It’s that time of year again. Your kids are heading back to the classroom to be reunited with their friends and prepare for another year of study.
But as a parent, you also know back to school also means going back to an environment you can’t always control, which leaves your child more susceptible to illness from germs they pick up from their fellow classmates. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make sure your little one doesn’t spend too much time home sick and away from their studies.
These are our favorite tips and strategies for strengthening your child’s immune system:
1. Amp up their breakfast.
Sending your child to school with a nutrient-dense breakfast in their stomach will not only help them stay alert and focused but also assist their body’s natural defenses. Go for whole grains, plenty of fiber, vitamins for antioxidant protection and protein for energy.
1 cup quinoa (dry), cook as outlined on package
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 gala apples, chopped
2. Pick a better juice.
Whether served alongside their breakfast or packed in their lunch, juice is a mainstay in many kids’ diets. Instead of reaching for something out of a bottle, consider investing in a juicer to make your own all natural blends for your family.
Energizing Morning Juice Blend (makes multiple 8-fl oz servings):
4 green apples
4 celery stalks
2 tbsp lemon juice
***Juices can be high in sugar, so you can dilute this with 1 part filtered water if you like.
3. Add essential fatty acids to their lunch.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids help support cardiovascular and cognitive health as well as overall wellness. Adding these healthy fats to you child’s lunch will give them the energy and nutrient boost they need midway through their day.
Add More Omegas:
Use smashed avocado instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches.
Include a serving of nuts, like walnuts, as a snack.
Instead of chips, pack some edamame with the shells on.
4. Improve their after-school snack.
When your kids get home from school, they often head straight to the pantry or fridge. Keep them stocked with precut, raw fruits and vegetables, greek yogurt or a whole-grain muffin -- anything they can easily grab. Another option is to make a smoothie that tastes sweet like a treat but packs a secret punch.
Sneaky Greens Smoothie:
1 ripe banana
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup plain almond milk
1 serving green food powder
5. Pass the probiotics.
The majority of the body's immune system is found within the stomach, which is also home to both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria, also known as probiotics, help maintain this essential balance for continued immunity. Adding a probiotic to your child's supplement routine will also keep their digestive system running smoothly.
6. Set a family bedtime.
Sleep is one of the most important components in a strong immune system and it’s no secret children don’t like to head to bed when they’re told. One of the biggest reasons is because they see you getting to stay up late. Try to all head to the bedroom at the same time — use this time as a technology cutoff for you and your spouse so you can read, exercise, meditate or just spend more quality time together.
As always, it’s important to consult your child’s pediatrician before making any drastic changes to their diet or adding any nutritional supplements, especially if your child suffers from allergies, asthma or any other medical condition.
Keep checking back at eVitamins for the latest health news and tips for a better school year. Stay well!