Back To School

It’s summertime, which means in retail world it’s time to start thinking about back to school! There are a number things that parents need to consider to provide their kids with the best possible nutrition, and sometimes that requires supplements.Here is a list of three things to consider when prepping your child for back to school.

1. Omega-3’s

Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fats found predominantly in fish, though they are available through plant based foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, camelina oil, and flaxseeds .Fish are the optimum source of Omega-3’s as the fish have already converted the ALA into forms usable for the body.  Though there are relatively few studies to choose from that focus specifically on children, there are a handful that suggest that children with higher amounts of Omega-3’s in their diet have less obstacles when it comes to attention, learning and behaviours. Considering that the sources of Omega-3 are from foods that many kids resist eating, a supplement may be valuable, especially if you’ve noticed your child struggling in any of these areas.

I’ve included some links to some information so you can read on this subject a little further:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21961774

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/5/1360

2. Probiotics

  • In terms of the research world, probiotics are still a fairly new concept, so there is conflicting science on the benefits of probiotics. One of the limitations is that there are SO many different strains of bacteria, each with a different job, and in order to determine a specific strains benefits there is a lot of narrowing down to do when trying to match a strain with a “condition”.

What we DO know so far is that probiotics offer benefits for children with constipation or diarrhea, allergies and eczema.There is also a study linked below that suggests that supplementing with Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730  resulted in fewer days absent from daycare and less antibiotic use, and we can use that information from daycare setting and extrapolate that to a school setting as well.

Ongoing research is being done to determine their efficacy for improving immunity, reducing duration of upper respiratory infections and even for mood and behaviour. There is evidence suggesting that children who were formula fed or born by Cesarean can also benefit from supplementing with probiotics.

Probiotics and Children IBS

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27380595

Probiotics, Infection and Immunity

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12686883

Probiotics and Child Care Centers

http://www.biogaia.com/study/effect-probiotic-infant-formula-infections-child-care-centres

3. Multivitamin

Though I am not one of those individuals who believes that all children should be on a multivitamin I do see their merit for the parent of a picky eater. A multivitamin is great to fill in some dietary gaps to ensure your child has an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. It is very important that parents do not rely on a multivitamin as the only source of nutrients. There are a variety of multivitamins available for children to take, so make sure to chat with your health food associate to determine which multivitamin would be best for your child.

This is certainly not an extensive list of supplements that are advantageous to children’s health, however it is a great start, and I can imagine most of your kids don’t want to take much more than that! Enjoy the rest of your summer everyone:)