6 easy back to school tips to ensure your little ones stay healthy!
by Dr. Alison Danby, Naturopathic Doctor
For both kids and parents this time of year can be a big transition, getting back into routine, battling more germs in the house and dealing with extra day to day hustle and bustle. Here are 6 tips to make the back to school transition easy and healthy!
Set a bedtime and start establishing routine. The summer to school transition can be hard for everyone including mom and dad. A few weeks before school starts try incorporating waking and going to bed a little earlier. This will make that first week bearable for everyone!
Healthy Hygiene! Kids are exposed to more germs within the school day and unknowingly share them with the family, increasing the likely hood of your house being hit by the cold and flu bugs, repeatedly! Encourage your children to NOT share water bottles or foods, to wash their hands frequently and to keep their hands away from their face (mouth & eyes). Put a Wet Ones in your child’s lunchbox for easy before & after lunch washing.
Increasing your family’s immune boosting foods! As convenient as pre-made lunches and snacks are they often provide very little nutrition for our little ones. Vegetables, fruit and fish are the top 3 immune boosting foods. Have lot of pre-cut fruits and vegetable around the house to encourage healthy snacking, feeding their immune systems. If they don’t like fish, a high quality fish oil is a great substitute. Not only will fish oil boost their immune system, research shows it improves concentration and focus, improving their overall performance in school. Sugary snacks alter immune function, increasing the odds of your child coming down with a virus. Also altering their ability to focus and concentrate.
Start the day right, eat a healthy breakfast. Research shows that if you start your day with a healthy breakfast your child is more likely to preform better in school, achieve higher grades, enhanced focus and concentration and reduction of missed days due to illness. A healthy breakfast should contain:
protein (hemp hearts, protein powder, eggs, meat),
a fat (fish oil, coconut oil, avocado),
fibre (flaxseeds, high fibre carbs).
Here are a few great breakfast ideas are: veggie omelets, fruit yogurt cup with flaxseeds, oatmeal with berries and hemp hearts on top.
If your family’s mornings are like a rush hours a fast simple healthy breakfast solution is a morning smoothie. Blend Greek yogurt, berries, nut milk (almond, coconut), protein powder (I like vegan ones), add a little fibre with ground flax seeds, and a fat with fish oil or avocado to make it smooth and fluffy. These ideas provide more nutrients than many box cereals.
Keep calm and carry on, reduce stress levels. For many children (and parents) back to school means a big change, increasing their anxiety levels. Having a dress rehearsal day could make the world of difference. Walk them through the school and if possible go in a meet the new teacher and see their new classroom. Encouraging them to talk about their fears or anything that is bothering them can help ease the anxiety. Rescue remedy is a great remedy I’ve used with many children for stressful situations, exams, first days of school, even sporting events.
Clean & Clear sinuses! I have started many of my pediatric patients on a nasal/sinus cleaning routine with a netipot or a saline nasal mist. This helps keep the nasal and sinus cavity clear of germs reducing the risk of cold and flu’s throughout the year. Simple and easy to do at home for the whole family!
Use these 6 tips and help your family stay healthy and happy for this back to school transition!
Brought to you by Dr. Alison Danby, Naturopathic Doctor, Oakville & Waterdown.