Pantry Planning

By Haley Kinder, Dietetic Intern, Texas A&M University

Reviewed by: Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

Looking in the pantry to figure out what to cook for a meal can be overwhelming. You see all of these ingredients, but you have no idea what to make with them. On some nights there may be no time for a quick trip to the grocery store so making sure you have some pantry staples on hand can be essential. Below is a list of suggested staples to keep in the pantry to help whip up meals on the fly.

Common pantry ingredients

Dry goods

These are usually inexpensive, have a long shelf life, and can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Based on your family’s needs and taste preferences, you can buy some items in bulk so that you always have the ingredient on hand.

  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Rolled oats
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Whole grain flour
  • White or brown sugar
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Dried fruit

Canned goods

Canned fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life than fresh options and are still great choices for creating delicious, healthy meals. Make sure to check the labels and purchase the “No Sodium Added” canned vegetables and fruits canned in juice rather than syrup.

  • “No Sodium Added” canned vegetables
  • Fruits canned in juice
  • “No Sodium Added” canned beans
  • Low sodium chicken broth or stock

Oils, Vinegars, Sauces, etc.

These ingredients can add amazing flavor to your dish without adding salt and can be used in many ways to create delicious meals.

  • Oils: vegetable or canola, extra virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil
  • Vinegars: white wine, red wine, balsamic
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Pasta/tomato sauce
  • Honey
  • Mustard
  • Nut butters

Herbs and Spices

Use herbs and spices in place of salt to help add flavor to your meals. Common varieties include:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon

Refrigerated items

These ingredients do not have as long as a shelf life, but are great to keep on hand to add into meals or to use for baking.

  • Non-fat or low-fat milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • Eggs (large)
  • Non-fat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Butter
  • Shredded or sliced cheese

Freezer items

Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and then frozen. These also have a longer shelf life than fresh fruits and vegetables and can make a great addition to meals. You can also purchase raw meats and freeze them to use at a later time.

  • Frozen fruits: mixed berries, strawberries, peaches
  • Broccoli florets
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Shelled edamame
  • Frozen raw meats

Include some of these items on your list for your next grocery trip and you’ll be able to whip up delicious, healthy meals in no time!

Distracted Eating

By Haley Kinder, Dietetic Intern, Texas A&M University

Reviewed by: Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

Have you ever grabbed a bag of potato chips for a snack, sat down in front of the tv, and the next thing you know, your hand is scraping at the bottom of the bag? You’re thinking, “No way! How did I eat this much?” This is very common and has happened to almost everyone at some point in their life. Sometimes we just don’t pay attention when we eat—this is called distracted eating. Your body is so smart. It tells you when you’re hungry and need fuel, and it also tells you when you’re full. When you eat while you’re distracted, you aren’t paying attention to those cues and you may eat when you aren’t hungry or overeat.

A group of scientists compared the eating behaviors of participants in two different conditions—a distraction condition and a no-distraction condition. In the distraction condition, the subjects ate lunch while playing solitaire, while the subjects in the no-distraction condition ate lunch in the absence of distractions. Thirty minutes later, all of the subjects participated in a biscuit taste test. They found that compared to those in the no-distraction group, the participants in the distraction conditions ate more, ate faster, reported lower fullness levels, couldn’t remember what they ate, and ate more snacks in the taste test.

Here are several tips to help reduce distracted eating:

  1. Turn off the electronics. Take a break from the tv, phone, game, or other devices when you eat. Electronics can be a major distractor during meals and make it hard for you to pay attention to your body.
  2. Eat with friends or family. It can feel more tempting to grab your phone or game when you eat alone. If you can, make meals an opportunity to engage with others. Eating with others allows you to be fully present and part of the eating experience, which helps with mindfulness.
  3. Slow down. Before you begin your meal, think about how hungry you are. While you are eating, slow down, savor each bite, and eat until you are full and satisfied.
  4. Change up the scenery. Eating doesn’t always have to happen at the table. Sometimes a change in environment can make the eating experience more enjoyable. Something as simple as a backyard or patio picnic can make a world of difference.
  5. Give yourself grace. It’s ok if occasionally, you eat a meal where you feel a bit distracted. Sometimes you need to rush everyone into the car and have a meal on-the-go. This is normal and human. Practice being more mindful as best as you can.

