Sports & Health

Back to school health boosters

As fall nears, we waver between t-shirts and hoodies for earlier mornings.

Packing lunches, water bottles and indoor shoes for our little ones complete with their new backpack makes September mornings much different than summer ones.

And with it all, comes a change of weather and runny noses to follow suit. Although common and healthy for little bodies to fight off germs naturally, a little help from whole foods can go a long way in shortening the duration of emptying the Kleenex boxes and enduring sleepless nights of coughing spells.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Yes, as the body has been in a state of sedentary activity for hours while sleeping, its restorative systems have been hard at work. Fuel the body for its daily activity requirements with a meal containing protein and carbohydrates, complemented with healthy fats for sustained energy and satiety until lunchtime.

Vitamin C plays a crucial role in boosting your kid’s superpowers. Enhancing meals with citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons is a surefire way to achieve this. Sliced fruit is my favourite vs concentrated juices since the benefits of the fibre are included as well as the natural citrus oils from the rinds of these delicious options.

Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are packed with antioxidants also related to boosting cellular health. Fun ways to include them are in smoothies and as toppings for various meals. Yogurt contains probiotics that can support gut health and boost immunity, while nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E and healthy fats, which can aid immune response. A perfect way to combine these ingredients in a fun way is to make a yogurt parfait to start the day incorporating these immune boosters.

On the savoury side, spinach and other leafy greens provide vitamins A and C, as well as other nutrients essential for immune function.

Garlic contains compounds with potential immune-boosting properties like allicin which the body absorbs from raw garlic. Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, supporting the immune system as well. Incorporating these ingredients as a spinach omelette with a side of roasted sweet potatoes is a tasty way to enjoy an immune-boosting meal.

Bear in mind that regular physical activity and a regulated sleep cycle also have a positive outcome towards a healthy body.

Boosting immunity naturally will always be a win-win for your little ones fighting ability to ward off germs. Remember that a mild dose of the common cold doesn’t mean an unhealthy body. It’s the body’s ability to fight off the germ for a faster recovery which is important.

Stay active, eat well and dress for the elements for a healthy start to your little one’s new school year.

 

Story submitted by Shana Daniel, RHN

 

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