Back To School? Here is How To Prepare Your Child’s Immunity
Summer holidays are slowly coming to an end. Each one of us is preparing in his own way to adjust to shorter days and cooler temperatures. For parents and students, preparations for another school year are fully underway.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the end of summer marks an important seasonal change. It is the time associated with harvest, the earth element and the digestive system. This makes it a great time to boost your immune system and your overall health with healthy nutritious seasonal foods.
For the purpose of this article, we would like to focus on how you can incorporate food with other recommendations to prepare your family generally and your kids specifically to go back to school and adjust to the fall season.
Back to school can be a tough time for the whole family, adjusting to a new sleeping schedule and getting prepared on a physical, mental and emotional level. The 3 main recommendations below can come to the rescue.
1- Immune Boosting Foods
With the end of summer and its seasonal produce, it is recommended that you begin eliminating the cold raw foods that were refreshing during the heat and start incorporating more of the following warm immune boosting foods into your family’s diet. Make sure to select organic ingredients from a trustworthy source to guarantee that they are GMOs and herbicides free and contain the highest quality of nutrients.
Oats can provide a good comfort feeling. Combined with apples and nuts, they are a good source of soluble fibre known to help boost the immune system.
Several studies have shown that the good bacteria found in live yoghurt and other fermented foods play an important role in boosting the immune and digestive system. That’s why it is recommended that you also increase your family’s intake of your favourite type of non-dairy yogurt, eg kefir and kimchi.
Green leafy vegetables are not a kid’s favourite but we feel the need to mention them here because of their immune strengthening properties. Try to incorporate some cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli in your children’s diet by getting creative with some kale chips, vegetarian lasagne or meat balls with vegetables.
Last but not least, garlic, ginger and turmeric are always a good idea when it comes to immune boosting foods. Garlic stimulates the production of white blood cells and all 3 have super antioxidant properties.
2- Supplements (If needed)
If you have solely depended on foods before and feel that they have not been enough to provide your children the vitamins and immunity they need, you may want to seriously consider supplements. We recommend that you always check the source and quality of supplements’ brands using the recommended websites and picking the ones that are all natural chemical, colour and preservative free.
Probiotics are known to improve the digestive function and can be a great addition to the natural source found in food.
Omega3 supplements can help establish healthy cell membranes, which work to prevent inflammation and protect the cells from pathogens and toxins attacks.
Finally, we are all familiar with the role of vitamin C in helping reduce inflammation and preventing infections. If you feel your kids are not getting enough vitamin C from food sources, you can always supplement their health regiment with it.
3- And The Basics
As part of a good and functional immune system, the body needs to rest well to enable it to naturally resist and fight common bacteria and viruses. This can be quite challenging for parents at the end of summer. For that, we strongly suggest to set an earlier bedtime one month before the start of school and start adjusting it gradually until then. This way kids will not feel the drastic transition. Finally, you can always incorporate an evening routine to make night-time smooth and easy like family reading sessions or an hour of puzzle.
Additionally, it should become mandatory to encourage your children to drink plenty of room temperature water regularly during the day. As the days get colder, it might happen that they will automatically start drinking less water. Hydrating the body is an essential aspect to maintaining a healthy and strong immune system for everyone and not least for children. Make sure to choose good quality mineral water that is free of fluoride.
Even though your children might already be exercising during the summer, it is very important that they continue to do so regularly and spend as much time as is possible outdoors in the seasons to follow to help stimulate and maintain the body’s natural ability to cleanse, release stress-reducing hormones, with the plentiful intake of fresh air and vitamin D from the sun.
Let’s get ready to go back to school with health and full of energy!