Expert Advice from Jennifer Zethner, R.N., M.S., C.P.N.P., Northport Wellness Center Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Holistic Primary Care
The New Year is a great time to detoxify and adopt healthier habits. As a mom of three, I can certainly relate to over-indulging of treats, over-scheduling and overall stress that may come with holiday festivities especially. However, to decrease the incidence of illness for my own family, as well as those of my patients, I encourage embracing healthy habits for the body, mind and soul.
Here are suggestions on how to help your child detoxify and get healthier in 2023!
Eat more warm, cooked meals. Hearty, non-dairy soups are delicious, healthy and great for the soul. Avoid or limit significantly inflammatory foods—all the “yummy” ones, such as flour, dairy, sugary and cold treats may taste great but can create havoc in your body.
Sleep more, period. We should start to go to sleep earlier when the clocks move back in November. The body creates melatonin as the sun goes down to induce sleep and the melatonin levels fall as the sun rises. For those who are WAY out of balance with this rhythm (hello teenagers!), correct their sleep schedule as best as possible. For parents with toddlers and school age children, get them to bed earlier.
A good rule is that if you have to wake your child up in the morning- they aren’t getting enough sleep. Ten- twelve hours of sleep is typical for this age range.
Balance your schedule and mind your stress levels. If you have time scheduled to socialize with family or friends that causes you stress or anxiety, avoid or limit these interactions at this time of the year. Stress and anxiety will make your kids stressed and anxious, which will make everyone sick.
To counter-balance an increased social schedule, be sure to leave plenty of unscheduled down time for yourself and your children.
Boost your kids’ immune system with vitamins and supplements. Great foods to add to your diet during this season are turmeric and ginger root. Juice these ingredients( or just blend if you don’t have a juicer) and add to broths to sip or make ‘herbal ice pops’ for your kids. Consider Elderberry, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and probiotics (especially for those who eat out often because the meats may not be organic and may contain antibiotics).
Exercise and fresh air fuel the body and rejuvenate the spirit! Get your kids outside and moving. Bundle up if it is cold. Kids (and parents, too) need exercise to maintain health. Whether it is basketball, a hike or running around the track, discover an activity you can all enjoy together.
About Jennifer Zethner, R.N., M.S., C.P.N.P.
Northport Wellness Center Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Holistic Primary Care
Jennie has been providing holistic pediatric primary care at the Northport Wellness Center since 2011. From birth through age 21, Jennie provides well exams, sick exams, sports and surgical clearance while integrating a holistic approach.
Jennie specializes in supporting the whole family to live a more holistic, simple healthy lifestyle, aiming to guide families towards wellness by first avoiding common obstacles that can lead to disease. She also supports your need to play an active role in the health of your child.
To schedule an appointment with Jennie, contact the Northport Wellness Center at (631) 262-8505.