Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Healthy Back-to-School Ideas for Your Kids

It’s that time again- the yellow school busses have hit the roads, school doors are open and the kids are back to filling their brains with knowledge. They’ve been equipped with new clothes, new shoes, new notebooks, pencils, and backpacks.

But, what about their health? Have they been equipped with vitamins and minerals to avoid illness? Do they head off to school with good protein to help their bodies and minds stay energized all morning? My sister used to tutor kids with dyslexia and would often ask, “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Most often the reply was Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, or donuts. With these refined carbs, energy spikes and then quickly plummets. Two hours later the kids are sluggish and distractible.

Lo-fat yoghurt, fruit smoothies with some added soy protein powder, natural peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat toast and lo-fat cottage cheese are just a few ways to get some good protein in them.

This year parents are especially concerned about the H1N1 virus. One of the best things we can do is be sure that our kids are as healthy as possible. A strong immune system is a good defense against viruses, colds and the flu. So adding some supplements to a good diet is not a bad idea. All kids should take a good-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement. Recent studies have shown that lactoferrin supports a healthy immune system in kids. So look for a supplement which contains lactoferrin.

Additional Vitamin C will help strengthen the immune system. And a chewable calcium-magnesium product contains essential minerals to support bone development; plus it’s a natural nerve and muscle relaxant. It’s especially helpful for allergies and brain sensitivities caused by milk and dairy.

Here are a few other suggestions to help avoid illness or spreading colds:
• Stay home from school if you are sick
• Cover your cough with a tissue
• Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or elbow
• Wash your hands often

Besides nutritional support, children also need to get adequate sleep and lots of exercise. I always encourage drinking plenty of water and be sure to avoid sodas at all costs. FYI-Soda pop leaches calcium from bones which has lasting effects into adulthood.

I’m passionate about giving kids all the advantages we can to support their bodies and brains. Switching to non-toxic household cleaners & laundry products is a great idea, especially if you are concerned about hyperactivity, allergies or asthma. Also choosing personal care products – shampoo, toothpaste, bathing products – that are free of harmful toxins and chemicals, is another wise decision. (for further info on this topic please visit my blog post).

If you would like to know more about how you might implement some of these suggestions, please feel free to contact me.

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