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Back to School Supplements for Children

By on Sep 25, 2013

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Which supplements are useful to keep children healthy?

Which supplements are useful to keep children healthy?

The start of the school term is usually when colds, coughs and tummy bugs hit their peak for children.  Natural remedies can play a vital role in maintaining and boosting a child’s immune system. Nurseries and schools are full of bugs that usually get passed around the class. Natural supplements for children can help to strengthen their natural defences to these bugs.

Vitamin supplements, alongside a healthy balanced diet (full of fresh fruit and vegetables) and plenty of rest can keep your child fit and healthy during term time. With extra classes, perpetual birthday parties and homework, many kids have a busy schedule, so it is important they stay healthy and don’t “burn out”.

A good quality multi vitamin is a good starting point for maintaining a healthy immune system.  Children’s vitamin supplements usually contain vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc. Lamberts, Seven Seas and Viridian produce good quality multivitamin supplements for children. These should be given as advised by the manufacturer or pharmacist.

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. They defend the body against viruses and infections that we are constantly exposed to. Probiotics support the immune system by lining the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria, which prevents the absorption of harmful bacteria and viruses into the body. These beneficial bacteria “crowd out” the bad bacteria and help to maintain a healthy immune system. As the digestive tract plays a major role in boosting the immune system, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut. These supplements can easily be hidden in yoghurts and juices as they are usually prepared as a powder or capsule. Optibac and Biocare manufacture good quality probiotic supplements for kids.

Essential Fatty Acids are also important in supporting the immune system of your child. This can be given in the form of chewable capsules or liquids that are tailored for young children. Omega 3 essential fatty acids contain two essential nutrients, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Whilst they are both important for health, DHA is more important for concentration as this essential nutrient is predominantly found in the brain. Low levels of DHA have been linked with behavioural and learning and learning problems in children and studies have highlighted that EPA is very effective in maintaining a healthy immune system. Nordic naturals, Lamberts and Nutri produce good quality omega 3 supplements specifically for children.

Young children should be encouraged to be active and start exercising from an early age. This will help to support a healthy immune system. Regular exercise also helps to prevent the development of obesity, which is becoming a common problem amongst children in this country. Exercise helps to balance moods and helps children with their communication skills.