Back-to-school season is upon us, and for many families, that can mean more coughs, colds and viruses making their way from the classroom, to home. As well as extra pressure on your child’s immune system, you may also find that they (and you!) experience some stress and tiredness as settling back into school schedules takes up physical and mental energy.
So, how can you support your family’s gut health and general well-being as we head further into September – and beyond?
Here are our top tips –
1. Play outdoors
Being outdoors and in nature has been proven to have some incredible health benefits – and, it’s free! Research shows that being in nature boosts your immune system,1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793341/ increases your microbiome diversity2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5635058/ (and it’s all about diversity when it comes to good gut health!), reduces stress levels3https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ and improves digestion.4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22840583/
For outdoor activity inspo, check out 5 Outdoor Activities For Your Kids.
2. Give them Kefir
Did you know that your child’s mood, sleep, behaviour, skin, and immune system are linked to their gut health? A healthy gut = a happy kid! Adding good-quality probiotics, such as kefir, to your child’s daily diet is a safe and simple way to keep their gut health journey on track.
You can give Chuckling Goat Kefir to your children aged 6 months +, and the sooner you start, the better! It will help support the normal development of his or her psychological function, digestion, skin, and immune system.5https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics
Make drinking Kefir fun by blending it into a smoothie with fruits of choice. You can find lots of Kefir smoothie recipes here.
3. Feed their good gut bugs
We’ve discussed adding probiotics to your child’s daily diet – these will put good bacteria into the system. Now let’s talk about prebiotics.
Your gut bugs require a complex mix of fibres to thrive, and this is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible plant fibres that feed the good bacteria that live in your gut.6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463098/ They’re naturally present in some plant foods, including, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, barley, rye, lentils, onion, garlic, leeks and chicory root. But, to make it quick and easy, and to ensure you’re feeding those good gut bugs the exact diet they need and love, we recommend Complete Prebiotic.
Chuckling Goat Complete Prebiotic contains 18 naturally occurring prebiotic fibres designed to nourish your gut bacteria. You can add it to energy balls, pancakes and chocolate mousse to make it more kid-friendly.
Our Complete Prebiotic is recommended for children age 4 years +.
4. Get into good sleep routines
Neuroscientists consider sleep as one of the pillars of health and well-being.7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28159089/ Ensure you and your family are getting plenty of good-quality snooze time by creating healthy sleep habits –
- Maintain a diverse gut microbiome – your gut bacteria influence your circadian rhythms, the patterns of biological activity during day and night. They affect sleep patterns, as well as cognitive function, brain development, memory formation, and mental health.8https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/8/2198/htm A diverse gut microbiome supports good sleep! You can support diversity by adding Kefir and Complete Prebiotic and eating a wide variety of fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, pulses and wholegrains.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine – switch your (and your teen’s!) mobile to ‘Night Shift’, to minimise blue light, and avoid screens altogether two hours before bed. Run a bath, and use the Calm-Down Goats Milk Soap and Kefir Lotion. The Calm-Down skincare range contains lavender essential oil which works as a natural sedative, increasing relaxation and helping you drift off into a peaceful slumber.
- Drink Sing Me To Sleep Tea – our very own completely 100% natural, loose-leaf herbal tea containing lavender, hops, valerian, and chamomile. For children under the age of 8, taking the teas via an herbal bath is best.
5. Minimise refined sugar
While sugar may briefly satisfy your little one’s taste buds, the constant spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels can set off a host of effects, including anxiety, irritability and fatigue.9https://news.sanfordhealth.org/healthy-living/sugar-crash-effects/ You can try switching to healthier, sweet alternatives such as yacon syrup and 100% pure Stevia.
Of course, it’s fun to let them enjoy treats too! Life is about balance. We’re big believers in the 80/20 rule here at Chuckling Goat – make healthy choices 80% of the time, treat yourself and your family the remaining 20% 🙂
For more information on how to boost wellness, read our blog posts here.
Questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.
Advice given is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always check with your GP for interactions with medications/health conditions before starting supplements.