Fall is here and all that comes with it! School’s back in, cool, cloudy weather, warm cups of hot chocolate, festive meals and parties, and lots of great memories. Let’s not forget the colds, the fevers, the upset tummies, and the sleepless nights!

Moms want their kids to be happy and healthy during the school year and the holiday season. Today we’re talking about the 4 essential supplements your kids need to ensure they’re living the healthiest life they can! You’ll learn how they affect immune systems, cognitive functions, and muscle and bone development. See what the deficiencies are and how to prevent severe problems with simple daily supplements.

A Probiotic Supplement

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your gut health. Your body is full of bacteria both good and bad, and probiotics are the healthy kind that helps regulate your gut health. They are naturally found in your body and can also be found in foods and supplements.

Why should kids take probiotics?

*Probiotics are helpful for all men and women of any age. They are especially crucial to children. 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Probiotics help fight the ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut that thrive and grow off sugar and refined carbohydrates – which come in extra doses during the holiday season and during school parties and treats!

Symptoms your child might have too much ‘bad’ bacteria in their gut: If your child is experiencing acid reflux, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, or weight struggles.

What do they do?

To help combat bad bacteria in the gut that may compromise the immune system and affect the digestive health, a probiotic should be taken daily. This will help your child’s digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients. It will also assist with immune system concerns during the colder months, like allergies or cold and flu risks from the playground!  Check out our blog on a more in-depth look at probiotics for the body.

Probiotics and antibiotics

Lots of children are prescribed antibiotics when they get sick, and it’s even more common now that they’re in school and the weather is turning to fall and winter. It’s important to note that antibiotics do damage to the healthy bacteria in your gut! If you are giving your children antibiotics to help fight off an infection, make sure to help maintain a healthy balance in their stomach with probiotics.

Supplements for Kids

A Fish Oil Supplement

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is derived from the tissue of oily fish. Fish oils contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), both are types of Omega-3 fatty acids. It is found in fish and also in supplements and most health professionals agree that pretty much everyone is deficient in it.
They have many different functions and one of the most important is its anti-inflammatory effect.

Why should kids take fish oil?

The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are helpful to everyone of all ages. Numerous studies have shown the benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids in children. They include:

  • *Cognitive Development: Infants and Children with enriched omega-3 fatty acid DHA showed improvement and hand-eye coordination,  attention span, social skills, and intelligence test scores.
  • *Asthma: A 2008 study showed children who took fish oil were less likely to have developed asthma.
  • *Depression: Fish oil supplementation has been shown to improve depression in people of all ages.
  • *Diabetes: Researches have found that children who ate high omega-3 diets were less likely to develop diabetes.

What does fish oil do

How do the omega-3 fatty acids work? They block inflammation pathways in the cell. Multiple pathways in the human cells seem to be very sensitive to the anti-inflammatory effects. So many inflammatory problems, such as asthma, joint pain, and insulin sensitivity are affected by the nutrient.  Read our blog on how fish oil improves mental health.

Fish Oil and ADHD

Kids with ADHD have shown to have had lower levels of omega-3s in their bodies than normal. Adding a fish oil supplementation has shown to improve behavior, reduce hyperactivity, and boost attention span in children under 12.

Supplements for Kids

A Vitamin D Supplement

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosterioids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, supplements, or a very small amount from some select foods.

Why should kids take vitamin D?

Vitamin D has many benefits in children, including strong bones to help keep kids strong and healthy. It also assists muscle and cardiovascular function. Vitamin D helps the repository function for healthy lungs and airways. It plays an important role in cognitive function and the immune system as well.

*Conditions linked to a vitamin D deficiency include: metabolic syndrome, depression, upper respiratory infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, decreased cognitive function, asthma, and allergies.

What does vitamin D do?

Vitamin D comes mainly from your skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. Then it goes through a series of chemical changes in order for your body to use it. First it goes to the liver and then to the kidney to be activated into vitamin D. Once activated, it can perform its duties (which are plentiful!). The biggest duties are to manage calcium in your blood, bones, gut, and helps cells in your body communicate.

Supplements for Kids

A Multivitamin

What is a multivitamin?

Simply put, a multivitamin is a capsule or tablet that contains multiple vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to get a wealth of nutrients that would be difficult to digest in their natural form of food because of the variety, availability, and quantity!

It’s important to note that most common multivitamins are made from compounded synthetic nutrients. Few are made from natural derivatives as it is more expensive and more complicated to produce. However the quality of natural vitamins from the source is worth the expense if you can find it! Try to do your research when choosing a manufacturer. Many vitamins you see from local stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target are filled with filler materials and don’t include the natural materials that they claim on the label!

Why should kids take a multivitamin?

Ideally, children would get all the vitamins they need from a healthy balanced diet. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy non-GMO grains, and lots of protein from meats. However, we know that this is not always a realistic day with our busy lives and picky eaters! It’s also challenging to get in the extra nutrients for kids who play sports or have days with physical activity – which requires more replenishing.  Kids who eat processed or fast foods, drink carbonated sodas, or are on a vegetarian diet often lack vitamins and nutrients from the foods missing in their diet.

Giving children a multivitamin helps ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow healthy strong bodies. A good multivitamin will include Vitamin A (for growth and development, skin and eyes), Bs (for metabolism and energy), C (healthy muscles and skin), D (bone, muscles, and cardiovascular functions), Calcium (for strong bones), and Iron (oxygen in your blood for energy and cardiovascular functions).

How does the body absorb vitamins?

It depends on the type. There are fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The vitamins are swallowed and sent through the digestive track. The stomach breaks down the pill into small enough pieces to be absorbed. The small intestine is where the vitamins are absorbed.

Here, water-soluble vitamins (like Vitamin C) are picked up quickly, as they don’t require stomach acids to break them down further. Because they dissolve in water they are entered into the bloodstream and removed every day in urine – so it’s important to get them daily.

Fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, and K) need to dissolve in fat before they can make it into the body. This requires acids from the liver. Once broken down, the vitamins move with the fat into the body and end up in the liver where they’re stored until needed.

Supplements for Kids

Conclusion

With the fall and winter months approaching you want your kids to be protected. They’re dealing with germs and other bacteria in school, extra holiday treats, and a change in their daily routine and sleep cycle. Probiotics, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, and a Multivitamin are your best bet to keep them healthy and safe. Protect them against illnesses and diseases. Help their mood and cognitive function and make sure their bodies are performing at their best. These small daily supplements can make a big impact on your kids’ lives.