Back to School – How to fortify your child’s immunity as they go back to school
The dizzy heights of summer are over and its time to get back to work and school. With it comes a change in energy, the laidback holiday vibe is exchanged with a faster more frenetic paced focus and along with increased social interaction, earlier starts and a change of environment these changes can put pressure on your immune system.
So what can we do to keep our little people (and us for that matter) firing on all cylinders and keeping autumn/winter bugs at bay.
Whilst it might feel less tempting to throw on your boots and go for a walk or head to the gym, the importance of having some time out to clear your head, breath in some fresh air and get the blood moving is imperative to keep our immunity strong. Take at least 30 minutes of the day to walk preferably with an incline to really get the blood moving.
Get your berry on
You only have to take a walk along the canal or in a country lane and you can see the abundance of berries presenting themselves in September. This year seems like a bumper year indeed.
These are natures immunity larder. Each one is packed with antioxidants that pack a punch against colds and flus and support your lungs.
Pick blackberries for freezing or eating straight away topped on cereal and smoothies or incorporated into crumbles and puree.
Spend a day making up elderberry tincture into jars as it is fantastic for the respiratory system. There is no natural native immune support greater than this in my opinion. Check out my recipe in our recipe page.
When it comes to increasing your energy and immunity the first thing I recommend is kefir. Using fermented milk as a probiotic is one of the most effective ways I know.
I use chuckling goat kefir which comes on a monthly subscription package and which I have half a glass of first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
If you are dairy free there is a great coconut option which you can find via the livekefircompany.
During the winter months it can be harder to notice when you or your child is dehydrated as they won’t sweat as much. Good hydration flushes out toxins from the body, maintains efficient bodily functions and keeps the body energized. Encourage your child to drink water or herbal teas containing turmeric, ginger, rosemary and cinnamon as these are warming and help keep the natural fire of your stomach burning and invigorated.
Chicken soup has been a wellness tonic for centuries and for good reason. It contains important minerals that are easily absorbable such as magnesium and calcium and phosphorus. It also contains the amino acid cysteine which can thin the mucus in the lining of the lungs so it can be expectorated more easily.
Diet is key
Providing your child with a good varied diet that includes lots of seasonal vegetables is vital for keeping their immune system strong as it is for us. Introducing them to a variety of vegetables at an early age is really helpful to avoid fussiness. If they struggle with them at first then present them in alternative ways until you find one that they like eg. raw, steamed, fried.
Laughing and smiling
A return to work or school doesn’t mean anyone should stop having fun. Keep smiling, laugh and socialise. Do things with your children that they love. Learn new skills. Studies show that this increases white blood cells important for fighting off illness.
Iron is important for energy levels. Keep them high by putting dried apricots in your children’s lunchbox.