Yesterday evening as I was heading to the park with my kids, a lady came up to me while we were just outside the park and asked me if I was the mother.
When I said yes, she told me it was not a good idea to let the kids pick up things from the road, as they are really dirty.
She was saying this because she had seen me and the younger one stopping by almost all the fallen leaves as my younger kid excitedly picked them up from the roadsides and played with them before handing them over to me (which I then collected in my bag – I keep most of these ‘treasures’ and use these as bookmarks).
I smiled at her and thanked her for her concern, but then told her that in fact, the more you allow your kids to be one with nature and even come in contact with dirt, mud and such, the more it boosts their immunity.
I told her that yes, I was allowing my child to touch the dirt, but I would also ensure that I would not let her put that hand in her mouth, and the first thing we would do after going home was to wash the hands and take a clean bath.
What the lady said is not a one-off instance. Many people look at me when I allow my children to just be.
Alright, this does not mean that you have to ask your children to start picking up things from the streets. However, you could still encourage them to go out and play, even if it is dusty, a little muddy, or even go barefoot in the garden for a game of football or basic outdoor play.
How does being more connected to nature make your kids healthy?
Soil-based organisms, or SBOs as they are also known as are tiny organisms that are found in the soil. These contain higher strains of good bacteria that can actually be very good for your children once they enter the body.
These types of bacteria can easily survive in your child’s digestive system and boost immunity as well as improve the overall digestion process.
These are the same bacteria that you try and give your child through market bought sources such as probiotic milk or supplements.
Having these good bacteria in the gut can improve your child’s overall health and also be especially good in preventing and reducing various bowel related health issues, asthma, autoimmune diseases, allergies and more.
What you can do as parents
- Encourage your kids to go out and play
- Stop forcing kids to use sanitizers all the time and instead just let them wash their hands with soap and water before a meal
- Go for walks on the grass and let them take off their footwear
- Walk on soil and sand
- Experience cool winds and some sunlight – they won’t make your kids catch a cold or get sun damage
- Let the body take some time and heal on its own after a disease, instead of immediately running to the doctor.
Of course, if your child is not well or is uncomfortable, it is important to speak to a doctor, but the fact is, allowing your child to stay connected to nature and allowing the body to fight off bacteria and germs on its own will only make them more capable of staying healthy in future.
Read: How I am making sure that my kids do not miss out on their wonder years
Republished with permission from: The Indus Parent
Also read: Healthy kids: Kiddie health myths that moms can ignore!