Hurrah for Back to School!

Posted in News on 13th August 2017

Hurrah for Back to School!

The back to school season is thoroughly upon us, and in between book lists and uniform sizes now is the time to consider preparing your kids nutritionally for this change of pace.

With a whole new routine, early starts, learning every day, after school activities, children need as much energy and brain support as they can get their hands on. Of course bacteria and viruses can spread easily in the school environment especially in the first few weeks, so a strong immune system is crucial to hit the ground running.

Here are our recommendations of the top 5 Back to School Supplements to help support your child’s immune system, energy levels and concentration.

  1. Children’s Multivitamin and Mineral Formula A good multivitamin and mineral supplement taken alongside a well-balanced diet, can be great for giving additional support to your child’s diet to help to help avoid any nutritional deficiencies. With all the new information and new routines being thrown at them, a decent multi-vitamin will help give your kids the nutrients they need to support their action-packed days and help them from becoming very fatigued both mentally and physically. Although there really is no substitute for a healthy diet, it is not always that easy to ensure your little ones are eating as well as possible. As a mum of 3, I have had plenty dinner time battles and always find some peace of mind in topping up the vitamin and mineral levels with a good well balanced supplement. Various studies have been done on children’s IQ scores, concentration and performance and overall behaviour, and these studies have shown much improvement can be made with the simple addition of a daily multivitamin to a child’s diet.I find myself going back to either Vivioptal Junior, Pharmaton Kiddi or Haliborange Chewables (especially for those who won’t take a liquid) time and time again. Vivioptal and Pharmaton are pleasant tasting and are effective multi vitamins while also encouraging your little ones appetite.
  2. Vitamin D for Kids The most obvious place to source Vitamin D from is from the sun, however in Ireland we don’t get nearly enough to rely on to keep our levels up throughout the year, so it’s important to get it elsewhere.

    Doctors are now recommending that everyone should be taking a Vitamin D supplement of some kind, right from birth. While some multivitamins have a certain amount of Vitamin D, this is often well below the recommended daily allowance. Food sources include cod liver oil, egg yolks, fortified milk, fish, such as salmon mackerel and sardines, liver and butter. However, it should be noted that food sources of Vitamin D are not always a reliable source and you may not get enough to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.A single spray once a day of Better You DLux Daily Vitamin D Oral Spray will ensure your child receives all of the vitamin D they need. Each dosage provides your child with 400iu of Vitamin D. I especially love this as the novelty of a spray into the mouth is easily acceptable by children, and much easier to deliver than a tablet of capsule. The Better You range is very bioavailable, so that your child will receive the absolute highest level of the vitamin into your bloodstream very quickly.

  3. Vitamin D promotes the maintenance of bones and teeth, supports a healthy immune system and contributes to normal muscle function, all essential for your growing children all year round and especially at back to school time. The recommended intake of Vitamin D for Children is between 400IU – 1000IU daily for children aged 1-18 years old.
  1. Probiotics Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases, but your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

Probiotics are naturally found in your body. You can also find them in some foods and supplements.

Bad bacteria on the other hand can cause intestinal microflora imbalances that can lead to general un-wellness, including sickness, thrush, digestive problems, IBS symptoms and even skin problems. Most often there imbalances are caused from poor diet choices, with high sugar intake, low fibre foods and/or not enough good bacteria (e.g sauerkraut, kerfir, natural yoghurt) or good bacteria supporting foods in the diet (e.g artichokes, onion, garlic).

However lifestyle and environmental factors can also affect our friendly bacteria levels, including stress, both mental and physical, but also from outside sources like pollution and secondary smoking; along with antibiotic use and not enough sleep.

The intake of these friendly bacteria will help limit the influence of unfavourable bacteria, aid absorption of minerals, promote regular bowel movements and support their immune system.

I love Bio-Kult Infantis for babies up to 1 year old.  This is an advanced multi strain probiotic complex, which is further supplemented with Omega 3 and Vitamin D3.  They are very easy to use, I generally just put them into baby’s last bottle before bed and shake well to disperse into the milk.  I always use these after a course of antibiotics, after a tummy bug, and during holidays where the food may not be what the child is used to.

For the older kiddies, my probiotic of choice is Optibac Probiotics for Babies and Children (this one is also suitable for pregnant and nursing mothers).  The whole Optibac range is fantastic and was developed by a pharmacist originally.  These sachets are completely free from sugar, artificial colours and preservatives and provide both 3 billion live cultures and 0.75g of FOS fibres. Again these are sachets which can be easily mixed with your child’s favourite food or drink.

Bio-Kult Infantis is an advanced multi-strain formula for infants with Omega-3 and Vitamin D3.

