Back to School Tips for Better Health
Whether you've decided to homeschool your child(ren) this year, or send them to school outside of the home, most families are settling into a new rhythm as summer winds down and we move into autumn. In this post I want to share some tips for keeping your child healthy through the fall and winter months.
Establish a routine: This is a suggestion that is underrated in my opinion and is one of the most important things to support children's health from infancy and beyond. Having a clear routine allows children to predict what's coming, which helps them to feel secure. Knowing that bedtime, play times, and meal times are always around the same time (within about half an hour each day) allows their bodies to get into a predictable rhythm that usually brings a sense of comfort to kids. If things are too unpredictable and there is isn't much or any structure it can leave the child feeling unsure of what to expect. In some cases this can weaken a child's adrenals which can lead to more colds and infections.
Allow plenty of time for creativity and play: allowing lots of time and opportunities for children to play and create is a wonderful way to support their health and overall development.
Lots of time in Nature: Nature is profoundly healing in general but especially for the nervous system. With everything going on everyone needs nervous system support and thankfully nature is available to us all for free.
Improve diet and nutrition: as much as possible purchase organic food, consider a water filtration system , avoid sugar and unhealthy oils, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get plenty of exercise. As the season changes consider eating warming foods like soups, stews and curries. There is so much more to say on this topic but for the purposes of this post I'll just leave it there!
Utilizing herbs for any and all childhood complaints is a wonderful way to keep kids healthy. You can engage kids by making teas, infusions, herbal baths, herbal gummies, and nourishing meals together. Most kids absolutely love these types of activities! It's a wonderful way to bond, and for them to learn about the magic of herbal medicine. For specific concerns and how to work with herbs for children's health, please book an appointment.
Kids as well as adults typically benefit from targeted supplementation. In general when it comes to children I recommend the following basics.
a high quality probiotic
a high quality multivitamin
a high quality fish oil or cod liver oil
If there are specific health or behavioural concerns a more extensive list may be added. With regard to supplements I always recommend professional brands (read: avoid Shopper's Drug Mart and Costco brands). Everything you put into your body needs to be processed by your body and the bottom line is that unless it's a professional brand supplement it likely contains fillers and other components that aren't doing any good and may be harmful in the long term. Speak to your naturopathic doctor about the best supplement brands for children.
Wishing you and your family a healthy fall and winter!
**Disclaimer: this post is intended for educational purposes only. No dosages are specified because dosages must be discussed with your child's health care provider.