The mental health toll of the pandemic on our children is enormous. With schools being closed, and socialisation mainly being online, children are suffering. Australian Clinical Psychologist Jaimie Bloch and Teresa Cutter aka The Healthy Chef, share 8 tips for keeping kids mentally and physically healthy in lockdown.
Want to keep your kids moving & happy during this lockdown period? Here are some tips to keep kids mentally and physically healthy.
4 Tips to keep kids mentally healthy
Australian Clinical Psychologist Jaimie Bloch shares some tips to keep kids mentally and physically healthy:
Lockdown can make one day blend into the next, especially as our children are online all day for school. It can feel like there is no break. Routine helps us to break up the day and create set time for things like going outdoors, relaxing, family time and school. This helps our children regulate and manage their time better. When our children are perceiving all of their time to be taken up by schoolwork it can leave them feeling depleted. Creating flexible schedules that incorporate fun and outdoor activities can help shift their thinking and give them back their much-needed energy and joy.
2. Use compassionate language
During challenging times, it is easy to be frustrated by the change you see in your child. When we notice our children suffering and becoming more isolated and resistant, our knee-jerk reaction is to become forceful or critical. During difficult times we must instead foster compassion and care and the easiest way to do this is in the language we use. Remember these three simple steps: connect with them emotionally, validate their feelings, and be non-judgemental.
3. Nourish their immune system
Make sure your child is eating well and staying hydrated. Our body needs vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin D to help produce feel-good hormones and endorphins and to keep our immune system strong and give us the energy to be active. Our bodies are just like car engines, and without the fuel of good food and hydration, our bodies won’t be performing at their best. Ways to increase vitamin intake can be as simple as eating just one Zespri SunGold kiwifruit a day, which contains our entire daily vitamin C intake in one little and tasty package.
4. Lower the expectations but keep the boundaries
Homeschooling comes with many challenges so it’s normal for our usual expectations of our children to change. Lower the expectations you have, but remember that this does not mean you need to lower the values and boundaries you place on them.
4 Tips to keep kids physically healthy
Teresa Cutter aka The Healthy Chef shares…
There is a renewed focus on health due to the pandemic. Families are cooking and preparing food together at home more and getting the kids involved in exercising together, which is great. I believe that kids are definitely more likely to eat healthier food if they’ve been a part of making it. Food brings people together and helping to cook dinner is empowering for kids, so it’s a great way for families to connect during challenging times.
1. Keep fresh fruit on the bench
Keep fresh fruit on the bench to make it more accessible for when the kids feel like a healthy snack. For example, I always have a bowl of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit on my kitchen bench. They are soft, even one has 100% of your daily vitamin C needs, and you can eat the skin! Kids also love their sweet flavour.
2. Make smoothies
Make smoothies for breakfast or afternoon tea. I love to combine Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, oat milk, a handful of baby spinach, and avocado. It’s the ultimate thick and creamy smoothie.
3. Substitute with veggies
When making bolognese, swap out half the meat and substitute with chopped vegetables. Your kids won’t even notice! I also love to stuff leftover bolognese sauce into whole baked sweet potatoes, which are packed with antioxidants and plant fibre.
4. Double the veggies
Another great way to double the veggie intake is by preparing vegetable-based spreads and dips like smashed pumpkin, hummus, or avocado, which are perfect for dipping zucchini or oven-baked sweet potato fries into.
Easy no-churn Kiwi Ice Cream Bowl
Jump into the kitchen and help the kids stay mentally and physically healthy with some tasty cooking. This easy recipe will be a real winner!
- 5 x Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
- 175g sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300ml whipping cream
- You can either leave all the pieces of SunGold Kiwifruit diced or puree half in a blender. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, set aside.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then combine with the vanilla/sweetened condensed milk mixture and fold in the pureed and/or chopped SunGold Kiwifruit, reserving a few pieces of chopped SunGold to put on top.
- Pour the mixture into a loaf tin.
- Then cover and freeze for at least 3 hours until frozen or overnight.