How Keep Your Children Healthy in Daycare and in School
You’ve finally found the perfect daycare or school for your child, but you have concerns that he/she might get sick during the first month after enrollment. You can’t take off time from work often if you get called from work to care for your sick child, so you start worrying about what you can do to keep your child healthy from the germs that will be introduced to his/her immune system. As parents, we all have this concern.
We do know that kids who spend their day in large daycare centers get sick 2 ½ times more than kids who stay home, and develop fewer symptoms once they enter grade school. In fact, according to healthychildren.org, most children in child care and school settings have as many as 8 to 12 colds a year.
So what can we do as parents to protect our kids’ developing immune systems and avoid missing time from work? Well, as explained in an article by Dr. Mercola, “One of the most important steps you can take to improve your health, is maintaining optimal gut flora and ‘reseeding’ your gut with fermented foods and probiotics when you’re taking an antibiotic. This may be one of the most important steps to improving your health. If you aren’t eating fermented foods, you may need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis, especially if you’re eating a lot of processed foods”.
One way we help children in our program is by serving healthy foods with natural and organic ingredients. In our menus we include organic yogurt low in sugar (less than 12 of sugar per serving) and higher in good bacteria which is found in probiotics. We’ve learned from our own research that probiotics are highly effective in providing the body with healthy bacteria needed to strengthen the immune system and prevent high incidents of colds and flu. Even though we can’t fully protect our children from ever catching a cold or flu, we can prevent them from getting sick often, and for long durations and severity, with regular use of probiotics. We do this for our own children by adding foods like kefir and low sugar organic yogurt to their diet. These foods can be found at Walmart, Target, or any local grocer in the yogurt section. If you haven’t tried probiotics, speak with your doctor about brands to try or do your own research to find probiotics for kids.