5 Ways to Keep the Kids Healthy for Back to School

Have you bought kleenex in bulk yet, anticipating the dreaded back-to-school sickness? You’re not alone! Once kids head back to the germ factory, colds and flus seem to cycle through families until summer hits again.

And it’s not just physical health, either – the number of children with mental health-related conditions is on the rise.

So what can you do to keep your kid as healthy as possible for the school year? A good place to start is with these 5 things:

Digestion

Digestive health is the foundation for all health – it doesn’t matter how well you’re eating if you’re not absorbing the nutrients you need. In addition, good digestion is key for mental health. More studies are being done every day on the link between digestion and mood.

How Can I Help?

  • Hydration – Water is required for virtually every enzymatic process in the body, and therefore goes a long way towards keeping your child well nourished.
  • Don’t Fear The Salt! – Digestive juices are primarily made from water and salt. While too much salt isn’t a good thing, we do need some in our lives. Choose a sea salt or pink salt which, unlike table salt, has an absorbable form of iodine, which is great for your thyroid health, too.
  • Get With The Good Bugs – Probiotics (the “good” bacteria) help keep us healthy by crowding out the “bad” bacteria that makes us sick. You can get them from yogurt, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, or from supplements. Ask about our Kids Probiotic options (or the grown up ones for you!)

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Omegas

The human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat! Are your kids getting enough of the good stuff? Omega 3 Fatty Acids are the primary source of DHA and EPA – the important fatty acids for brain development, and a host of other good things, as well.

DHA and EPA have been shown to be beneficial for inflammation, eczema, and even some behavioral disorders.

How Can I Help?

  • Omegas in food – while there are many great vegetarian sources of omega fatty acids, they must be converted to DHA and EPA in the body – a conversion some bodies have difficulty with. Eating a serving of fish each week will go a long way towards getting the DHA and EPA your child requires.
  • Supplementation – incorporating an easy-to-take omega supplement into your child’s morning routine is a great way to ensure they’re getting the fats they need to function.

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Sleep

Sleep is key for a developing body and mind. Losing out on much needed zzzz’s can lower your child’s immunity, and impair their cognitive function.

How Can I Help?

  • Turn off the screens! The light from your child’s devices (mom’s iPhone, iPad, the TV, computer, etc) can mess with your child’s sleep cycle. Turning off the screens 2 hours before lights out can go a long way towards ensuring a good night’s sleep
  • Melatonin-rich foods These are a great option for a bedtime snack, as they naturally trigger “the sleepies”. They include: tart cherry juice, oranges, oats, rice, and bananas
  • Homeopathy Homeopathic remedies work on an energetic level to help bring the body to balance. Orange Naturals’ Sleep Tight For Kids is a great way to gently ease your little one off to dreamland.

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Vitamin D

Once the sun starts disappearing, it becomes important to supplement with Vitamin D. Not only is it a component of healthy bones, it also plays a large role in mood balance and immunity.

How Can I Help?

  • Liquid Vitamin D is the best option, as it is readily absorbable, and can be hidden in juice, cereal, or taken directly off of a spoon.

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A Balanced Diet

Last but not least, introducing your child to a variety of minimally processed foods ensures that they’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients they need to thrive. Make sure they’re getting some raw fruits and vegetables, even during the winter months, as some vitamins (like vitamin C) are destroyed with heat. If your child is an exceptionally picky eater, introducing a multivitamin into their diet might be a good idea.

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We all know kids have minds of their own, and can often be about as cooperative as a forkful of soup, so don’t stress if you can’t get your children to follow these suggestions to the letter. Kids are bound to get sick at some point, but incorporating these tips can help lessen the frequency and severity of that inevitability. Happy Back-to-School!


About The Author: 
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz    Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom

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