Oldham-Cooper RE, Hardman CA, Nicoll CE, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM. Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):308-313. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.004580

USDA MyPlate: A Guide for Healthy Lunch Boxes

By Alejandra Santoyo UTSA Dietetic Intern

Revised by Celina Paras MSc, RDN, LD

School is back in session! Which means it’s time to go back to our daily routines of waking up early, preparing a healthy breakfast and lunch for the kids, while somehow still being able to catch the school bus on time. Back to school season can get hectic but by planning ahead, you can gain some precious time back to your morning routine. Check out our timesaving tips on creating healthy and balanced lunch boxes for your family.

USDA MyPlate

MyPlate is a useful tool developed by the USDA that provides a framework for what your plate should look like at each meal. Using MyPlate as a guide can help make sure you are incorporating all food groups into your child’s lunchbox. Make sure to fill your child’s lunch box with a serving of each of the following:

  • Lean proteins such as chicken, deli meats, ground beef, or beans.
  • Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, crackers, pasta, or brown rice.
  • A small, fresh piece of fruit, a serving of fruit juice, or a snack container of fruit.
  • Colorful vegetables cut up into bite-sized pieces.
  • A serving of low-fat dairy, such as reduced fat-cheese, low-fat milk or yogurt.
  • A serving of healthy fats, such as mixed nuts, guacamole, hummus, or nut butter.

Here are some lunch box ideas that include each of the MyPlate food groups:

  • Deli ham or turkey slices with cheddar cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, sliced cherry tomatoes, apple slices, and low-fat yogurt
  • A peanut butter and banana sandwich served on whole grain bread with celery sticks, fresh strawberries, and low-fat milk
  • Whole wheat pasta with turkey meatballs topped with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese with a side of carrot sticks, green grapes, and low-fat milk
  • Cheddar cheese quesadillas on whole wheat tortilla with a side of bell pepper sticks, guacamole, mixed berries, and low-fat string cheese  

Helpful Tips

Make packing lunch even easier by meal planning. Choose one day a week (we recommend a Sunday) where you can wash, cut, and portion out the ingredients for that week’s lunches. If you’re in a major time crunch, instead you can check out your local grocery store and purchase pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, pre-portioned packs of peanut butter, guacamole, nuts, and string cheese, yogurt, and pre-cooked proteins. There are tons of pre-packaged options at designed to make your life both easy and delicious!

Once packed, store your child’s lunch box in the fridge with the lid open so cold air can circulate through the lunch box. Use an insulated lunch box and two freezer packs to make sure all perishable food items stay cold and to avoid the possibility of foodborne illness. If packing a hot soup or stew, fill an insulated container with boiling water for a few minutes, drain water, and fill with the hot food item. Keep the container closed until lunch time to maintain hot temperature.

Ask for a Helping Hand

Allowing children to take an active role in preparing their lunch increases the likelihood that they will consume what you’ve packed for them. Give your child the liberty to choose the some of the components of his or her lunch box. Plan ahead for the week with your child to make sure all desired foods are readily available at home.

Deliciously Digestible! Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Gut

By: Destiny Matthews, MS, Dietetic Intern, Texas A&M University

Reviewed by: Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

Edited by Andi Champion, CHEF

There is so much information out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat but health begins with the place where food starts in your body–your digestive system! How can you work with your body to keep your digestive tract healthy?

The bacteria that lives in your digestive tract are called your microbiota. They help to support the immune system, produce vitamins and enzymes, regulate absorption of nutrients, affect metabolism and maintain digestive balance. The health of your gut bacteria depends on diet, age, medications, physical and mental stress, among other factors. 

There are several foods, such as foods containing high amounts of saturated fat or ultra-processed grains, that we know may harm your gut over time. Instead, you should focus on consuming whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil. These types of foods provide your gut with antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. Other foods that can be helpful for your digestive health are low-fat dairy, nuts, and healthy fats. Lifestyle habits such as eating a mostly plant-based diet along with drinking enough water (8 cups per day) have also shown to be beneficial.

What about probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that live in your gut. Foods containing probiotics include:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Miso

Prebiotic foods serve as nutrition for the gut bacteria. These include dietary fibers such as inulin fiber and foods naturally containing dietary fiber, such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Hummus

Did you know that combining a probiotic with a prebiotic is known as food synergy? Try eating more of these foods for healthy digestion. Your gut will thank you!


Tomasello G, Mazzola M, Leone A, et al. Nutrition, oxidative stress and intestinal dysbiosis: Influence of diet on gut microbiota in inflammatory bowel diseases. Biomedical Papers of The Medical Faculty Of The University Palacky, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. 2016;160(4):461-466. doi:10.5507/bp.2016.052.

