As the beautiful summer slowly comes to an end many parents are preparing for the upcoming school season. With new lunch boxes and sharpened pencils also come new viruses and colds. There are many things we can do to strengthen our children’s immune systems, including ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep, eat a wholesome diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and keep their daily sugar intake below 30g. Supplemental supports can also be very helpful in keeping young immune systems strong. There are many, many options on the shelves. Here are two that I feel are essential.
Probiotics are one of the best ways to improve immune function in our children. Since the bulk of our immune system grows and lives in our digestive system, it isn’t surprising that a high quality probiotic can strengthen the immune system. Fermentable foods like kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha are also great dietary add-ins, as these foods naturally contain high amounts of beneficial bacteria. That said, with busy schedules and picky palates I find most families have a difficult time adding these to their children’s daily diets, which is why a probiotic supplement can be a good idea. Remember to look for something with 5-8 different strains that is stored in the fridge. Take with food for best results.
- Vitamin D
The sunshine vitamin should be on everybody’s radar, particularly in the fall and winter seasons. A significant number of Canadians are deficient in this important vitamin and since it plays such an important role in immune function you can see why it is crucial. Easy to take and cost efficient, everyone in your household should be taking some vitamin D3. I prefer the drops/liquid versions for children as they are easier to take. I have my little one put one droplet on her hand and lick it off. What fun! Works every time.
Dosages of both probiotics and vitamin D vary based on the child’s age, and the best probiotic strains will vary depending on your child and their health concerns.[i] And if your little one’s immune system is still struggling (even after giving them probiotics and vitamin D) make sure to ask your ND for more supports, such as immune supportive botanicals. There is so much we can do to help keep our kids healthy this school season!
[i] Please consult your health practitioner before starting any supplementation.