For your kids, the best thing about school is seeing all their friends, but that’s exactly what makes them prone to landing on the couch with a cold. When you’re around a whole bunch of other kids and somebody gets sick, it’s easier for it to spread aroun
Dine together. In a recent University of Minnesota study, tweens and teens who ate with their families at least five times a week consumed more veggies, fiber, calcium, and vitamins and minerals. The problem? As teens get older and their schedules get more hectic, shared meals drop off by about 30 percent. Solution: Find a time to eat together at least a few times a week, whether it’s a pancake breakfast or a Saturday afternoon lunch, and you’ll have a better shot at squeezing in all the nutrients your kids need. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. When your kids don’t get enough z’s, they’re three times more likely to catch a cold possibly because sleep deprivation impairs immune cells that fight infection. But tweens and teens who have been blowing off bedtime during summer vacation often have difficulty adapting to an earlier start. To adjust sleep schedules for school, set the alarm 15 minutes earlier each day the week before school begins, slowly inching up wake-up times. If your kid is still struggling to sleep, ban television, computer time, and video games an hour before bedtime, since the bright light can throw off a child’s natural circadian rhythm, making it harder to nod off.