Give Your Children A Nutritional Boost!
Give your children a boost, with some body & brain essentials!
Omega 3 fish oil
You have probably read about the many health benefits you can get from taking Omega-3 fish oil. In particular, it helps with various aspects of brain and visual function, including learning ability, concentration and co-ordination. Many studies have shown that children supplementing with an omega 3 supplement, especially one rich in naturally occurring DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have better focus in the classroom, are less disruptive and are generally able to follow instruction better than those children who were not supplemented.
But what about the fish taste I hear you say! We have many high quality forms of omega 3 fish oil, designed with children in mind. These include Ethical Nutrients Hi Strength Fish oil for Kids, an orange flavoured liquid, where each 2.5ml provides a huge 1000mg of DHA or we have the Coromega Omega 3 squeeze (also comes in 90s). An orange flavoured "mousse" that comes in an individual squeeze serve sachet. Each 2.5 gram sachet provides 230mg of DHA.
We also have the Efamol Efalex softgels or liquid, a highly researched product that has shown huge benefit in children with dyslexia. Benefits included significant improvements in manual dexterity, ball skills and balance of dyspraxic children. As well as this, trials show the higher the levels of good fats the better the overall academic ability and the less likelihood of behaviour problems and anxiety. Nordic Naturals have Childrens DHA liquid and Softgels, as well as DHA Baby. The Ethical nutrients fish oil for kids is the highest strength product we have, but the other options are good too.
It is common for children to be low in iron. You may think they get enough iron in their diet but are they really? In my experience, if a child is born to a woman who was low in iron during her pregnancy and particularly in her last trimester, the child may have ongoing problem in their life absorbing and maintaining adequate iron levels.
Viruses, bacteria and parasites (worms) use iron to replicate in the body, so a child who has had a cold or the flu recently or who gets worms, may be lower in iron than is ideal. Typical symptoms of low iron include emotional erraticness, a picky eater (this makes it difficult to get iron rich food into them) an inability to switch off at night time to go to sleep, even though they may be exhausted, general fatigue and a lack of enthusiasm or zest for life, as well as breathlessness upon exertion, especially when walking up stairs or hills. This breathlessness can also be seen as sighing.
If you are ticking a lot of these boxes, then these are some of the options we have for boosting up iron levels in children. Good Health Iron Chews provide 20mg of iron per tablet, with the co factors Vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin C. We also have 5mg chewable tablets called Iron4every1. Floravital is a popular gluten and yeast free Iron liquid, which provides nearly 10mg per 2 teaspoons. The recommended daily amount of iron for a child 5 months to 10 years (I know, what a huge reference range!) is 10mg per day. Remember, this is just what their body needs to function properly. If they have a deficiency, they may need more.
We tend to think of a probiotic as something we have after a course of antibiotics, but the Ethical Nutrient Immune Boost for kids probiotic strains have been researched for better immunity and this is what they found. When taken regularly, it may reduce the frequency of symptoms of colds and the flu, reduce the duration of cold and flu symptoms, reduce the number of days absent from childcare or school due to colds and reduce the incidence of runny noses, coughs and boost immune system function. As well as this, taking a probiotic populates the gastrointestinal tract with beneficial bacteria, which helps with a better absorption of nutrients from the food and supplements taken.
As naturopaths we always recommend a probiotic for helping with better immunity, but other supplements we have include Ethical Nutrients Mega Zinc. This powder contains Zinc and Vitamin C, in a raspberry flavour (sweetened with stevia). Zinc and Vitamin C are vital for better immunity. We also have Radiance Kids Immune, chewable & strawberry flavoured, with immune boosters such as Olive leaf and Echinacea. This product would be ideal for a child whose immunity is low, who is around unwell children and you want to help to prevent catching it, or at the change of season, to give a boost to the immune system. Kids immune also comes in this economy triple pack.
A multivitamin is essentially a B complex with added trace minerals, such as zinc, selenium, calcium and magnesium and vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, D & E. Most multivitamins are either devoid of or very low in iron, as iron levels should be independently evaluated and treated accordingly.
My favourite multi for children is the Clinicians Multivitamin and Mineral Powder. This powder is mixed in a small amount of water or juice and can be used by the entire family, with the dosage adjusted dependent on the age. We also have chewable multis the Radiance Kids Multi Boost, which provides 26 different nutrients and are fruit flavoured, as well as Solgar Kangavites Bouncing Berry Chewables, for children 3 years and over. Oxylent is a powdered multi nutritional supplement that comes in a single serve sachet. This bubbly Berry flavoured powder contains really good amounts of vitamins and minerals including a huge 800IU of Vitamin D, as well as selenium, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Often, its hard for a child to switch their brain off to fall asleep, no matter how tired they are. There are many reason why this can happen, but a lack of the soothing minerals calcium and magnesium are the common culprit. Children need such a large amount of calcium, with 7 to 11 year olds needing between 700-900mg every day. Once they hit puberty, this goes up to a huge 1000-12000mg per day.
Most calcium tablets are huge horse pills, making it very difficult for children to consume. Options we have include the Natures Sunshine Calcium liquid, which provides 500mg of calcium, 200mg of magnesium, zinc and Vitamin D in each 1 tablespoon dose. Radiance Kids Bone is a chewable tablet which provides calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Designed to help with the growing needs of a child, these vanilla caramel tablets can be taken on a daily basis, to boost these minerals. Ethical Bone Builder powder dissolves in water to provide a high calcium drink, with Vitamin D, Boron and Vitamin K. All of these supplements can help to provide your child's calcium needs, to help them be more relaxed and soothed generally.
I know nits are not talking about "nutrients to boost your child", but if your child has nits, they will need a boost, to help compensate for what these little critters are sucking out of them. Makes your head itchy just thinking about it!
No one really wants to talk about nits, but it certainly is at epidemic proportions at the moment. The amount of children who have come into the shop recently, infested with these blood sucking louse. It is the worst I have seen so far. Head lice seem to have become immune to many of the pharmacy nit treatments. Having said this, who wants to be pouring heavy duty chemicals onto our children's scalp anyway! We have a number of options to help to tackle these critters.
No Nit soap. This will be one of the most expensive bars of soap you purchase, but you use it as your child's shampoo, and can expect at least 20 washes with this 1 bar. The success of its natural insect repelling pure essential oils of Neem, citronella, tea tree, penny royal and orange oil, in a gentle soap base, aids in keeping your child head free of these biting and itching pests.
We also have the Mr. Nits lotion, which contains their essential oils lotion, which disrupts the attachment of lice and their live eggs to the hair, enabling quick and easy removal by rinsing and combing. This pack comes with a nit comb and one bottle is suitable for one application. We also have the Lice lather shampoo and prevention spray. You wash the hair with the nit shampoo to detach the nits, comb them out with a nit comb and when the hair is dry, apply the prevention spray.
We have many other suggestions to help your child perform at their maximum. If you need any more suggestions, please call any of our health team, who are all experienced in this topic.
Naturopath and Founder Ideal Health