It is back to school time. Now is a good time to start a vitamin regimen to boost immunity and brain function. I have a basic three that I like for anyone school age (teachers can do this too.) It includes a multi-vitamin, a fish oil (brain food), and an immune booster.
I get lots of questions on how to keep kids healthy. School seems to be a breeding ground for all kinds of coughs, colds and flues. My all time favorite “keep my kid well” remedy is Elderberry Defense. Once we started using it, our son got perfect attendance – he only got a cough or sniffles when we ran out – that was 7 years ago.
There are other natural remedies that work well to boost the immune system. These include colostrum, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf, oregano oil, nucleotides, probiotics, astragalus and mushroom extracts. Pick what works for you.
If recurring ear infections are a problem, there are also remedies that work well.
Other questions I get at school time are those on attention issues. I take a fairly natural approach on these – I always ask about diet. For ADD and ADHD, one of the worst things to do is to serve a breakfast that is high in sugar and refined white flour with no protein. The blood sugar swings that result from this kind of food make it almost impossible for a child to behave and learn.
Supplement choices to help brain function should start with a good multi-vitamin and fish oil. I have seen many kids that have done well with a change in breakfast foods plus this kind of basic supplementation. Most just need some really good nutrition. It also helps to cut out the junk food that has too many additives, dyes and preservatives. Sodas and other sweet drinks can be very hard on the brain.
For those that need a little extra help, I like a product called Focus Attention. It works in all ages and comes in both powder and capsule. I also like Kid’s Calm - this is a liquid with everything in it and it works for adults too.
Handling the stress of school can be an issue. There are great homeopathics and flower remedies for kids with anxiety. Sometimes the basic multi-vitamin and fish oil are all that is needed to calm the nervous system down so that the “stress” is manageable. Start the day with a good breakfast. Include something with protein – like sausage, egg or even peanut butter. Think about feeding foods that will last your child until lunch time without huge swings in blood sugar.
The worst breakfast is one that is too high in sugar and refined grains such as corn or white flour. This breakfast creates a blood sugar crash sometime around 10:00 a.m. – which can lead to problems with focusing and behavior.
Other things that can be done to make your child healthier in the school year is to serve as many good healthy dinners as you can – I think fresh vegetables and fruits are very important along with a balance of meat, beans and healthy grains. Limit sweet drinks – especially those made with high fructose corn syrup. And make sure your child gets plenty of sleep. If it is hard to wake your child up and get them going in the morning, make them go to bed earlier. A well rested child will function much better at school than a tired one. (This goes for adults too.)
I hope you and your families all have a great school year.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.