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Staying Healthy in the Winter Months

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What can we do to keep our children healthy during the winter season? From staying warm to being nutrition and health conscientious, we’ve got you covered!

First and foremost, it is vital that all children remain up to date on all of their vaccinations; please view the “Child Catch-up Schedule” at vaccines.gov for more information. Although the common cold and flu season typically takes place during our colder, rainier months, it is not the cold that makes us sick, at least, not in the way most of us think; the cold is conducive to prolonged indoor activities which put us at greater risk of catching germs due to our close proximity to others. At Great Beginnings, we are committed to sustaining a healthy and clean environment for your children. Covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze, frequent hand washing, and not touching the nose and eyes are all crucial acts of illness prevention.

What about your child’s diet? Are you looking for new and healthy snack ideas? The pizzadilla (traditional cheese quesadilla with warm tomato sauce for dipping) is an easy fix and a delicious treat, especially when it’s cold out. And remember, it’s very important to include fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet, for both contain essential vitamins and minerals that keep your child both physically and mentally healthy; it’s why we offer fruits and vegetables at Great Beginnings every day on our lunch menu.

The occasional mug of hot cocoa is also a wonderful, wintertime treat. Although hot cocoa contains caffeine, which is not typically recommended for children, a 5 ounce cup generally only contains about 5 mg of caffeine, whereas your 5 ounce cup of coffee contains an average of 115 mg. To further provide a more dimensional frame of reference, a single dosage of common cold relief medicine contains an average of 30 mg of caffeine. Hot cocoa contains antioxidants, a cancer and heart disease preventer, as well as flavonoids, which improve heart strength and promote healthy blood and oxygen flow. Make sure you don’t settle with instant hot cocoa mixes, for most of them favor corn syrup and vegetable oils in levels higher than the actual cocoa. For your child to truly reap the health benefits of this warm winter beverage, it’s best to prepare it yourself with real cocoa.

Hang in there! Spring and Summer are just around the bend. Stay warm and stay healthy!

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration