While others are hitting the “new year” ground running, families everywhere are experiencing a case of post-holiday fatigue. With gift wrapping, decorating, baking, and remembering (but also forgetting) to move that elf every night, January should be declared a National Month Off.
And while we get enough signatures to petition, there’s one sneaky villain who isn’t taking days off. Taking advantage of our depleted sleep and energy reserves, germy invaders are making their move, and putting a strain on already fatigued immune systems.
Flu’s Blues February
With a flu season that stretches from October to March, viruses like the flu, common cold, and COVID love the winter. The cold, dry air gives viruses the perfect environment to replicate fast and survive better. And with more time spent indoors close to friends and family, viruses find an easy ride to a new home.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, our kiddo’s immune systems also lose their star player in the winter, Vitamin D, likely from reduced exposure to sunlight.
But that’s not all.
January is a unique time for our immunity. For starters, January is the coldest month of the year for most of the United States. And, as you’d expect, a cold January leads to the Flu’s Blues February.
That’s right, according to the CDC, February is primetime for peak flu activity.
So strengthening our kiddo’s immune system in January is a healthy way to outsmart germy invaders before they strike.
Holiday Sugar Spike
Even with sugar-free holiday hacks, December is still showtime for sweet treats. From sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, and stockings overflowing with chocolate, sugar steals the show.
But could our sweet tooth wreak havoc on our health? We already know sugar is linked to long-term health problems like diabetes, but did you know it could also be the culprit behind your kiddo’s winter sniffles?
That’s because sugar hinders our body’s ability to fight off viruses!
And unfortunately, it doesn’t take much sugar to weaken our immune system. According to a nutritional study, it takes about 75 grams of sugar to have a negative effect.
Sugar content of kid favorites include:
- Strawberry Milk: 30g
- Can of Soda: 40g
- Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake: 22g
- Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie: 7g
With these numbers, hitting that 75g threshold last month was easy as pumpkin pie.
But it’s not all bad. Our immune systems are resilient, and with new year energy in the air, January is the perfect time to help our kids create healthy habits and get back on track.
Disrupted Sleep Schedules
The chaos of the holidays means less sleep for everyone. With kids out on holiday break and the excitement of the season, sleep schedules get disrupted fast.
But lack of sleep causes more than a cranky child. It can affect our immune system by:
- Increasing chances of sickness after exposure to a virus
- Increasing recovery time
That’s why this is the perfect time to re-prioritize your kid’s sleep schedule. Be intentional about bedtimes and even consider creating a bedtime routine.
Here are 4 ways to get your kid’s sleep schedule back on track and and boost their immunity:
- Wind down with quiet activities like a favorite book
- Make it dark by lowering the lighting
- Stay away from screen time at least 90 minutes before bed
- Wake up with natural lighting (a dimming bulb works too)
Strengthening our kid’s immunity is key to taking on flu season. And a healthy vitamin for kids is a great way to get started. Not only are you boosting immunity this winter, but helping your little one develop lifelong, healthy habits.
Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi is the vitamin for picky eaters! The new Lil’ Green Apple flavor is yummy enough for picky eaters and includes 18 vitamins loved by doctors and parents.
And with the magic of monk fruit, you can rest easy knowing your kid’s vitamin is sugar-free.
Okay, let’s kick this year off on a healthy foot!
 Albert Sanchez, J. L. Reeser, H. S. Lau, P. Y. Yahiku, R. E. Willard, P. J. McMillan, S. Y. Cho, A. R. Magie, U. D. Register, Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180