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

By Jose Luis Saenz, graduate student of UTSA Coordinated Program in Dietetics

When you hear someone say that they’re on a diet, do you automatically assume that they are miserably eating boring salads, unseasoned chicken, and other bland dishes? If so, you’ve got the wrong idea about what it means to be on a diet. In reality, we’re all on a diet.

To put it simply, a diet is just a way of eating—it describes your habits when it comes to your snacks or meals. Some people have healthier eating habits than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they only eat what we imagine are traditional diet foods (bland vegetables, plain salads, etc.) By following certain guidelines, you can still enjoy the foods that you love while maintaining a healthy diet.

A heathy diet consists of balanced meals that include the different food groups. These meals provide a vast array of nutrients with almost no empty calories, while an unhealthy diet consists of meals that provide a lot of calories without much nutritional value.

What does a healthy and balanced meal look like?

An easy tool that can help you to determine if your meal is considered balanced is USDA’s MyPlate. According to MyPlate, we should include a food from each of five food groups in every meal: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. To balance our meal, we should include a cup of dairy and fill about ¼ of our plate with each of the other four food groups.

How much of each food group should I eat every day?

Your age, gender, and physical activity level determines how much of each food group you should consume per day. Generally, it’s good to aim to eat 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits per day, 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables, 5 to 8 ounces of grains, 4 to 6 ounces of protein, and 2 to 3 cups of dairy. Focus on eating whole or cut-up pieces of fruit instead of 100% fruit juice or dried fruit so that you eat more fiber and less sugar. When choosing protein, opt for plant sources of protein, such as beans or quinoa, or if choosing animal sources of protein, choose leaner (i.e., meat that is no more than 8% fat) cuts, such as round steaks, pork loin, or seafood. Make at least half of the grains you eat every day whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, popcorn, corn tortillas, and brown rice.

Helpful Tips

It may seem like a daunting task to include so many different foods into your diet throughout the day, so here are some helpful tips to help you accomplish your food group goals.

  • Mix berries or cut up fruit into low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, and in a snap, you have two groups: dairy and fruit.
  • Add banana slices or berries to cereal or oatmeal made with low-fat milk for a meal made up of fruit, grains, and dairy.
  • When making tuna or chicken salad, add chopped celery, bell pepper, grapes, jalapenos, or other fruits and vegetables. Enjoy it in a sandwich with whole wheat bread or with whole grain crackers to make a meal consisting of protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

For more balanced, delicious meals, check out our recipe page or the official website for USDA’s MyPlate.

Fuel Up and Play Hard

Fuel Up and Play Hard

By Becca Bresemann, Texas A&M Dietetic Intern

Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

What is your child doing to keep busy this summer? Whether they’re heading to camp, playing summer sports, or simply staying active, getting the best nutrition is an essential part of keeping your child strong and energized. Here’s a few important tips to keep in mind:

Stay hydrated!

Texas heat can be intense, which means it’s crucial to get enough water when at a sports practice or outdoor event. It’s generally recommended that children ages 4 to 13 get about 7 to 10 cups of water daily and that teenagers get about 10 to 14 cups per day. This may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that some of this fluid can come from foods that contain water, such as fruits and vegetables. During outdoor activities, encourage your child to drink at least half a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes to help them stay hydrated.

If your child is exercising for a longer period or sweating a lot, they may need something more than water, such as a sports drink, to help rehydrate. Many sports drinks are high in sugar, so look for one that’s lower in calories or try making one at home with our Diego’s Sports Drink recipe:

½ cup pineapple

½ cup orange juice

2 cups water

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients into a pitcher and serve.

Fuel Up

We often say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is especially true before a sports event. Starting your child’s day off with whole grains, such as oatmeal or whole wheat toast, and fruit, such as bananas or apples, will help them stay energized while they play hard. If their practice is later in the day, pack a whole grain snack they can eat before they head onto the field.

Stay Strong

Protein is another important nutrient to help the body stay energized and build strong muscles. Eating a good source of protein after exercising will help your child stay strong and recover more quickly. Pair it with a serving of grains or fruit for maximum recovery power. Here’s a few protein-packed snack ideas to help your child refuel after the big game:

Put Your Mind to It!

Destiny Matthews, MS, Dietetic Intern, Texas A&M University

Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

Edited by Andi Champion, CHEF

To have a healthy body, it’s important to first take care of your mind. Nutritious foods, which are essential for a growing brain, can help fuel your mind and body. Other factors, such as lifestyle habits also play a major role in mental and physical health. Check out our tips on the simple steps you can take keep your mind in tip top shape.

