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Beat the Back to School Blues

February 17, 2016

Kick-start the New School Year
Parents understandably want what is best for their children and aim to ensure that life at home and at school is the best it can be. Nevertheless, if a child is experiencing stress, inadequate sleep or is finding it hard to learn and understand due to poor cognition, then life at school can be harder than it needs to be. Whether your child is starting kindergarten or year 12, there are ways you can help them to achieve their best this year.

It Can be Tough Being a Kid
Going to school can be both exciting and stressful for some kids. Stress can be triggered by a new school, making new friends, bullying, learning difficulties or the thought of exams. Signs that your child may be experiencing stress include noticeable anxiety, irritability, moodiness or over-concern about seemingly little things. Stressed children may withdraw from their usual activities and friends, experience digestive issues and sleep disturbances, or perhaps develop behavioural problems, and/or exhibit overall poor performance at school.

Ways for Children to Stress Less
Increasing exercise or play time, setting an age appropriate bedtime and sticking to it, limiting screen time (especially at night) and eating a wholefood diet are key strategies to help your child feel calm, sleep soundly and increase their overall wellbeing. A wholefood diet includes protein, wholegrains, pulses and ample fresh vegetables and fruit, but perhaps more importantly avoids processed foods and foods high in sugars, artificial colours and flavours. Whilst wholefood nutrition forms a solid foundation, some children need the additional benefits of magnesium, German chamomile, passionflower and LactiumPURE? (an isolated protein compound from cow?s milk), all known for their natural calming properties that help relieve nervousness, restlessness and irritability. This combination has also been shown to improve sleep onset, duration and quality, therefore helping your child to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep all night, which is important for optimal learning.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can
Healthy cognition is also required for classroom success, being equally important for the ?high achiever? as for the ?easily distracted? or for children with diagnosed conditions such as ADD/ADHD or autism. One way to increase cognition is simply to encourage your child to drink water, as even mild dehydration has been shown to decrease childrens? ability to focus effectively. In addition, extracts of green tea high in l-theanine have a unique ability to improve cognition while reducing stress, leading to a calmer, clearer mind. Another useful herb, brahmi, has been traditionally used to improve memory and focus, whilst several key nutrients help support your child?s developing brain, such as iodine, zinc, magnesium and B group vitamins. Your Practitioner can provide a combination of these ingredients to support healthy cognition, helping your child improve their memory and concentration, and setting them up for a bright future.

Oil the Machine
Studies have shown that fish oils high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, along with vitamin D both play a key role in healthy brain development and cognition. In addition, phospholipids form an important structural component of brain and nerve cell membranes. A formula that includes these three can help support your child?s nervous system as well as their visual function and motor skills, to enhance performance in the classroom, the playground or on the sports field. If your child dreams of being a sports star or a scientist when they grow up, speak to your Practitioner about a specific blend of high DHA fish oil with phospholipids and vitamin D that may help them get there.

Optimise and Thrive
There are many strategies to help bring out the best in your child this school year including an appropriate bedtime, increasing hydration and a healthy, wholefood diet. However, if your child could benefit from feeling calmer or from increased cognitive ability then contact your Practitioner today and set your child up for a great school year.


source: metagenics


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