  • 7 strains of live bacteria
  • High in Omega-3
  • Vitamin D3 (natural source of Vitamin D) to contribute to the normal function of the immune system
  • Preplex (FOS and gum acacia)

Bio-Kult Infantis does not need to be refrigerated and is suitable to be taken by babies, toddlers and young children, alongside antibiotics, when travelling and as part of a healthy diet. The formula comes in easy to use sachets.

Bio-Kult Infantis is an advanced multi-strain formula for infants with Omega-3 and Vitamin D3.

  • 7 strains of live bacteria
  • High in Omega-3
  • Vitamin D3 (natural source of Vitamin D) to contribute to the normal function of the immune system
  • Preplex (FOS and gum acacia)

Bio-Kult Infantis does not need to be refrigerated and is suitable to be taken by babies, toddlers and young children, alongside antibiotics, when travelling and as part of a healthy diet. The formula comes in easy to use sachets.

Bio-Kult Infantis is an advanced multi-strain formula for infants with Omega-3 and Vitamin D3.

  • 7 strains of live bacteria
  • High in Omega-3
  • Vitamin D3 (natural source of Vitamin D) to contribute to the normal function of the immune system
  • Preplex (FOS and gum acacia)

Bio-Kult Infantis does not need to be refrigerated and is suitable to be taken by babies, toddlers and young children, alongside antibiotics, when travelling and as part of a healthy diet. The formula comes in easy to use sachets.

 

      1. Omega Omega-3 is integral in the development of our eyes and the parts of our brains that are used for learning, reasoning and memory. Goodness knows my little ones could use help in the reasoning department on a regular basis!! Omega-3s cannot be produced in the body and therefore must be obtained from food sources or supplementation. Omega-3 intake has been shown to improve cognitive function, including hand-eye coordination, attention span, social skills, behaviour, attention and intelligence test scores. They have even been linked to strengthened immune systems, having mood-boosting effects and reducing hyperactivity. Good examples of Omega- 3 rich foods include oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, and in a variety of nuts and seeds including walnuts, flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Unfortunately children are often consuming much more omega-6 found in pastries, crisps, biscuits, margarine and processed foods instead of the more beneficial omega 3. This imbalance can cause their brains to can become sluggish, which ultimately affects their ability to concentrate and learn, and sometimes even their behaviour. Providing them with a natural pure fish oil will boost their intake of these beneficial fats at the recommended levels, and ensure they are not deficient in these essential fatty acids.

        For children aged 4-12 years, Think Krill is a unique formulation containing Omega-3. Krill Oil is a pure form of Omega-3 fatty acids, naturally low in toxicity and pollutant free, plus iron and iodine designed to help contribute to normal cognitive function and normal growth in children.

      2. Eskimo-3 Kids can be used from the age of 3 years. These are delicious orange flavour chewable tablets which combine brain boosting Omega 3 with choline and biotin. Each chewable contains an impressive 245mg of DHA, 54mg of EPA, 21mg of choline and 33mch of biotin. This great tasting, easy to chew supplement is so good you will have to hide them!This delicious, orange flavoured chewable combines brain boosting Omega fatty acid DHA and EPA, with choline and biotin. Each chewable contains an impressive 254mg of DHA, as well as 54mg of EPA, 21mg of choline and 33mcg of biotin. Omega fatty acids are ideal way to help support your child’s health, brain function and all-round ability. As well as helping them to achieve their full potential at school. This great tasting, easy to chew, sugar free food supplement tastes so good you will have to hide them! They are suitable for children aged between 3 and 12 years.
      3.  
  • Iron

 

    1.  

Children should ideally get their iron and other vitamins from a balanced, healthy diet. They most likely won’t need a supplement if they eat enough iron-rich foods. Examples of foods high in iron include red meats, turkey, pork and chicken, fish, fortified cereals, dark leafy green veg, beans and prunes.

However if you, like me, have some picky eaters in your house, who are not always eating regular, well-balanced meals, an iron supplement can be very beneficial. Iron is a very important nutrient for rapidly growing toddlers and children.

Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin, which is responsible for the transport of oxygen to body tissues. Iron contributes to the normal cognitive development of children. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and can stunt the development of children less than two years of age. Studies have shown the damaging effects of having anaemia this young may not be reversible even with iron supplements given later on. The number of iron-deficient children rises between the ages of one and two from 23% to 50%! Iron deficiency anaemia can cause developmental and learning problems in children.

Sona Babyfer Iron Supplement Drops is a food supplement that contains 30mg of elemental iron in every ml and can be used from 6 months of age. For children from 6 months to 3 years, the dose is 0.5mls daily. For children over 3 years, 1ml is the appropriate dose. I love these as they are quite pleasant tasting and it is such a small quantity the kids hardly notice it!

 

So there it is, my 5 top supplements for back to school time. If you need any more help or assistance, don’t hesitate to pop in to the pharmacy, call us on 02763744 or drop us an email on info@glengarriffpharmacy.ie.

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