How to keep your kids healthy during lockdown
With the nation still in lockdown half-term now here, keeping your kids happy and healthy while they are cooped up indoors remains a challenge.
It is made even harder because the nights are dark, the weather is miserable, and there is only so much you can do to keep them occupied every day.
If you are one of the millions of parents across the UK who are stuck at home trying to juggle your childcare responsibilities with your work obligations, getting the balance right can be a struggle. At times like these, it’s essential to focus on what matters most – the wellbeing of yourself and your children. Aside from the implications for their physical health, being stuck at home with little or no face-to-face contact with friends or family can take its toll on your children’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
It can increase their feelings of stress and anxiety, making them restless, irritable and discontent. These, in turn, can have a knock-on effect on everyone else in the household, because no-one wants to see their kids unhappy, right?
So, if you are trying to muddle through lockdown as best you can, here are a few things you can try to help keep your little ones as happy and healthy as they can be…
When you’re stuck at home, your regular mealtime routine can go out of the window, and it can be tempting to let your little ones eat what they want when they want to help keep them happy. But it’s important to remain disciplined in terms of what they eat and when they eat it. Kids thrive on routine, so having set mealtimes, where you sit down and eat together will help you to stay connected as a family and give your children the attention they need. You should ensure that each meal is balanced and isn’t too high in processed sugar, although the odd treat is still allowed.
Getting your children involved with mealtimes is also a good way of keeping them occupied. Let them help you cook or prepare ingredients if they are old enough, or set the table. Mealtimes are meant to be enjoyable, so make sure you spend them as a family when you can all relax and unwind together and enjoy each other’s company.
OFFER HEALTHY SNACKS
When it comes to snacking, it can be easy for your youngsters to reach for the biscuit tin, chocolate box or sweetie jar every time they feel hungry. While the odd treat is OK, if you can introduce some healthy snacks into their daily diet, it will help ensure they get the vitamins and minerals they need. So, stock up on fresh fruit and veg, so you can offer healthy snacks alongside naughty treats.
Grapes, strawberries, pineapples and other berries make a healthy alternative to shop-bought sweets. Celery, carrots and other crunchy veg sticks can be prepared in advanced and grabbed straight from the fridge. And fresh fruit juice, diluted with water, is better for their teeth than fizzy pop and contains less sugar.
LIMIT THEIR SCREEN TIME
This one is easier said than done but limiting the amount of time your children spend glued to the TV, their mobile phone or tablet will help promote positive mental wellbeing. They may be required to log in for online lessons or class video calls, but outside of schooling, limiting their screen time to around an hour a day, and filling the rest of their time with other activities, will help keep them alert, stimulated and engaged.
SPEND TIME OUTDOORS
OK, so at this time of year, it is cold, damp and wet and gets dark earlier, but allowing your children to spend some time outdoors every day will help. They will get some fresh air into their lungs and can run around and burn off some of the pent-up energy they have built up from sitting around indoors all day.
Under current lockdown rules, you can exercise outdoors, as a family, once a day. So, provided you are safe to do so, you should do it, even if it’s just running around the back garden or taking a walk around the block.
HAVE A ROUTINE
Having a routine is key to keeping your children happy while in lockdown. Setting time aside each day for school, play and family time will keep their day exciting and give them something to look forward to.
Planning the activities you will do each day – such as what games you are going to play or what films you will watch can help them feel involved.
Keeping your meal, snack, play and bed times the same will also keep their body clocks in check and ensure they are getting the right amount of nutrition, exercise and rest they need to develop naturally.
TAKE SOME ME TIME
Kids are very demanding and can take up most of your time, especially if you are cooped up at home together 24/7. However, as a parent, taking some time away to relax and unwind is just as important as spending time with your little ones. If you’re feeling stressed and irritable, it can be easy to snap and take it out on your little ones, which can cause them to feel upset or angry in return. Happy parents equal happy kids, so don’t feel guilty about taking time out every day to do something you enjoy.
A nice, relaxing bath or massage with your favourite essential oils could be just the ticket.
USE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
Lockdown can make it harder for you to ensure your children are eating healthily, getting plenty of exercise and playtime, and rest. So, if you are worried that your child might be missing out on some of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to develop and grow, you can give natural supplements a try.
Our Healthy Rascals range has been developed specifically for growing children aged three years and older.
The range includes a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to supplement children’s daily diets and essential nutrients that naturally support healthy bones and teeth, energy and vitality, normal mental function and vision, and immune function.
All products in the Healthy Rascals range are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities that work to good manufacturing practices and pharmaceutical level quality control. Our aim is to bring you safe, effective formulas free from added sugar, gluten, colourings, flavouring and GM ingredients.