Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

How To Protect Your Children . . .

. . . . From Back To School Bugs And Boost Their Brain Power

Granny was right when she told us to eat fish for better brains!

You’ve dashed round the shops buying the new school uniform, trainers, pens, pencil cases and sports bags, but did you spare a thought for your child’s mental performance and immune defences. As they set off for school for the first time or get ready to go back after the long summer holidays they’re going to be exposed to a range of bugs which they haven’t met before.

Their young bodies won’t have the natural immunity to protect them and within the first few weeks in the classroom they’re liable to go down with coughs, sneezes, tummy upsets and sore throats. By taking action now you can help build up their natural defences and so increase their self-protection. You can also help them to achieve their maximum academic potential by including fish oils, oily fish and other essential nutrients in their diets.

Start with a simple supplement boost to help fight the autumn bugs.

- EchinaCold is a traditional herbal medicine that helps relieve the nasty symptoms of cold and flu infections.
Traditionally used by herbalists for centuries, the herb Echinacea is a natural way to ease the discomfort of these seasonal ailments.

EchinaCold is safe for the over twelve’s and adults of all ages.

- Vitamin C with zinc are essential for a strong immune boost.

- Vitamin D is vital for effective resistance, yet most of the population do not get enough from food or sunshine, so a fish oil supplement is good news in winter.

Few parents in the western world would consider that their children didn’t have enough to eat but the fact is that lots of youngsters, although over-fed are also under-nourished, with too many empty calories and not enough basic, high quality food - our society has produced a junk-food generation, weaned on chocolate bars and hamburgers. Processed, packaged, instant and convenience foods are not only expensive but poor in the nutrients essential for both brain and body.

Maximise your children’s immunity by ensuring they eat a healthy balanced diet - including fresh fruit and vegetables - every day. Vitamin and mineral supplements are available in children’s doses; they aren’t a substitute for healthy eating, but an extra 500 mg of vitamin C in winter is essential if your child won’t eat fresh fruit and useful as extra health insurance even if they do.

Surprisingly, our modern obsession with cleanliness and hygiene may have quite a lot to do with the lack of resistance which so many youngsters seem to have at the start of their school life.

Recent studies have shown that children from homes which are disinfected from top to bottom twice daily, where household pets are banished to the garden shed, where the only outside activity is a walk with mum and dad and only selected friends visit the house, appear to be the most susceptible to every cold, ’flu and other bug going round the school.

On the other hand, kids who play in the street with lots of others, who get their hands in the dirt and love making mud pies, whose homes are clean but not "sterile" and who like nothing better than romping in the garden with the family dog, have much greater resistance which they have built up through contact with a wide variety of germs and consequently suffer less infectious illness once they get to school.

Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but obsessive hygiene is the first step to the doctor’s waiting room.

Young bodies need good nourishment to get them through the long school day. But children’s brains are even hungrier than their bodies, voracious in their need for oxygen, for energy and for key nutrients - especially essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. If these demands are not met, children will find it a struggle to learn, to remember and even to pay attention.

If school dinners are appalling, here are six great packed lunches which will make sure your youngsters avoid the artery clogging burgers and chips and get all the body and brain boosting nutrients they need to keep them going through the rest of the day.


1. Hummus, alfalfa sprouts, 2 teaspoons Barleans Fortiflax and chopped tomato in a whole wheat pita bread, a small packet of raisins, a tangerine and a carton of unsweetened fruit juice.

2. Salmon, cucumber and mayonnaise whole-wheat sandwiches, a bunch of grapes, a muesli bar and unsweetened juice.

3. Peanut butter, banana and honey whole-wheat sandwiches, packet of nuts and raisins, a small piece of cheese, an apple and a carton of juice.

4. Whole wheat roll with cold chicken, tomato, lettuce, a sprinkling of Fortiflax and mayonnaise, a small bar of Green & Black’s white organic chocolate, a pear, a small carton of their favourite yoghurt and a carton of juice.

5. Whole wheat sandwiches with cream cheese, seedless raisins, shredded lettuce and a sprinkling of Barleans Fortiflax, a muesli bar, an apple, a small bunch of grapes and a carton of juice.
6. A whole wheat pita with sardines or salmon, sweet corn, red pepper and mayonnaise, a banana, a slice of carrot cake and a carton of juice.

There is now such a wide range of good breads available, even in the supermarkets, that you can easily ring the changes using whole meal baguette, Ciabatta with sun dried tomatoes, cheese breads, olive breads, rye bread and many more.


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