October 17, 2021

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Healthy Life Forever

Why helping your kids feel happy and healthy in time for the new school term is easy (and essential)

After an incredibly challenging year, taking care of our mental, physical and spiritual health has taken on a whole new significance in 2021.

And the wellness trend isn’t just for adults – the trials and tribulations of the pandemic have impacted our children, as well.

From disruption to their education due to school closures and lockdown restrictions to reduced social interaction and the sad reality of losing loved ones to COVID-19, young people are just as in need of a wellness boost.

The school holidays are a good opportunity to press the reset button and enjoy quality family time, nurturing your kids so that they are fully prepared for the start of a new term.

And helping your children feel happy and healthy in time for September is easier than you think. Here we reveal some simple steps to essential wellness – for all the family.

The school holidays are a good opportunity to press the reset button and enjoy quality family time, nurturing your kids so that they’re fully prepared when the start of the new term beckons

Ensure they get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins children require – and it can be tricky to get enough through food alone.

Boots Kids Bone Health Vitamin D gummies are suitable for children aged three and above

Boots Kids Bone Health Vitamin D gummies are suitable for children aged three and above

Generally found in oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel – and eggs, it’s also added to some fortified foods like breakfast cereals.

But the main source of vitamin D in the summer time is the sunshine on our skin[1], which is why getting outside is so important, for both you and your children. 

Not only that, spending time in green space or incorporating nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing, as many people reported to have found during lockdown[2].

While enjoying the great outdoors this summer, it’s important to remember to wear an appropriate sun protection lotion, and that children shouldn’t be out in the sun too long, particularly on hot days and around midday when it’s at its strongest.

Additionally, the NHS recommends that children aged one to four years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D all year round, while babies (from birth to age one) who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D to make sure they get enough, regardless of whether you’re taking a supplement containing vitamin D yourself.

Another option for youngsters is Boots Kids Bone Health Vitamin D (£4); these orange-flavoured gummies are suitable for children aged three and above and also contain vitamins B6 and B12 to support a healthy immune system. 

Give them experiences 

Keeping your children entertained doesn’t have to involve you going out and buying the latest toys and games – as the saying goes, the best things in life are free!

In fact, your kids may well benefit more from a shared experience where you make memories as a family, and strengthen your bond.

Whether it’s something simple like going down to the park with a picnic to feed the ducks, heading out on a bike ride or visiting a family-friendly interactive museum, you’ll give your child (and you!) a day to remember – as well as something to tell their teachers and friends about when they get back to school!  

During the school holidays you could take the opportunity to teach your child some valuable life skills, such as first aid

During the school holidays you could take the opportunity to teach your child some valuable life skills, such as first aid

You could even use the summer holidays to teach your children a valuable life skill, such as first aid. This provides children with useful knowledge should they ever encounter a medical emergency, and can help bolster their sense of independence.

A good place to start is with the basics, which you can do at home; simply pick up a handy-sized Boots Children’s First Aid Kit (£13.99) which contains all you need to treat minor injuries, along with an accompanying guide.

Eat (a healthy) dinner together

There aren’t many positive things to come out of the pandemic, but one of them is the extra time it’s given some families to sit down to have dinner together.

Some research[3] shows that frequent family meals are beneficial to young peoples’ development, positively impacting their self-esteem and their academic progress.

Eating a healthy balanced meal together at the table – not in front of the TV – provides an opportunity for everyone to talk about their day, giving young children the chance to learn more words and improve their communication skills.

There aren't many positive things to come out of the pandemic, but one of them is the extra time it's given some families the opportunity to sit down to have dinner together

There aren’t many positive things to come out of the pandemic, but one of them is the extra time it’s given some families the opportunity to sit down to have dinner together

It also tends to promote more sensible eating habits, which is beneficial in the long run especially when it comes to managing weight.  

Incorporating plenty of fruit and vegetables into your children’s diet should ensure they get all the nutrients they need, but if you’re concerned they’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals, you could incorporate a supplement into their diet.  

Available at Boots, Haliborange Softies Multivitamins are suitable for aged 3 to 12

Available at Boots, Haliborange Softies Multivitamins are suitable for aged 3 to 12

Available at Boots, Haliborange Softies Multivitamins (£9.50 for 60) are suitable for ages three up to 12, and contain seven essential vitamins including A, C, D and B12. 

Boots Kids Daily Health Multivitamins (£4.49 for 30) are a tasty strawberry-flavoured alternative, and both are included in Boots’ 3 for 2 offer on selected vitamins, supplements, health foods and complementary medicines – with the cheapest free. 

Designed especially for teenagers, Boots also sells Multivitamin + Omega 3 Gummies which contains a blend of Omega 3 and essential vitamins.

Give their immune system a boost 

Going back to school can be busy time, not just for kids and their parents, but for common illnesses like colds and tummy bugs too.