Choose Better-for-You Foods:

Try the MIND Diet. This diet is based off the Mediterranean diet and includes nutrient packed foods to support a healthy mind for growing adolescents. Foods emphasized in this diet include whole grains, nuts, beans, colorful vegetables, poultry, fish, and olive oil (Volpe, 2018). By incorporating more of these types of food into your diet and eating less fast food, fried foods, sweets, and butter, your mind and body will begin to feel and perform better (Volpe, 2018).

Mindful Moments:

Our thoughts and feelings about food matter as well! One study showed that youth who were mindful while eating were more aware of what they put into their body and made healthier food choices (Kumar, 2018).

Try these tips for practicing mindfulness during mealtime.

  • Relax before eating.
  • Notice the color and smells of the food you’re about to eat.
  • Pay attention to how hungry or full you are and your serving sizes.
  • Eat slowly and in small bites. Make sure to enjoy each bite!
  • Be grateful for food and where food comes from.

Lifestyle Habits:

Your sleeping habits can affect your brains health. Studies have shown better memory and controlled emotions in youth who nap or a get a full night’s sleep (Dutil, 2018). Make bedtime a priority in your household so that everyone has enough time to recharge and relax before the next day.

Physical activity can benefit the mind and body. Not only does being active increase endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body, it can also speed up your thinking (de Azevedo). You will notice this benefit if you engage in physical activity for 1 hour at a time for at least 2 weeks. See if you can be active for longer than 2 months for the best results (Cotman, 2007).


  1. Knol, L. et al. Serum Antioxidant Capacity is related to Eating with Awareness.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 119, Issue 10, A148
  2. Wang, Ying et al. Dietary Total Antioxidant Capacity Is Associated with Diet and Plasma Antioxidant Status in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 112, Issue 10, 1626 – 1635
  3. Riediger, Natalie D. et al. A Systemic Review of the Roles of n-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 109, Issue 4, 668 – 679
  4. Volpe SL. Nutrition and Brain Health. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2018;22(5):49-50. doi:10.1249/FIT.0000000000000414.
  5. Caroline Dutil, Jeremy J. Walsh, Ryan B. Featherstone, Katie E. Gunnell, Mark S. Tremblay, Reut Gruber, Shelly K. Weiss, Kimberly A. Cote, Margaret Sampson, Jean-Philippe Chaput. Influence of sleep on developing brain functions and structures in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews. Volume 42, 2018, Pages 184-201, ISSN 1087-0792. (
  6. de Azevedo KPM, de Oliveira Segundo VH, de Medeiros GCBS, et al. Effects of exercise on the levels of BDNF and executive function in adolescents: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine. 2019;98(28):e16445. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000016445.
  7. Carl W. Cotman, Nicole C. Berchtold, Lori-Ann Christie. Exercise builds brain health: key roles of growth factor cascades and inflammation. Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 30, Issue 9, 2007, Pages 464-472, ISSN 0166-2236, (
  8. Kumar S, Croghan IT, Biggs BK, et al. Family-Based Mindful Eating Intervention in Adolescents with Obesity: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. Children (Basel). 2018;5(7):93. Published 2018 Jul 6. doi:10.3390/children5070093

Strong as Iron

By Becca Bresemann, Texas A&M Dietetic Intern

Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD

Iron is an important nutrient in our bodies that keeps our blood healthy. This mineral helps give you energy, is important for growth and brain development, and helps keep you from getting sick. If you’re not getting enough iron in your diet, you may feel especially tired or weak, get headaches often, or have a poor appetite. Eating enough iron can help you stay healthy and energized to live an active lifestyle.

How much do I need?

Recommendations for daily iron intake vary depending on age and gender, but it’s generally recommended that children 1 to 13 years old get between 7 to 10 milligrams (mg) of iron each day. Male teenagers and adults need 8-11mg of iron daily and female teenagers and adults should get 15-18mg each day. Pregnant women need almost double that amount at 27mg per day! For more detailed recommendations for iron intake based on age, visit:

Fuel Up

Many kinds of foods contain iron and most people can meet their daily recommendations by including these foods in their diet. Here’s a list of some of the best dietary sources of iron:

  • Lean meats and fish – Meats such as beef and turkey, as well as fish, are great sources of iron. Remember to choose lean sources that have less fat to keep your heart healthy.
  • Breads and cereals – Some companies add iron to their breads and cereals, making them a great breakfast choice. Total Raisin Bran has about 17mg of iron per serving and Cheerios have about 8mg per serving. Check the nutrition label to see if your favorite cereal is a good source.
  • Beans and lentils – Some beans, such as white beans, have up to 8mg per cup.
  • Dark chocolate – Just 3 ounces of this delicious treat contains about 7mg of iron.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables – A half cup of boiled spinach contains about 3mg of iron. Choosing cooked over raw spinach will help your body absorb the iron you’re eating.

