A lot of parents keep their children indoors, because they’re worried about safety issues, and those parents that actually want their children to be able to play outdoors find that school and homework get in the way.
But being outside and "getting dirty" is important... and for more than just getting all the energy out of your little ones.
According to Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, author of The Dirt Cure: A Whole Food, Whole Planet Guide to Growing Healthy Kids in a Processed World, research has shown that the bacteria in soil increases focus and attention and also boosts serotonin levels.
It's something the Eastern cultures have known for some time, coining the term forest bathing... immersing yourself in the beauty of the forest. Spending time in natural, green spaces can boost cognition, improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and allow your body to produce more anti-cancer proteins.
Activities can include hiking, exploring, geocaching, or simply playing in the dirt and mud. The more types of bacteria you're exposed to, the more resilient your immune system becomes.
Another part of raising a healthy child involves diet. Dr. Shetreat-Klein advises providing foods that are the closest to their natural state as possible, such as pastured meat, eggs, and dairy, vegetables that are grown in healthy, dense, rich soil, and bitters (peel from fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, etc.).
Listen in as Dr. Shetreat-Klein joins hosts Andrea and Lisa to share more about why getting dirty is so essential for your child's health, as well as which foods she advises for improving your kid's diet.