Back to School - How to keep your child healthy and focused
The kids have finally returned to school. How can we help them to achieve their best? A healthy child can excel in both academic and sporting environments. They are more immune to viruses and infections. Which means they're less likely to bring something home with them! Here are some nutritional and lifestyle ideas to boost your family's health and help everyone stay on top of their game.
Perhaps the most important meal of the day. Always send family off with a good breakfast. They need fuel to get them off to a good start and keep them running till break time. A good breakfast should include some fresh fruit or vegetables, a small amount of protein (to slow down energy release and help rebuild their bodies) and enough carbohydrates to provide energy. Here are a few suggested breakfasts:
- Eggs on wholegrain toast + tomato or mushrooms + parsley
- Buckwheat pancakes + fresh fruit or stewed fruit with honey or maple syrup
- Protein Shake with fresh fruit + milk or juice or water – We recommend Douglas Labs Ultra Protein plus
If there really is no time for breakfast and you need something to grab and go then Orgain Meal Replacement Drinks is a good substitute that doesn't contain extra sugar or flavourings.
A question I get asked often by clients is “If I am eating a good diet surely I don’t need vitamin supplements?” My answer is always the same. In an ideal world where food was grown naturally and in soil that is not depleted of its nutrients and we ate about 9 vegetable portions a day then NO you wouldn’t need a supplement.
Unfortunately this is not the case for most of us so a basic supplement plan is probably the best health insurance for your child.
For children it makes sense to have a daily:
• Multi vitamin (to fill in the nutrient gaps in their diet)
• Omega 3 supplement (to optimise healthy brain function)
• Vitamin C to boost their immune system
Have a look at the ‘children's health’ section for your options. Your choice will depend on the tastes of your child and their age. Please send us an enquiry if you have any questions.
It is important to keep your child’s toxin exposure down. Toxins burden our immune system causing it to be less efficient at fighting off viruses and bacterial infections.
Hydration and Drinks Containers
Staying hydrated is essential for healthy brain function which partially runs on hydro power as well as glucose. For the average child this means about 6 glasses of water a day. Water also helps keep muscles lubricated, digestion running smoothly and removes toxins from the body.
However if you put that water into a plastic drinks container then you are continually exposing your child to plastic residues. Easy answer – Switch to an Ecotanka made of stainless steeel.
Remember that all plastic ends up in a landfill or the ocean!
Obviously it is important to give your child a healthy packed lunch. Again this should include fresh fruit and vegetables and some protein. Sugar or sweeteners should be avoided as they burden your immune system. A few suggestions:
- Pasta salad with chicken/tuna and vegetables in a pesto sauce
- Wholegrain roll with salad, thinly sliced gerkins and falafel burger
- 1 x piece of fruit and a nut, oat bar, banana cake or oat cookie
Try to involve your child in a discussion to work out some healthy lunch options that they are prepared to take to school. Peer pressure over lunch box content starts very early. You can thank the advertising industry for that!
Don’t put your child’s lunch in plastic wrap or a plastic box that may be releasing plastic residues into the food and will also end up in a landfill site. Instead try the re-usable sandwich wraps. See 4myearth eco sandwich wraps which are new to our website. They are fantastic.
What to do if your child comes home feeling unwell
The quicker you strike the easier it is. Sometimes keeping your child off school for a few days and nurturing them can save a whole heap of time off later on.
At the first sign of a sore throat or sniffle:
• Try giving a dose of Vitamin C 500-1000 mg every 2-4 hours. Liposomal C is excellent for this job as it is superior to tablets or powder at being absorbed in the body.
• Give plenty of fluids in the form of fresh juice and water
• Take dairy products out of their diet as much as possible as they are mucous forming and cause the body to be in a more acidic state. An alkaline body (apart from in the stomach) is a healthy body.
• If you know your child always gets a chest infection, try the Weleda Chest Rub.
• For sore throats try a teaspoon of Bees Online Manuka honey
• If your child has to take antibiotics or has done in the past always follow on (overlapped at the end of the anti biotics) with a course of probiotics to ensure that healthy bacteria re-colonises the gaps left by the antibiotics. See the section on Probiotics i.e. Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Immune Booster for Kids
Dinner should include quality protein and as many vegetables as you can get your child to eat. Ideally half the meal should be a variety of vegetables. It’s a case of the more colours the better because each colour of vegetable contains its own group of health promoting nutrients. Loading up with vegetables is an easy way to boost your child’s immune system.
Never overlook this one. Evidence shows that too little sleep impairs our immune system. You probably know how much sleep your child ideally needs. It will be somewhere between 8-10 hours depending on their age. If they have trouble sleeping:
• Try to find out if they need to talk something over
• Ensure their bedroom is dark enough
• Discourage ‘screen use’ the hour before bedtime, instead encouraging relaxing patimes i.e book reading, a relaxing bath or shower or some stretching exercises (especially if they play a sport)
By putting these strategies into practice you can rest easy knowing you are doing as much as you can for your child now they are back at school.