5 ways to keep your kids healthier all winter long

(BPT) - During the winter months, it can seem more challenging to focus on wellness — especially when it comes to your kids. Getting outside to stay active is more difficult in the cold weather and it may even be harder to shop for fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables.

It’s natural for parents to want what’s best for their kids year-round and keeping health top of mind in colder months is a vital part of supporting their well-being.

Here are some smart ways you can help your kids stay active and healthier, all season long.

1. Get some rays every day

Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, being outside in the sun means getting some vitamin D, an essential nutrient for growing bones. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which kids need as they grow and develop, and time spent in the sun spurs your body to form vitamin D naturally. However, it can be tough to get enough time outdoors when the days are shorter and colder. Fortunately, kids can also get vitamin D from foods like eggs, plus cereal and milk with added vitamin D. Supplements are another effective way to incorporate vitamin D into kids' diets.

2. Get some vitamins

KAL Dinosaurs® Children’s Vitamin Gummies, available at The Vitamin Shoppe®, are a fun, easy way for kids to get more of the vitamins their bodies need. Their Vitamin D-RexTM Kids’ Gummies help support immune function and promote healthy bones. The gummies are vegetarian, with no artificial colors or flavors. They’re also gluten free, lactose free, soy free and peanut free. Kids love the dinosaur shapes and the tasty natural peach, mango and strawberry flavored gummies, so it’s easy to incorporate them into your kids’ daily routine.

You can also help boost your kids’ immune systems with KAL Jurassic Elderberry Kids’ Gummies, which are chock-full of zinc and vitamin C.

3. Get plenty of fruits and veggies

Even with picky eaters, you can find ways to help kids get more fruits and veggies in their diet. The CDC recommends filling about half of kids' plates with fruits and veggies to ensure they get the nutrients their growing bodies need. Experiment with different fruits and veggies by cooking or cutting them up in new ways, or arranging them in fun designs for the kids to get excited about.

When fresh produce is harder to get, you can use frozen or canned fruits and veggies, too. Look for recipes incorporating fruits and veggies within foods your kids already enjoy, like grating carrots or zucchini on pizza or in pasta dishes, or adding fruit to pancakes or muffins.

4. Get some exercise every day

The cold weather and temptation of screens and video games can make it hard to ensure kids get enough exercise every day. Sometimes you have to get creative. If it’s not too cold, bundle up and head outside to enjoy making a snowperson or snow angels, or encourage winter activities like skating and sledding. When you need to stay indoors, push back furniture to create an indoor dance floor or exercise space. Then put on your kids' favorite music and ask them to show you their best dance moves or how many jumping jacks they can do.

5. Get enough ZZZ’s at night

Did you know school-aged children need 9-11 hours of sleep a night? Between everyone’s busy lives and time spent on devices too late every day, it can be challenging for kids to fall asleep and get enough deep, restorative sleep. With KAL’s Sleep-a-Saurus gummies, kids get one milligram of melatonin to gently support a healthy sleep cycle, and kids of all ages love the yummy natural strawberry flavor.

Other tips to help kids sleep better at night include:

  • Turning off electronic devices an hour before bedtime
  • Doing a restful activity like reading a book before bed
  • Keeping kids’ rooms cooler at night
  • Making sure kids’ bedrooms are dark and quiet

With these tips and supplements from KAL and The Vitamin Shoppe, the leading destination for lifelong wellness solutions, your entire family can get through the winter stronger and healthier.

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