4 Back-to-School Supplements for your Kids
Image: Aaron Burden on Unsplash
It may seem a bit strange to give your child dietary supplements; kids are, by nature, pretty healthy little humans.
That being said, we live in a world infinitely more stressful, chaotic and stimulus-riddled than the one we grew up in; as a result kids experience stress-related health issues far more often than previous generations.
Also, consider the issues of our food system: mass farming and agricultural monoculture has stripped a lot of the nutrients from our food, so we’re not necessarily getting the same benefits from a healthy diet we would have 50 years ago.
None of this is to say that you have to include dietary supplements in your kids’ regime; a veggie-heavy diet, lots of outdoor play-time and a loving home will always do wonders for our children’s well-being.
There are, however, a few supplements you can add to your child’s diet that will help protect them against the inevitable germs, stress and stomach issues all normal kids face during the school year.
Probiotics are wonderful for digestion issues, as they encourage natural growth of the gut flora – the micro-organisms that ensure we digest nutrients properly.
There’s also a strong correlation between gut health and brain health, so give both a boost in your child by giving them a high-quality, daily probiotic.
(Hint: most high-quality probiotics are stored in the fridge; the on-the-shelf variety at drugs stores may not have the same impact.)
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are integral to proper brain and memory development. They’re most often found in cold water fish like salmon, but kids tend to dislike fish until they get a little older.
Adding a high-quality capsule of fish oil (make sure it’s specifically labeled with Omega 3 in the name) will ensure the brain is well-sourced with the building blocks it needs for growth.
3. Vitamin D
This one’s especially important for children in Victoria (where my practice is) due to our relatively low sunlight exposure in the fall and winter.
Vitamin D boosts the immune system, which comes in handy when your child is exposed to 30 other little germ factories every day! Joking aside, a healthy immune system means fewer missed days of school, and an all-round happier experience of the school year.
On that note, there’s also a significant amount of research showing that vitamin D helps to boost the mood and combat issues of depression and anxiety, which, sadly, are becoming more prevalent among younger children.
4. A High-Quality Multivitamin
Classroom germs are no joke! Kids don’t necessarily understand things like personal space, blowing one’s nose, and covering one’s mouth when coughing/sneezing.
Kids are also kids – they fall down, eat dirt, throw out their carrot sticks at lunch, and face all kinds of social dramas we can barely comprehend. A good multivitamin from whole food sources will power up your child’s immune and nervous systems, adding to their physical and emotional resilience – and an effective, fun school year.