During the winter months, kids are inevitably exposed to bugs at school, in day care, or when playing with their friends. Along with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and regular physical activity, the right supplements can help young immune systems resist infection. And during the rest of the year, the same nutrients can help them stay healthy and active thrive.
MULTIVITAMIN AND MINERAL: No child eats a perfect diet and a multi ensures all-round nutrition. Look for whole food-based products designed for kids, with a combination of natural forms of vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and follow product directions. Those who don’t eat dairy products need extra calcium and magnesium, and kids on vegetarian diets should take vitamin B12.
VITAMIN D3: Studies show that up to 60 percent of kids may lack vitamin D, essential for a healthy immune system, bone growth, a healthy heart and protection against cancer. Levels can be tested by a doctor. As a guide, some holistic physicians recommend 400IU for infants, 800-1,000IU for toddlers and 2,000 IU for kids old enough to go to school.
FISH OIL: Necessary for healthy development of the nervous system and brain omega-3 fats in fish oil protect against bugs, damage from toxins and inflammation. Lack of these nutrients is associated with ADHD and autism. Many fish oil products are designed specifically for kids. Consider 200mg of DHA and EPA (combined) for each 50 pounds of a child’s body weight. Vegetarian sources include DHA from algae and flax seed oil.
PROBIOTICS: Antibiotics taken by the mother during pregnancy or while breast feeding or by the child, destroy healthy gut bacteria, damaging immunity. Look for combinations that include lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Some multivitamins contain probiotics.
MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS AND HERBS: For protection against viruses and bacteria, look for combination of medicinal mushrooms and immune-enhancing herbs such as astragalus.
BEST FORMS: Many chewable and liquid products are naturally flavored for kid’s taste buds. Or, mix liquids, powders or contents of capsules into smoothies or other food. Look for little or no added sugars and avoid artificial flavoring, preservatives and other additives.
IMPROVE ATTENTION SPAN
A helpful diet includes regular meals and snacks that are free of artificial additives, low in refined carbohydrates and include moderate amounts of protein (especially fish and eggs) balanced with vegetables and other whole foods.
Fish oil has been shown to improve attention span. And, for serious attention difficulties, 200-300mg daily of phosphatidylserine (P5) is a safe and effective nutrient that helps with memory, particularly for those with ADHD.
EASE CHILDHOOD ECZEMA
Approximately 15 percent of children have eczema, characterized by red, itchy lesions. The trigger may well be undiagnosed food sensitivities, the most common of which include gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains), citrus fruits, tomatoes, soy milk, and/or cow’s milk. Eliminating these foods from a child’s diet, one at a time for two weeks, will identify problem foods and may well clear up the skin.
Helpful supplements for eczema include probiotics, fish oil with a minimum of 500mg of EPA and DHA (combined) or 2-3 tsp. of flax seed oil daily.
MORE EXZEMA REMEDIES: Look for homeopathic formulas designed to treat your child’s specific symptoms. Topically, try our OMGRx Line’s Exit Eczema Cream or an itch cream with chickweed. Or add liquid chickweed extract or powder (from capsules) to a bath.
Reference – Health Guide 2013