School is back in, and doctors offices are already inundated with sick kids! Children from all ages are “catching germs” from their classmates. Your kids don’t have get sick! Help boost their immune system and prevent them from “the common cold.”
1. Washing hands is a must
There is no need to spend money on fancy anti-antibacterial soaps, studies are now showing that plain soap and water will do the trick. Tricolasn is an agent in anti-bacterial agents which can cause fetal damage in pregnant woman as well as disrupt our metabolic system. Many anti-bacterial agents over time can also cause bacterial resistance as many physicians are seeing.
2. Nothing like a good night’s rest
Make sure your children are in bed at a decent time. Try to get them in bed early. The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschool age children ages 3-5 get 11-13 hours of sleep and for school age children 5-10 get at least 10-11 hours per night. Encouraging good sleep hygiene at an early age not only benefits them in the long run by forming healthy habits but also helps them excel and perform their best at school for optimal learning.
3. Mind the Junk
That’s junk food, keep your children away from processed, sugar rich foods including sodas, juices etc. Instead opt for healthier alternative in snacks like celery and humus, and apple and almond butter after they come home from school. Quiona flakes and organic oatmeal is a good way to start in the morning mixed with almond milk and some fruit to ensure both good protein to carb ratio. Pack them a lunch filled with protein like gluten free deli meats with nut crackers. If you keep it exciting and new, kids will be sure to love it! Giving them colorful berries full of antioxidants will only strength their immune system and keep germs at bay.
Try these supplements. They make tons of kid friendly chewable vitamins and supplements your children will not mind taking. I will caution the sugar content though. A good probiotic for children is one that has >5 strands of bacteria and >10 billion CFU for children. It not only strengthens the immune system, but helps with any digestive problems kids have. A common questions parents ask if they can give their children yogurt. My answer is continue give your child yogurt as long as they don’t have a whey,casein or lactose intolerance; however, the amount of good bacteria in those are significantly less with fewer strands and less CFU’s compared to an oral supplement.
Omega 3 is another supplement I recommend for children. Omega 3 is great at preventing inflammation and helps keep the immune system strong and going. Low levels of long chain fatty acid in kids have been associated with behavioral problems including ADHD and poor learning. Omega 3 is also great for eye, brain and heart health in growing kids.
Vitamin D is also a good supplement. Many children are not outside as much and inside with the their video games. Sunscreen, although beneficial, inhibits the natural sun to convert Vitamin D naturally also. Make sure you get your child’s Vitamin D level checked out first since children don’t need a high dose. Please be sure to discuss this with a health care practitioner. Vitamin D studies are very rampant showing many benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, strong immune support, building strong bones as well as preventing Juvenile Diabetes seen in a recent German Study.
Lastly but not least Vitamin C is always a good choice, 250mg 1 tab a day is sufficient and you can increase that to 500mg/day when kids start getting sick. Also try to incorporate Vit C through fruits and veggies like bellpeppers, guavas, kiwis, kale, berries, and citrus fruits. You can try this through fruit smoothies or homemade fruit popsicles your kids won’t even realize you’re tricking them into it .
5. Let Kids be Kids
Let kids enjoy their free time! Often as parents we have their schedules booked up with soccer practices, dance lesson, piano lessons, Spanish classes and the list goes on. Although, I highly encourage after school activities children need time to decompress and just be kids. They need to play outside in the dirt and build up their immune system and get lots of physical activity as well.