Sep 6, 2012

Tips for a Healthy, Successful School Year

Summer has come to an end and school is back in session. As a parent, you want to do your part in making sure your child is able to learn and thrive in school. Below are some tips to help you and your child make the most of the school year.

  • Start the day out with a protein filled breakfast. Try to make time to sit down with your child to enjoy breakfast with them.
  •  Plan healthy, well-balanced lunches with plenty of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  • The following herbs have been proven successful in helping to improve learning and to boost the immune system:
  • Encourage your child to get plenty of exercise (at least 20-30 minutes of continuous, rigorous exercise per day).  Fun ways to get exercise include taking family bike rides or walks, and playing outside games together. Try to limit their time spent watching television, playing video games, and using other electronics.
  •  Teach them healthy hand washing habits.
  •  Try to be involved with your child’s schoolwork. Let them know that you are there to help them and answer their questions.
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine. 10-11 hours of sleep per night is recommended for elementary-aged children.
  •  Most importantly, try to praise your children, encourage them, and use plenty of positive reinforcement.

o   Foods for your brain:
§  Blueberries
§  Carrots
§  Pumpkins
§  Spinach
§  Strawberries
§  Chicken
§  Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil
§  Yellow, Orange and Green Vegetables

o   American Ginseng root:  Used to ease anxiety, nervousness and improve learning.
o   Gingko Biloba leaf:  Boosts blood and oxygen circulation to the brain, increasing concentration and mental function. When combined with American Ginseng remarkable improvements were noted in an (1) attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder pilot study.
o   Gotu Kola herb: Studies show improved memory and learning in both humans and mice when a liquid extract of this herb was taken. In mice the effect lasted for 6 months ! (2)
o   European Elderberries: Contains an enzyme that helps break down viruses and helps keep the virus from reproducing.
o   Echinacea: Widely known for its benefits in stimulating the immune system. 

(1) J Psychiatry Neurosci.  26:221-228, 2001.( 2) Physiol. Behav.  86(4):449-457, 2005.

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