Eight ways to keep their smiles intact .
Every mother knows that a sniffly, cranky kid can disrupt the best laid plans. So can a disruptive, angry adolescent. Check out some simple guidelines to keep the family in top shape physically and emotionally.
Keep hand wash handy.
Clean hands are the foundation of food health. Cold germs, illness causing virus and bacteria are all spread by hand-to-hand contact. Get the kids, maids—and yourself—into the habit of scrubbing up each time they enter the house. Just a cursory splash in the sink won’t do, teach them to scrub well, underneath fingernails, the back of the hands and wrists while they sing Happy Birthday to you…under the breath. Nykaa recommends Lifebuoy Total Hand Wash and Lux Peach & Cream Handwash.
Change shoes when you come home
Our grandparents were right! ‘Street shoes’ should never be worn at home what with people spitting, coughing and worse on the roads. Your shoes track in countless germs from the outdoors besides bringing in pesticides, toxins and allergens.
A University of Arizona study found that the average shoes contain an average of 421,000 bacteria. The numbers are likely ten times that in Indian cities. An easy way to keep illness at bay is insisting the family changes into ‘home slippers’ the minute they walk through the door.
Pick the Right Doctor
It’s tempting to opt for the first doctor recommended by a colleague or friend.
Since you’re likely to go to the same doctor for years, take your time and find one you’re most comfortable with or who suits your child’s specific needs. Find one who is not just starting out or too old, a practitioner you can relate to and who is an astute diagnostician.
Inculcate healthy eating (and drinking) habits
Try and keep mealtimes as fun and unpressured as possible. Keep meals varied and interesting. Introduce vegetables in stuffed parathas, roasted cutlets, kebabs, stir fried rice and soups.
Dish up pizzas and burgers as a special treat but stress the need to eat healthy. Don’t stock up on colas and sugared juices. Always offer—and drink—plain water to quench thirst. Keep plenty of healthy snacks like raw veggies with yoghurt dips, fruit and whole grain crackers handy to deal with in between-meals hunger pangs. It’s also a good idea to introduce a daily multi vitamin like GNC Kid’s MultiBite plus minerals Multivitamin – Grape to keep mineral and vitamin deficiencies at bay.
Cook and eat meals together
Time permitting, enlist your kids’ help to whip up Sunday morning omelets. It’s a great way of getting them interested in healthy foods. Studies show that kids who help makes meals are more likely to eat them.
Sitting around a table, chatting, laughing and updating each other on what’s going on in their lives is a wonderful way for families to connect. One Purdue University study noted that kids who ate dinner with their families tend to eat less fried food, drink less soda, and consume more fruits and vegetables.
Make time for fun
There’s no denying children have to do their best academically but too much emphasis on school work is a common source of tension and anxiety. Improve your family’s wellbeing by making time for activities that allow you to enjoy spending time together. Do whatever catches your fancy.
Go for long walks by the beach, play football in the neighborhood park, bake cupcakes together, pot plants in your verandah or read a book together. Working out together is also an excellent way of bonding. Cycling, swimming or running together is the perfect way for parents to demonstrate healthy behavior and spend time with their kids.
Rethink your sun protection
It’s never too early to urge your family to use adequate sun protection, especially if you’re encouraging them to spend time outdoors. Look for a product that protects against both UVB rays (which cause sunburn) and UVA rays (that affect skin at a deeper level causing cellular damage).
While choosing a product for your children, look for a non-greasy formula like Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+ and Dermalogica Waterblock Solar Spray SPF30. The lighter on the skin, the more likely they are to use it.
Share a part of you
It’s hard work juggling a job, kids and a husband. But being the multitasking superstar you are, try and spend some one-on-one time with each of your children to strengthen your bond.
No matter how long your day, try and stick to established routines like reading a bedtime story to them and tucking them in for the night. Find innovative ways of showing your love for them. A smiley face on the bathroom mirror, rustling up their favorite dessert, let your imagination and love lead you.