It’s that time again and I’m seeing lots of posts of kiddos all spiffed up and heading back to school. Our guys have another week or so before heading back and I feel blessed for this little bit more of summer to enjoy.
That said, we’ve checked off the school supplies and procured new shoes to fit those feet that sprouted a little longer with the sunshine and sandal days of summer. What’s on the checklist now are some of the things that ebb and flow like the ocean tide. We change up our herbs and supplements to support the body through transitional times — Summer into Fall with back to school is one of those critical times that helps sure up the system and keep everyone strong in the face of communal germs and the stress of schedule changes. Right now is the time to be setting the firm foundation for great winter health. By fortifying and supporting the system now, we will hopefully fend off the colds and flus that can run through a household like a freight train.
Here are the 5 Simple Steps:
- Sleep. Gone are the late nights of star gazing and firefly catching. Gently transition bedtime back by 15 minutes a night until you reach a time where your tribe will have a good 8- 9 hours of rest. If the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., the shuteye should start between 8 -9 p.m. High schoolers should aim for 10 p.m.
- Hydrate. The body loses between 2-3 quarts of water with normal activity. Add in playground fun and afterschool sports and you’ve got a recipe for 4-6 quaarts lost. Water, pure and clean, is the best option for hydrating and rehydrating the body. If soda or a caffeinated drink enters the mix, expect to add an equal amount of water to compensate for the dehydrating effect. Bottom line, kids with access to water bottles during the day, at lunch and at sporting events will do better than those without. Aim for 1/2 the ideal body weight by age to be consumed in ounces. So, a child whose ideal weight is 80 lbs should be working towards 40 ounces of water. Mom, at 140, should be sipping her way up to 70 ounces. More active? Add an extra cup.
- Feed. Most kids have 5 main opportunities to fuel up during the day. Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afterschool snack and dinner. Without diving deep into this area, the quick picks should be a fruit and veg at each pit stop with a quality protein and a little fat (yes, kids need a little fat for healthy brains!) Next week I will post some ideas for easy, healthy kid meals — so sign up for the RSS feed or the newsletter to get that in your inbox!
- Go Pro. Gut health and great poop at where it’s at when we’re talking about keeping kids healthy. For everything from immune health to mental health, studies are showing that we need to go pro — probiotic! There is so much evidence now linking great gut flora to overall health that it’s really something to keep on your seasonal radar. Probiotic foods like yogurt, fermented veggies and drinks like kefir and kombucha can be rich and tasty sources of the good gut stuff.
For healthy poop, getting in those 5 fruits and 5 veggies daily will help with fiber which will make nice bulky stool. Getting enough water will plump things up and make poop that easy to pass. Those things are great — a good pooper will feel better than one who’s stopped up or straining. Beyond fiber and water, a quality probiotic is key. If you need help choosing one, drop me a line.
- Open the Seasonal Toolbox. This is the bag of tricks that every parent has and draws from… you know it and you’ve got one… it’s your tried and true’s, your grandma’s wisdom and your intuition. For me, I wouldn’t start a later summer season without Ashwaghanda, a neti pot and a diffuser with some essential oils.
Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body respond to stress. It is neither a stimulant nor a relaxant. It helps bring balance. The neti pot allows us to rinse our sinuses and keep them lubricated. We stave off late summer allergies and also keep nosebleeds at bay (our 9 year old used to have them fiercely and often). Finally, some quality essential oils and a diffuser. Honestly, we have diffusers in each bedroom and one downstairs. The beauty of essential oils is that with a drop or two you can uplift or calm, you can focus or relax… you can even combat germs. They are kind of amazing. (Click here to see what brand I prefer… you can order your own or contact me and we can take 15 minutes to talk about what you need and choose the best oils to match — I can even get you a wholesale account so you get the best price and some free oils to boot!)
Wishing you a happy, healthy back to school!
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on
- Easy Kid Meals and snacks for back to school
- Head Lice solutions — prevention and eradication
I’ll be posting the Fall Calendar of events next week too! If there are classes that you’d like to see or topics you’d like me to cover, drop a note or post below!