If you are a parent of school age children then you’ve would have been running around in September and buying stationary and school uniform in preparation for children returning to school. But, is that everything your children will need? Recently I wrote about Giving Children That Competitive Edge and wanted to follow that post up with one about making sure they top up on essential nutrients to help them at school and in their day to day lives especially those that are fussy eaters – well we are all blessed with at least one aren’t we.
An important factor that many overlook is children’s nutrition. Think about it. Changes in
the weather as we are experiencing now as the season is changing can bring on colds and once one child in the class gets it, it will only be a matter of time before our little angels have it and have passed it around the household, oh what fun. Something to look forward to? No chance.
As the weather gets worse and there is less daylight our exposure to the various wave lengths reduces which has a knock-on effect on the amount of vitamin D our bodies can produce and we all know we need this for healthy bones. A multivitamin is a great way to make sure you are getting vitamin D. This vitamin helps to ensure growing bones, teeth and muscles stay strong and healthy.
Did you know that children aged 5 and older should take a daily dose of 10mcg of vitamin D particularly in autumn and winter!
A healthy diet is a great way to help ward off illness also make sure children get enough
sleep. Children that don’t sleep enough are not able to concentrate in class and also have a less efficient immune system. A diet rich in plenty of fruit and vegetables is a great way to keep the kiddies healthy but it’s not always easy to get the recommended daily nutritional intake. Why? Well think about it, firstly they say fruits and vegetable are not as nutrient rich as they used to be years back and also we need to consider the freshness of the produce we have bought at the super market? Many items sit in transit for days after being picked before they ripen, they may sit for a further few days on a supermarket shelf and by this time nutrients have begun to deteriorate.
Since the children have been little I’ve been supplementing their diet with a multivitamin, it’s a necessity to top up their diet as all my children are fussy eaters especially when at school. I must admit I worry about their nutritional intake as quite often they come home hungry saying they didn’t like the food – help!!!!. We’ve been through a few multivitamin brands because they were fussy with those too but eventually I was lucky enough to discover Haliborange the UK’s favourite children’s supplement brand and I’ve been supplementing the children’s diet with these for a few years now.
I was pleased to discover when first coming across Haliborange that they are so proud of their products and sure your children will love the taste that if they don’t, they’ll give you your money back. This was one of the things that tempted me to try their products initially. These quickly became a part of our daily lives and you will see if you watch the video below that all my children enjoy taking these – you have to watch Mr Squishy’s reaction when he discovers the girls have had one without him!
The range features a whole of host of different combinations of essential vitamins and
minerals to help support a child’s natural growth and development at every stage – from age one month to their teenage years. There are numerous flavours including orange,
blackcurrant, strawberry or citrus.
The product that appealed to me the most was the Kids Omega-3 fruit burst capsules. This is perfect for us as it is designed for children ages 3 to 12 and mine fit perfectly within the range. The supplement not only boosts their vitamin intake but also enable them to get sufficient amounts of Omega-3 DHA which is essential for normal brain function and vision. The Omega-3 has a vital role in fat soluble vitamin absorption (Vitamins A, D, E and K). It’s not always easy to make children eat fatty fish and I have found that the capsules work to increase nutrients and ensure they are taking enough.
What on earth does this have to do with children going back to school? I have read numerous studies into Omega-3 which have shown it to be beneficial in helping reading skills, mood, attention and behaviour. When my children first started school I realised quickly that I needed to help support their brain function for them to do well and having read that supplementing them with Omega-3 could improve their reading age I went straight to the healthcare aisle of my local supermarket. It’s great that Haliborange also have a choice of vitamin types too. Also available in the range are Softies which are a soft chewy gummy also a hit with my children.
I’ve been looking into making smoothies to boost my little ones’ vitamin, mineral and fibre intake as well as giving them supplements as you can’t necessarily squeeze every vitamin into a smoothie every time. My children are really fussy eaters and the best way to get extra nutrients into them is to make something that looks eye catching and also tastes great. The idea is that these become something the children ask for and I have to tell you it’s working!!!
My latest creation contains a range of fruits that combine to make a delicious nutrient rich treat for both children and adults. In my smoothie you will find papaya, mango and passion fruit.
Don’t forget portion control is important, don’t overdo smoothies as they contain sugars and even though they are natural sugars if they are not burnt off during exercise etc. then they turn to fat.
This low-calorie fruit is jammed with antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative stress, thanks to its high Vitamin C content. These help fight free radicals and therefor help fight illness and slow the signs of ageing. It is full of fibre so can help eliminate excess fats and sugars in the body as well as bulk up the stool handy as many children don’t consume enough fibre.
As well as being delicious mangos, like papayas are rich in fibre. They also contain Vitamin A which helps promote good vision during the day and night. The vitamin A, C and carotenoids (pigments which give mangoes their bright colour) all help to keep the immune system healthy. Mangoes also contains iron (important for healthy blood cells), potassium (helps cells, tissues and organs function), calcium (used to build bones, help nerves send messages from the brain to other parts of the body and to make muscles move) as well as other minerals that are needed for various functions in the body.
With their tasty tangy flavour who can resist passion fruit. These are also rich in antioxidants and can help fight illness. You can’t be too careful now can you. womens health. These are also great as they have plenty of soluble fibre which helps bulk up stool, eliminate excess sugars and fats from the body and also absorbs water making stool easier to pass. Passion fruit is great for vision due to its Vitamin A and C and flavonoid content.
This is perfect for those that love coconut and for those that don’t simply substitute it with another milk. It’s great for children as it builds muscle and enhances physical performance so it’s great for those that take part in sports. The fat in the milk controls the rate sugar is released into the blood stream so can help reduce the energy dip we would otherwise get after drinking / eating something sweet. The slow release of sugar means slow release energy allowing for better concentration and endurance and may help them get through the first lesson(s) before break time when drunk for breakfast.
It’s so easy even a child can make it!
Papaya, Mango, Passion Fruit and Coconut Smoothie
90g Papaya (mine was from the fridge)
100g Mango frozen chunks
1-2 heaped tsp Passion fruit
120ml Coconut milk (from the fridge)
It’s a simple recipe simply add all the ingredients into either a blender or nutribullet as both work well.
Add a garnish if you wish.
Chefs tips. If you want it colder then use frozen papaya or simply add in approximately 3-4 ice cubes.
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This is a collaborative post.
Vitamin A: helps support normal vision, Vitamin C: helps support the immune system, Vitamin D: essential for the normal growth and development of bones in children, Vitamin B12: contributes to normal energy release.
Food supplements do not replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.