should not be used as rewards, given while playing or when in a stroller. These should all be at a table and preferably with others. Regular mealtimes offer better nutrition and family bonding. In addition, this regularity decreases overeating because the next meal or snack is soon to come.
Remember, food is not a toy. It is part of dining and sharing time with others.
Check back for hearing about moving and sleep. Warding off disease and staying healthy is not an accident. It is also not an option. We must do it. We have to get back to “basics” and then build everything else around those. It requires a well thought-out fun and meaningful schedule that is followed joyfully and proudly … every single day!