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Back-to-school sniffles – 3 Ways to Boost your Family’s Immune System #wellbeingwednesday

After a summer spent outdoors, heading back inside can be a shock for the immune system. Combined with the sharing of snacks, toys and new friendships comes the distribution of bugs and germs—often ones that kids haven’t been exposed to before.

Every year, without fail, this leads to runny noses, achy heads and missed days of school. This year, let’s put an end to the suffering. In addition to regular hand washing, try these three tried and trusted ways to help your kids avoid the back-to-school sniffles.

Supplement Boost

Finger pressing touch screen interface with vitamin D

Time and time again, studies have revealed vitamin D as the “miracle nutrient” for a healthy body and mind. Many people associate vitamin D with healthy bones because of its role in controlling the uptake of calcium into the body; but more and more studies are discovering the importance of vitamin D when it comes to modulating the immune system.

Vitamin D helps the body to produce over 200 different antimicrobial peptides. These proteins help to combat and safely eliminate any unwanted intruders and prevent us from getting sick.

Probiotics, especially ones formulated for children, are the second best way to keep your kids from getting sick this season. The strength of your immune system is largely determined by the health of your gut.

A healthy and diverse microflora enables your child to combat whatever pathogens come their way. Additionally, probiotics are important in helping to keep digestion and elimination running smoothly and supporting skin health. This also helps to prevent rashes and eczema, particularly valuable during the colder, drier months.

Nap Time

Adorable little girl sleeping in a bed

Getting back into the swing of things can be tricky during the first few weeks. Between homework, lunch prep, bath time and story time, before you know it, it’s 9 p.m.

The importance of sleep on child and teen development, both mental and physical, cannot be understated. Missing just 30 to 60 minutes of sleep leaves the body open to attack by having far-reaching consequences on the immune system.

School-aged children require 10 or more hours of sleep per night. Getting less than that could suppress their immune function and increase the risk of developing a cold, flu or bacterial infection. Making sure your kids get enough sleep is one of the best ways to set them up for success, not just during the back-to-school season but all year round.

Lunchtime

Shot of a happy family making lunch together.

Lastly, don’t let prepping and packing school lunches turn into a stressful activity. Kids are more likely to eat healthy lunches if they are involved in the prep work.

Allowing your child to have a say in what goes into their lunch box will almost guarantee they will happily eat it at school. If this is the first time your little one will be away from home during lunchtime, practice packing and eating different options at home in the weeks leading up to the start of school.

While little treats are fun and encourage children to eat their lunch, processed foods should be limited. Try homemade versions of your favourite sweet or salty snacks, and balance these with healthy alternatives like chopped fresh fruit, veggies and good fats like homemade guacamole and seed butters.

This year, don’t let back-to-school get the better of you or your little scholar. Following these three simple tips will help to keep your whole family healthy and sniffle-free.

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