“Back-to-School” is an exciting time of year. You’ve shopped for your children’s new school supplies, new shoes, and new clothes, and they’re looking forward to seeing old friends, and meeting their new classmates and teacher.
In the midst of all this school delight, it’s easy to take your child’s health for granted, but we all know how a sick kid can bring life to a halt. Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your child’s immune system functioning full speed. It goes without saying, a healthy child is a more capable learner, and doesn’t miss school or their favorite sport’s practice or game.
To fight off those germ-filled classrooms, ensure your children wash their hands frequently, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and get enough sleep. Also, here are five immune boosting supplements to consider.
A Children’s Multi-Vitamin with Minerals
If you have a finicky eater, getting a child to eat desirable foods such as fruits and veggies may be a challenge. A multi-vitamin with minerals is a good option for filling in any nutritional gaps.
For example, zinc is found in yogurt, peas, beef, and shrimp, and it’s important for preventing infection, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
The school year means more time indoors and less D-building sunshine. Studies show most children aren’t getting enough of this essential vitamin. Vitamin D helps ensure the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building bone. Children should be getting 600 IU per day, and there are several options for getting this in supplement form. For kids who are too young or don't like taking capsules, vitamin D is conveniently available in spray form and liquid drops. The spray and drops are flavorless, so easy to put directly into a child's mouth, or even drop onto any food or into liquid.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats you must get from food or a supplement. EPA and DHA are two fatty acids that work together to provide the most benefits to your health. Experts believe omega-3’s help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3’s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Fish are the best source of omega-3’s. Walnuts are also a good source and are easy to sprinkle into a snack mix, or on cereal or yogurt.
There are hundreds of different probiotic strains. Various probiotics can be found in fermented and active culture foods, such as yogurt, kefir and Kombucha. These beneficial bacteria can help prevent stomachaches, diarrhea, food allergies, eczema, and respiratory problems.
These are great! They’re homeopathic, gentle on the system and all-natural. Have these on hand just in case your little one starts to come down with something. They’ll help head off the flu or a cold early and provide temporary relief of symptoms.
Here’s to Healthy and Happy School Kids!
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Live Superfoods