Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Keep Kids Healthy Through Cold and Flu Season

(MS) -- Winter is upon us, and with it comes the return of cold and flu season. For the parents of the world, this means the annual challenge of keeping kids healthy through a season that's often as hazardous as it is hectic.

In early winter, when colds and flu first start to circulate, parents are commonly overwhelmed by the holiday season. Once the holidays have passed, the temperatures drop significantly and cold and flu season hits full swing.

While there's no way parents can guarantee their kids won't succumb to the occasional cold this winter, there are steps parents can take to help lessen kids' risk. Grapple(R) brand apples, makers of the quintessential healthy snack for kids of all ages, offers the following tips to parents hoping to keep their kids healthy throughout the long winter ahead.

* Encourage exercise. Like their adult counterparts, kids tend to live a much more sedentary lifestyle once winter begins. Colder temperatures outside and less available hours of sunlight make it difficult to spend quality time outdoors. However, when the weather permits, parents should encourage kids to spend at least 30 minutes exercising outdoors during the winter. Doing so helps boost immunity and, contrary to popular belief, the cold weather does not cause cold or flu. Instead, sitting indoors and facing increased exposure to infected adults and fellow kids is often the culprit when cold and flu is spread.

* Choose healthy snacks instead of standard holiday fare. Adults aren't the only ones who should avoid all those cookies and cakes around the holiday season. Kids need to eat healthy as well. Instead of another unhealthy snack of cookies and cocoa this winter, parents should provide kids with healthier fare that is low in calories but still packs a tasty, nutritive punch.

Grapple(R) brand apples are dipped in grape flavor and pure water to provide a great taste combination of apples and grapes that kids love. The process of making them does not add any extra sugar, calories or carbohydrates. In fact, the apple maintains its natural supply of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber. The apples are not genetically altered in any way and all ingredients are USDA and FDA approved. The result is a 95-calorie snack that tastes like kids' sugary favorites but is actually a high-fiber, low glycemic index treat.

Eating a healthy snack, be it in the school cafeteria or at home after school, helps keep kids' minds sharp and their energy up, a struggle many people, adults and children alike, must deal with throughout the winter months.

* Emphasize washing hands. Aside from a vaccine, perhaps nothing is more effective at fending off cold and flu than washing hands. While many adults instinctively wash their hands when they use the restroom or arrive home, kids are much less likely to do so. When emphasizing the importance of washing hands, illustrate the proper way to do so, which includes washing with soap and water for at least 15 to 20 seconds, ensuring all parts of the hand, and especially those like the fingertips which regularly come in contact with germs, are adequately cleaned.

* Monitor kids' daily diets. Kids who get too little vitamins and minerals are open to a host of potential problems, both in the immediate future as well as later in life. Soft bones, poor muscle function and even heart disease are among the potential side effects kids with poor diets might be susceptible to later in life.

When watching what kids eat, parents should ensure their kids are getting enough vitamin D, vitamin C and enough fiber. As any health-conscious parent knows, getting kids to eat enough fiber can be very difficult. But fiber helps adults fight off type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, and might do the same for kids. What's more, fiber helps kids feel more full, which can be an especially valuable asset in fighting off overweight and obesity. A good source of daily fiber, one medium Grapple(R) brand apple can play a significant role in getting kids enough fiber every day, and, thanks to their indulgent taste, kids likely won't be the wiser.

For more nutritional information, visit For more information on Grapple(R) brand apples, visit

CAPTION: Packing a flavorful punch, Grapple(R) brand apples make for a healthy and filling snack alternative for kids.

Share on: facebook

No comments: