Looking forward to going back? As kids gear up to head into the classroom, you’ll want to prioritize supporting their immune health, and yours! Here are some helpful tips:
Keep ‘Em Hydrated. Drinking water is important for hydration, especially for kids. Make sure you include a full water bottle in their backpack and encourage them to drink throughout the day. Water is vital for the proper functioning of your organs and body systems, and that includes your immune system!
Eat More Fruits & Veggies and Less Added Sugars. Whole foods are better sources for essential nutrients. And some, like Vitamins C, D, and E, and Zinc, help support a healthy immune system. Aim to include easy-to-eat fruits and veggies in your kids’ lunchbox to keep them fueled. We’ve got a good recipe below!†
Get Exercise. As the weather gets cooler, it might be tempting to hunker down indoors. But kids need to keep moving to help maintain their immune health and overall health! If it’s cold out, try a dance party! The whole family can get moving together!
Get Plenty of Sleep. Our immune system needs rest, just like the rest of our body! Getting adequate sleep can help keep your immune system functioning at its best. Kids 6-12 need between 9-12 hours a night and kids over 13 need between 8-10. Be sure to keep to a sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
Check out Our Favorite Healthy Recipes with Immune Supporting Nutrients!
For a Quick Healthy Breakfast: Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl
This yummy breakfast treat features raspberries, peaches and mangos, all sources of Vitamin C, an important immune support nutrient. You can top it with whatever you want. As a bonus, toss in almonds, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds for a source of Vitamin E, another great immune support nutrient!†
Total time: 10 minutes
1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 peach, sliced
1/3 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon nuts of your choice
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted if desired
1 teaspoon seeds of your choice
Combine mango, yogurt, milk and vanilla in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Pour smoothie into a bowl and top with peach slices, raspberries, nuts, coconut and seeds.
For a Healthy Lunchbox Recipe: Nut Butter & Berry Roll Ups
Nut and seed butters (peanut, almond, sunflower seed) not only provide healthy fats and protein, but they also supply immune supporting nutrients like Vitamin E and Zinc. Opt for natural butters that have no added sugars or oils. Add some fresh blueberries and strawberries for a source of Vitamin C and wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla for an easy on-the-go lunch perfect for the playground! It makes a great adult lunch, too!†
Total Time: 10 minutes
¼ cup nut or seed butter of your choice
1 cup berries of your choice
2 8-inch whole wheat tortillas
Lay one tortilla on a flat surface and spread 2 tablespoons of nut butter, leaving a ½-inch border all around.
Sprinkle ½ cup of berries over the nut butter and use a fork to gently crush the berries. Leave one edge of the tortilla uncovered.
Roll the tortilla toward the berry-free edge and use the nut butter to seal the wrap.
Slice the roll-up as you like.
Pack in an easy to open container so your kid can enjoy!
Carlsson E, Ludvigsson J, Huus K, Faresjö M. High physical activity in young children suggests positive effects by altering autoantigen-induced immune activity. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Apr;26(4):441-50. doi: 10.1111/sms.12450. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PMID: 25892449.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.