The Ideal Recipe for a Healthy School Year

by Nicole Pierce, ND

At Boise Natural Health, we have personal and professional experience in whole family health care. We offer Food Allergy Testing and Elimination Diet coaching, as well as nutritional and lifestyle counseling for kids and their families.

We can identify and treat food and environmental allergies to improve overall physical and mental health with NAET as well as run Neurotransmitter testing to pinpoint nutritional deficiencies that may reduce focus and concentration. In addition, we treat both children and adults with ADHD and related issues.

Here are some of my favorite methods for keeping my own family healthy and functioning during the busy school year!

  • Sleep: A wise professor of mine always said that each hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight, especially in terms of hormonal balancing. Kids 7-12 years old should be getting 10 – 11 hours of sleep per day, and 12-18 year olds need 8 – 9 hours per day. We make sleep a priority in our home to maintain health and sanity!
  • Nutrition:
    • Breakfast  I spend time volunteering in each of my kids’ classrooms and believe me, it is easy to spot a kid who hasn’t had a healthy breakfast before school. My son is not a big breakfast eater so it is a daily negotiation to send him to school fueled up. Smoothies containing healthy fats, protein, fruits and greens are a sure bet. Our favorite recipe has almond butter + kale + frozen + raspberries + coconut milk + a packet of Emergen-C for added flavor and Vitamin C.
    • Lunch  Packing lunch boxes is a daily struggle, but this year I will just be overseeing the lunch making in hopes that the food will be eaten and not thrown away. Here are a few great posts from Mommypotomus and Holistic Squid with some delicious-looking lunch box recipes and tips:
      http://www.mommypotamus.com/lunch-on-the-go-survival-guide/
      http://holisticsquid.com/23-ways-to-pack-a-nutrient-dense-school-lunch/
  • Hydration: A good rule of thumb for all of us is to drink ½ of our body weight in ounces. For example, my 50 lb kid should be drinking at least 25 ounces of water per day, more on days with soccer practice. I bought each of my kids’ water bottles that hold their whole allotted amount for the day and tell them that it’s their responsibility to drink it up. Then, when they get home, they drink tea, kombucha, diluted fresh juice, and raw milk for added hydration and nutrition.
  • Supplements: I try to get a good quality multi-vitamin, a probiotic, and fish oil into my kids most days. But even with proper daily nutrition and sleep, kids are sure to get overrun and ill from time to time.  During flu and cold season, I add Elderberry syrup to the daily routine, and keep an arsenal of other immune-enhancing herbs and homeopathic remedies at the ready to shorten the duration of illness.

Let us help you choose the best nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic remedies for your kids!