With shorter days and a lack of sunlight, the winter months can leave us with limited time for outdoor activities. Throw in chilly temperatures and the motivation to head outdoors can quickly hit minimal levels!
Add the endless supply of festive sweet treats and warm comforting food and the winter can become a challenging time to keep the family healthy.
Healthy changes your family can make this Winter
We’ve gathered together 6 healthy changes that the whole family can make as we enjoy the cold season. From evaluating the family’s nutritional needs to planning more time connected to nature instead of wifi!
1. Plan regular time outside
Even with colder forecasts and darker evenings, prioritising time outside remains crucial to our well-being.
We found some shocking stats when researching the connection between young people and nature. Including the rise of nature-deficit disorder (NDD) and how, on average, 75% of children spend just over 1 hour outside each day. It’s why we’re helping to fund projects which improve young people’s access to nature.
In winter, the gap between daily life and the natural world can widen even further, so here are some ideas to boost time spent outside in nature…
Mix up the school run.
Can you walk or ride to school together? A frosty morning can be an amazing time to experience the sensory side of nature in winter. From glittering spider webs to crunching over the frosty grass.
Build a new habitat to plan an outdoor walk, hike or bike ride every weekend.
No matter the weather. If we leave home before sunrise and return after sunset, the weekend is a valuable chunk of time to reconnect with nature. You could head to a local woodland to see the last of the autumn colour or take a wintry walk along the coast. Wrap up warm and have fun exploring!
Visit a local farm or orchard or National Trust site
Over the autumn many farms and orchards will have harvested their crops ready for winter storing, preserving, fermenting, making, crafting and baking. It's a prime opportunity to see how growers and gardeners continue their hard work over the colder months and turn their harvests into products we all enjoy.
2. Increase fibre in the diet
Did you know that only 10% of adults are reaching their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fibre? And shockingly, that percentage drops to only 4% of young people (age 11-18).
As we switch seasons, it’s a great time to evaluate the healthy eating habits of the family. Especially as we gear up for a holiday season filled with chocolate and other rich foods!
Fibre is an important carbohydrate that is crucial for keeping our gut happy and maintaining our overall health. A high-fibre diet has now been linked to a reduced risk of serious diseases, including heart disease, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes.
One can of Jamu Wild Water contains 5g of gut-healthy prebiotic fibre. That makes up over 16% of an adult’s RDA — and 20% for young people aged 11-18!
So our collection of fruity sparkling water drinks can be a quick fibre fix to add to the dinner table this party season!
3. Learn something new together
A great way to minimise screen time is to find a fun family activity that everyone can get involved with.
While Autumn is considered one of the best seasons for foraging, it's worth remembering December through to February also offers a wonder of foraging opportunities and is also a joyous time to get outside.
From Chestnuts and Beech nuts to Hawthorn Berries, Crabapples, and Wild Sorrel, these delicious finds can be roasted, salted, eaten raw, stewed and even made into jelly!
And if your lucky enough to live by the coast, winter is the best season to forage for shellfish, barnacles and seaweed.
As always with foraging, practice caution - never eat anything your not 100% sure of it's identification AND forage with the greatest respect to nature. A full list of the foraging code can be found here
Woodcraft and Survival Skills:
Learn how to safely build a fire, identify animal footprints, or build a den on a specialised forest craft course.
Visit a local bird hide or wetland centre to see how many bird species you can tick off in an identification book.
4. Boost immunity
With windows shut tight and lots of mixing at schools and workplaces, winter often brings a wave of coughs and colds.
Get prepared for cold and flu season by actively boosting the immunity of the whole family. There are lots of different ways to keep our bodies protected, from vaccines to a healthy diet.
Make sure the whole family is eating nutritious and nourishing foods, especially those that are high in vitamin C.
It’s a vital nutrient that protects cells and keeps them healthy and ready to fight inflammation from nasty colds.
Every can of Jamu Wild Water contains a brilliant botanical that is high in vitamin C. From elderberry and echinacea to nettle and dandelion. In fact, every can contains a whopping 38% of your recommended daily allowance!
5. Find new recipes that use seasonal veg
Check out the produce in a local farm shop together, and when buying veg from the supermarket, look at the label to see how far it's travelled. Buying local and seasonal produce is a great way to bring a little sustainability into the kitchen.
Pumpkins and squash are winter warmers that work well in endless recipes, from curries and soups to risotto and pasta. Plus, they’re also rich in vitamin C, which can also help with boosting immunity!
6. Mix in creative activities between screen time
As we spend more time cosying up indoors through winter, there’s a much higher temptation to reach for screens.
To keep everyone entertained in a wifi intermission, here are a few unique ideas to get creative!
Create a mini production line of homemade Christmas cards or wrapping paper made from foraged and recycled materials!
Use natural materials to get creative outside. You might have a go at building a bivouac shelter or trying out the survival or woodcraft skills that you’ve learnt together!
Make a plan for next year’s vegetable plot. Which vegetable or flower seeds would everyone like to grow?
Plan a weeknight where you practice the new seasonal veg recipes that you’ve found!