After a year dominated by concerns about health, it’s likely that immunity and keeping well over winter are high on parents’ priority lists, both for themselves and their children. 

A good place to start is maintaining a healthy gut and digestive system. This is because our intestines – known as the gastrointestinal tract – are full of trillions of bacteria that are essential for our health.

The best way to do this is by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and drinking the recommended amount of water. Eight glasses a day tends to be the mantra for adults, while children under five should aim for six to eight 120-150ml cups, which increases to a 250-300ml cup-size for children.[4]

After a year dominated by concerns about health, it's likely that immunity and keeping well over winter are high on parents' priority lists, both for themselves and their children. You might consider adding a supplement to their diet such as Boots Good Gut Live Friendly Bacteria Kids 30 Chewable Tablets

After a year dominated by concerns about health, it's likely that immunity and keeping well over winter are high on parents' priority lists, both for themselves and their children. You might consider adding a supplement to their diet such as WellKid Immune Chewable 4-12 Years

After a year dominated by concerns about health, it’s likely that immunity and keeping well over winter are high on parents’ priority lists, both for themselves and their children. You might consider adding a supplement to their diet such as Boots Good Gut Live Friendly Bacteria Kids 30 Chewable Tablets or WellKid Immune Chewable 4-12 Years 

For an extra helping hand, head to your local Boots and pick up a packet of Boots Good Gut Live Friendly Bacteria Kids 30 Chewable Tablets (£10). 

Each tasty strawberry-flavoured tablet contains a portion of biotic cultures as well as vitamin C to help support your little one’s immune system all year round[5].

Another option is WellKid Immune Chewable 4-12 Years; these orange and lemon flavoured tablets contain zinc which contributes to normal immune system function[6], as well as iodine which contributes to the normal growth of children, and iron which contributes to their normal cognitive development. 

Alternatively you could try Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies (£10.50 for 30).   

Try out some mindfulness 

Mindfulness is useful for both adults and children to help ease anxiety and stress, and promote a sense of calm and happiness. There’s no age limit – some kids are taught it in nursery school these days.

It simply means paying greater attention to the world around you in the present moment, as well as your thoughts and feelings, and it can better equip us to cope with difficult emotions and experiences. 

Some studies[8] have shown that benefits for children can include increased focus and attention, self-control, classroom participation, better behaviour and performance, ability to resolve conflict, and compassion. 

Mindfulness is a skill, therefore it requires practice – and just like there are for adults, there are plenty of child-friendly meditation videos online. Why not take some valuable time out to practise it together? 

Getting enough sleep

While it’s important your children have a regular routine and get enough sleep – especially in the run-up to returning to school – try not to neglect your own needs.

Being a busy parent is exhausting, and feeling sleep-deprived is not only likely to affect your wellbeing, leaving you in a bad mood and struggling to focus, but it can also have a negative impact on your physical health. 

While it's important your children have a regular routine and get enough sleep - especially in the run-up of returning to school - try not to neglect your own needs

While it’s important your children have a regular routine and get enough sleep – especially in the run-up of returning to school – try not to neglect your own needs 

One in three of us suffer from poor sleep[9], and regularly having a bad night’s kip can put you at risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and can even shorten your life expectancy.

The NHS recommends most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night, while a five-year-old needs about 11 hours and a nine-year-old roughly 10[10]. 

If you (or your child) are regularly enduring sleepness nights, it’s worth assessing the bedtime routine to see if there is anything you could do to help you relax and unwind in preparation for nodding off.

Try to keep regular sleeping hours, going to bed and waking up at the same time; this helps to programme the brain and reset the internal body clock.

Experts also recommend taking a warm bath before bed, doing some gentle yoga stretches, reading a book or listening to the radio to calm the mind by distracting it. 

You may want to try a sleep aid such as a pillow spray (the Sanctuary Spa Sleep Mist is available at Boots), or you may want to consider Boots Sleepeaze Herbal Plus Tablets which is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Suitable for adults 18yrs and over. Always read the label.

If you’re worried, it’s worth discussing your sleep concerns with your GP – or popping into your local Boots to chat to one of the skilled and caring pharmacists.

To view the full 3 for 2 range on selected vitamins, supplements, health foods and complimentary medicines at Boots, click here.  

[1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/weaning-and-feeding/vitamins-for-children/ 

[2] https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2020/06/12/people-and-nature-survey-how-are-we-connecting-with-nature-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325878/

[4] https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/think2drink-h2o 

[5] Suitable for children over the age of four.

[6] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/#:~:text=Zinc%20is%20found%20in%20cells,to%20grow%20and%20develop%20properly. 

[7] https://sambucol.co.uk/sambucol-science/ 

[8] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00603/full

[9] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-lack-of-sleep-is-bad-for-your-health/

[10] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/healthy-sleep-tips-for-children/