Back to school: Health and Nutrition

in Health & Beauty

Now that your kids have gone back to school, how can you help them to thrive and develop and ensure that they have a healthy school year? Autumn is the perfect time to get your kids into a healthy routine.

SLEEP

Getting enough sleep is critical to staying healthy and thriving at school. Good sleep is important for children’s overall physical and mental wellbeing as well as playing a key role in their overall development. 

Not only can it help improve mood, it’s also been widely associated with affecting how alert children are and their ability to focus. It’s also been linked to influencing their wider cognitive performance, resiliency and rate at which they learn.

We all know how hard it is to set and keep to a regular bedtime during the school term. The amount of time children should ideally sleep is mainly determined by how old they are.

It is recommended that children between the age of 6 and 12 need around 9 to 12 hours of sleep, so how much they need exactly will depend on what time they go to bed. For example, if your 12-year-old needs to wake up at 7am every day, then they ideally need to go to sleep by 7pm (for the maximum 12 hours’ sleep).

Nutrition

Balancing a healthy diet with the food kids crave can be challenging. Eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to start the day but time is always an issue. Eating a bowl of whole-grain cereal (skip the sugary ones, aim for less than 10 grams of sugar per serving) with low-fat milk and a piece of fruit is a quick and nutritious breakfast.

Whether your children eat a school-provided lunch or bring lunch to school, focus on a nutrient dense meal that will sustain them through to the end of the school day. To create a healthy lunch, include one of each food group: one protein, one whole-grain, one fruit, one vegetable and one dairy choice. 

Boost their Immune System

Younger children attending nursery and school typically catch between seven and 10 colds a year, so it makes sense to give their immune system a helping hand.

It is recommended that children from six months to five years old are given supplements which contain vitamins A, C and D, so giving them some vitamin D with their breakfast can help overcome the dark winter days, boosting their immunity.Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of normal skin, Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth, Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of bones

A multi-vitamin aimed specifically at children can help plug any ‘gaps’ in their diet. For children 3 years and over, give them one Holland & Barrett Healthy Kids Multivitamins Super Strawberry Capsule per day.

Jelly Bears Omega 3 Orange Fruit Bear 60 Chewables from Holland & Barrettare an easy way to ensure that your little ones are getting enough Omega 3. From foetus through to breastfeeding, to toddlers, through the teenage years and beyond, omega-3s are critical for growth, brain development, and may even influence behaviour.

Low iron in children, or anaemia as it’s perhaps more generally known is a very common condition where red blood cells or the amount of haemoglobin in red blood cells is less than normal.With children it is often to do with lack of iron in the diet. Iron is present in foods including red meat, fish, and leafy green vegetables. Vitabiotics Feroglobin 200Ml available from Holland & Barrett gives you gentle Iron and nutrients to help maintain health and vitality in a delicious honey and orange liquid and is suitable for children over 3 years of age.

Teenagers

Teenagers are at an awkward age where they’re starting to take on more responsibilities for their own health, but not completely.You can help your teenagers get healthier by knowing which vitamins are best for them and which are particularly key to take during puberty. These include: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Calcium and Omega 3. Keeping hydrated is also important, so don’t forget to tell your teens to drink plenty of water.

Some experts believe that sleep may be even more important for teenagers. This is because these years are a formative period, meaning that the brain and body are still developing. Teenagers’ natural circadian rhythm (the body’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycle) alters, making it more difficult for them to drop off before 11pm, which then has a knock-on effect on their ability to rise and shine first thing in the morning.Encourage your teens not to use electronic devices for half an hour before bed, and keep their phone on silent mode throughout the night. 

To make sure your teens are getting enough of the right nutrients, buy Holland & Barrett Teen Multivitamin & Mineral Chewable Tablets or Holland Barrett Mega VitaMin Teens Capsules which has a premium performance formula specifically for teens.

Holland & Barrett - Vitamins
Holland & Barrett - Vitamins
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