Top Five Nutrients for Back to School!

Nutrients for back to school

Back to school is here again! New season, new teachers, new friends and new surroundings are all things that make this time of year exciting for our kids. New experiences can also come with anxiety and attention issues, and a classroom full of kids can guarantee exposures to unwanted bugs and germs.

By Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D.

Making sure your child’s diet is packed with the following nutrients can help ensure a positive transition for you and your child, during this exciting new time.

1. Probiotics – These little guys can help protect and strengthen your child’s digestive tract, one of the most common routes for bad bugs enter the body. It stimulates the powerful immune system, helping to prevent infections from settling in the body. Plain organic/local yogurt is a great probiotic addition to your child’s daily diet.Avoid fat-free yogurts – stay with the sugar-free, and on occasion, naturally-sweetened versions. Those with dairy allergies (and sensitivities) may require the encapsulated alternative to probiotic supplementation.

2. Vitamin D – As the sunlight dwindles in to the fall months, it’s important to supplement Vitamin D to keep your child’s immune system strong. Sources of vitamin D include fish, nuts and seeds, eggs, and Vitamin D fortified foods (dairy and soy milks in particular). As some may have potential sensitivities to these foods, adding a high-quality supplement to your child’s daily dietary regime ensures they get the right amount of vitamin D daily.

3. Polyunsatruated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)PUFAs are essential for brain development, immune strengthening, and soft, clean, skin in children. Clinical studies have found that these nourishing fats can actually increase concentration in kids with attention-difficulties. Examples of PUFAs to add to your child’s diet include olive oil, flax oil, and fish oils. Make sure to keep these oils uncooked to preserve the health benefits.

4. Vitamin C – A diet full of vibrant, colourful fruits and vegetables can boost Vitamin C levels. Fresh vegetables like bell peppers and leafy greens beat out the fruits in Vitamin C levels but if you choose a fruit, fresh, local strawberries are the best. Leave the tropical kiwis and clementines for an occasional sweet treat. The powerful antioxidant properties of Vitamin C is responsible for boosting immune system, as well as strengthen the adrenal glands, which are involved with good levels of energy (aka, no more falling asleep in class!).

5. B vitamins – Not only do B-vitamins help with detoxification, immune health and concentration, they are actually known help with stress and anxiety, which some kids can experience during this transition in to the new school year. Sources of B vitamins include whole grains, beans and lentils, which are also great sources of fibre.

A good way to get these nutrients in your child’s diet is to pack a lunch that is rich in healthy foods. Packing snacks that are high in sugar and saturated fats can actually work against your child, leading to poor immune function, and possible attention problems. Instead, try including fruits, cut up vegetables, or naturally sweetened granola for everyday snacks for your kids. Be aware of dried fruit as a substitute for fruits – the sugar content is high enough to be addictive. Also, a high quality, age-appropriate multivitamin can provide your child all the nutrients they need.Please consult with your healthcare provider for suggestions.

Dr. Tanya Lee is a naturopathic doctor currently practicing in Toronto and Milton Ontario. Tanya was drawn to the naturopathic profession for its core beliefs in treating the whole person. Dr. Lee practice general medicine, with a special interest in children’s health, women’s health and pregnancy. For more information on Dr. Lee and her practice, please visit, .

Tanya Lee, N.D.Tanya Lee, BSc (Hons), N.D.

Infinity Health Centre
39 Lower Simcoe St.
Toronto, ON M5J 3A6

Health Centre of Milton
400 Main S. E Suite 210
Milton, ON L9T 1P7

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!

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