This is the time of year that involves the buying of school supplies, new lunch boxes & the added anxiety of new teachers and schools. There are ways we can support our little, and big people, to give them the help they need to start the year off in a good way.
A good nights sleep is essential for everyone. Our kids are growing, busy playing sport and using their brains all day so a good sleep routine is essential. Poor sleep can lead to poor concentration, tantrums, anxiety and poor eating habits. If your child has trouble falling asleep herbal tea such as chamomile, some lavender oil in a diffuser on on the bottoms of their feet, and a night time meditation or relaxing music may help. Keep all devices out of bedrooms to avoid the temptation of checking that last message.
Keep them hydrated. Over the holidays we can monitor water intake but its not so easy during school time so make sure a big glass is
consumed before leaving each morning and when walking in the door in the afternoon. At least you know they got two big glasses in for the day. Avoid juices and soft drink that are full of sugar.
Remove sugar from the diet. Try to make fruit the only sugar of the day where possible. This will help to keep blood sugars stable so their energy does not fluctuate too much during the day. Keep an eye on the sugar in cereals and snacks, because even though it may have a 4 star health rating doesn't mean its actually good for our little people. A high sugar diet can lead to poor sleep, decreased immunity and poor gut health.
Strengthen the immune system to prevent all those nasty bugs coming home to infect the whole family.
A probiotic is great to
improve gut health and the immune system. Some children may need extra support and you can increase Vitamin C (citrus fruits, kiwi fruit & capsicum), Zinc (meats, pumpkin & hemp seeds), Vitamin D (eggs, cod liver oil and fatty fish) and Vitamin A (sweet potato, carrots, dried apricots). For fussy eaters a multivitamin supplement may be used.
Its not only adults that suffer anxiety. Remember that our kids can get pretty busy and regardless of a new year starting at Kindy or Year 12 this can lead to anxiety and stress in our kids so chatting to them to about how they are feeling and coping is important. Even the most resilient children can have times they are not coping too well. Remember that not all kids will know they are anxious and it may present in different ways, Using a simple flower essence such as Australian Bush Flower essences Calm & Clear or Emergency essence can be really helpful. Some essential oils for better sleep or nutrients such as Magnesium to calm the nervous system down.
Sporty kids may need extra support. If your child is playing a lot of sport they may also need some extra support for the body. Magnesium rich foods, Epson salt baths and plenty of nutritious food high in protein and healthy fats is important to keep them active and help with recovery.
Tummy aches & flatulence in your house? Healthy digestion is essential to absorb all those nutrients from our foods so supporting the digestion by removing allergenic foods that may lead to poor digestion is important and adding in pre and probiotics to replenish the good bacteria. Prebiotics are the food for our good bacteria and one of the best is fibre. This means using wholegrains that have not had the fibre removed (brown rice, wholegrain bread), vegetables and fruit are full of fibre but be aware that fruit does contain natural sugars so getting some vegetables in the diet is essential as well. Probiotics are in good quality yoghurt and fermented foods which you can get kids used to if adding small amounts to meals and slowly introduce them or add in a probiotic powder to breakfast. A supplement may be needed if diet is restricted or they have immune or allergy issues.
Remember that kids learn a lot from parents. So limit your own screen time, exercise regularly and eat healthy nutritious meals to show them it is a way of life not something you are making them do to torture them.
In health and happiness