Back to school is an exciting time, but that enthusiasm can quickly fade after the first few weeks. As that summer tan fades and the pressures of assignments and activities begin, it’s important to find ways to keep our families healthy, both mentally and physically, amidst the chaos of the school year. Here are some strategies we like to use to keep everyone thriving all year long!
Stay organized (and sane!)
Caring for our mental well-being is crucial during the back-to-school season. One of the biggest ways we love to reduce our mental load is using a good old fashion calendar for everything. Whether it’s digital or printed is totally up to you but find a method that you know you’ll use consistently. Keep track of everyone’s activities, assignments, lunch dates, etc. . . and try to get in the habit of planning 1-2 weeks in advance can help keep everyone organized and motivated. Make sure to also pre-plan workouts and lunch dates with friends so you can also have time for self-care amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
A healthy diet, along with supplementation to help fill nutritional gaps, plays a key role in your family’s health. Here are a few winning foods and nutrients to consider incorporating into your routine. (Note: before starting any supplements, consult with your healthcare professional):
Packed with vitamins antioxidants, these berries have long been used as a health aid. Antioxidants inhibit the effects of free radicals, metabolic by-products that can cause harm to cells. Additionally, elderberries have a naturally occurring flavonoid that may also help reduce inflammation. Supplements, like AdvoCare GOMEs Elderberry Gummies, are a great way to easily include elderberries into your routine. Since they are approved for ages 4+, these gummies are a delicious way for the whole family to enjoy the benefits of elderberries.
Garlic is a common home remedy used to help combat colds and other illnesses. Raw garlic can help with infections thanks to its ability to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, an oily, slightly yellow liquid that gives garlic its color, and when it is crushed, chewed, or sliced – it’s thought to give garlic its health properties. Consider incorporating fresh garlic into your meals, such as adding it to a pasta salad or making garlic bread for dinner!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Consuming foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish and nuts, can help promote cardiovascular and brain health. Research studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids as part of a healthy diet can help decrease triglyceride levels, aid in the reduction of atherosclerotic plaques and may help lower blood pressure. Other studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help support brain development in children – including aiding in learning and memory! Salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna are all good sources of omega-3s, along with walnuts, almonds and pecans.
Prioritize Gut Health
A healthy gut is at the center of your overall wellness as it helps to support a strong immune system, reduce inflammation, maintain mental health and even positively impact cardiovascular health. Additionally, a healthy gut also helps ensure nutrients are properly absorbed within the digestive tract.5
Refreshing the body’s population of “good bacteria” with probiotics is a great way to support your family’s gut health. The great thing is there are a lot of kid-friendly foods that have probiotics, including yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, pickles and olives!
Supplements can also be a great way to help ensure everyone is getting a dose of probiotics! Once you’ve got the greenlight from your doctor, we recommend sticking with a probiotic supplement that is:
- Approved for children: kids have different needs than adults and it’s important to stick with a product that’s safe for them!
- Includes Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium: These two strains of bacteria have the most health benefits and have been extensively studied.
- Easy for kids to take: pills can be a potential choking hazard for young children, so it’s safer to stick with probiotics that are easier to take in either a liquid, gummy or powdered form. Probiotic FastMelt® is a great option! This fast-melting probiotic powder is approved for ages 4+, provides 3 billion CFUs and comes in a delicious Wild-Berry flavor.
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining energy levels and supporting overall health. Even as little as a 1.5% loss in fluid can cause you to become dehydrated! In addition to reminding everyone to drink water regularly, other strategies use include:
- Keeping a glass of water on the nightstand to drink first thing in the morning.
- Using a water bottle – keep it with you throughout the day and even set reminders to take sips!
- Proactively replacing electrolytes – if the weather is warm or you have an active day ahead, start drinking a healthy electrolyte replacement drink early and often. AdvoCare Rehydrate® contains a blend of vitamins, minerals and four key electrolytes to help ensure everyday hydration. It’s also approved for ages 4+ and comes in eight delicious flavors!
If you want to learn more about gut health in children, check out our post Gut Health In Children.