Vitamin C

Some types of iron, especially those found in plants, are harder for the body to use. Eating an iron-rich food combined with a food high in vitamin C can help your body absorb the iron you’re eating. Fruits, such as oranges and strawberries, and vegetables, such as bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, are great sources of vitamin C.

Looking for a meal that has enough iron to fuel your family? Our Steak and Blue Cheese Wrap recipe is full of both iron and vitamin C for maximum iron absorption.

Building a Strong Immune System

Over the past few months, parents have been focused on doing everything they can to keep their families healthy. Stressing the importance of proper hygiene and frequent hand washing, staying at home more often, and cooking almost every day have been our daily normal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While practicing all of these habits can help flatten the curve, one of the questions that remains top of mind is what else can families do to strengthen and maintain a healthy immune system to help ward off infections and illness.

The key to a healthy child begins with a strong immune system. Our body’s immune system is an amazing function which we rely on for our entire lifespan. One of its main functions is to fight disease producing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. A strong immune system can provide a child with powerful defenses against diseases, while a weak one makes them more susceptible to colds, the flu, and more serious illnesses.

You may be wondering if eating special foods or nutrients can strengthen an immune system, but you don’t need to stress about loading up with expensive immune boosting supplements. Supporting healthy and normal immune function can be achieved with proper nutrition, along with other healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, regular physical activity, and managing stress for emotional stability.  

Key nutrients to keep your immune system healthy include vitamins A, C, and D, protein, copper, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients can be found in a wide variety of wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lean meats, and whole grains.  Supplementing these nutrients with mega doses beyond our recommended daily intakes doesn’t necessarily create a stronger immune system and can potentially lead to more harm than benefit.

Here are our top tips for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Eat the colors of the rainbow.

Aim to serve at least 2 – 3 colorful varieties of fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack. Each color of fruit and vegetable provides a different healthy vitamin or mineral, so eating a variety will ensure that you get the most nutrients.

Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.

While vitamin D is knownfor its bone building qualities, it also plays a beneficial role in the immune system. Studies have found that a deficiency in this essential nutrient is linked to an increased risk of infection. Vitamin D is made in the body when we are exposed to sunlight and is also available in fortified milk or cereal, eggs, and cheese.

Choose the best types of dietary fats.

Food contains many different types of dietary fats from marine oils, plant oils, and solid animal fats. The oils found in nuts and seeds, olive oil, canola oil, and fish oil have a beneficial role in our health compared to the solid animal fats such as butter, cream, lard, tropical oils, and partially hydrogenated oils. Studies have confirmed that a diet that includes large amounts of processed foods, fried foods, and other solid saturated fats predisposes children to recurrent infections and inflammatory conditions. Reversely, a balanced diet that is rich in healthy sources of plant oils is found to enhance the body’s immune system.

Power up with protein.

Protein from animal and plant sources provide the body with important immune supporting amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Choose lean options of chicken, beef, pork, and dairy to get vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

Iron also has an important role in a healthy immune system. In addition to animal protein, dietary sources of iron can be found in plants, such as kidney beans, lentils, and dark leafy greens. Combining foods with good sources of iron with foods rich in vitamin C, such as a salsa or fruit salad, help boost the body’s ability to absorb iron.

Zinc is especially interesting because it supports many different functions related to growth and development in the body. It also plays a key role in the maintenance of the immune system by protecting DNA and our cells’ metabolism. Zinc can’t be stored in the body, so look for it in dietary sources such as lean beef, pork, chicken, fish, whole grains, and dark greens. For most people, it’s not recommended to supplement with zinc unless your primary care physician has advised otherwise.

Powerful plant proteins such as quinoa, amaranth, whole grain protein pasta, or beans are also beneficial for the immune system. Plant sources of protein offer most of the same key nutrients as lean meats but as an added boost, also provide fiber and antioxidants.

Try to look on the bright side and maintain healthy habits.

An often-overlooked key to a healthy immune system is having a positive outlook on life. Studies have shown that laughter and optimism stimulate the cells of the immune system. It’s also important to make sure your child feels loved and safe because emotional stress may deplete the immune system and lower a child’s resistance to disease. The more children enjoy life, the healthier they will be. Maintaining healthy habits are also essential to the immune system health. For example, getting plenty of sleep can help regenerate and renew the body’s immune system and emotional responses. Participating in regular physical activity helps boost your mood and energy levels.