Children don’t need a lot to survive. Food, water, shelter and most importantly, love. Every parent’s dream for their child is that they thrive in all areas of their life. What if there were supplements that you could give your child daily that could help? Most parents do give their child a daily multivitamin which is important to fill the holes that exist in every kid’s diet. But it doesn’t end with multivitamins, every child could benefit from taking a daily probiotic and daily fish oil supplement.

Probiotics for a Healthy Gut

Research shows that probiotics (friendly bacteria) play a key role in the digestive system by improving gastrointestinal functions. They also enhance immunity. It is important to keep a balance of good bacteria in our bodies, however many things can easily upset this equilibrium. Medications, poor diet and nutrient deficiencies can decrease the population of probiotics in our bodies. Drugs such as broad spectrum antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria we want to get rid of, but also the good bacteria in the digestive tract. So many children are on course after course of antibiotics for ear infections and the like. It is vitally important to replenish the bacteria balance with probiotics after antibiotic use. Children who are on steroid inhalers for asthma should also take probiotics as steroids kill off friendly bacteria.

 As most of us know, children tend to have less than favourable hygiene habits and supporting their immune systems with probiotics is important. They also tend to have less than ideal diets so supporting their digestive health is critical. Renew Life has two probiotic products designed specifically for a child:

•    FloraBEAR is a billion culture, 4 strain probiotic specifically formulated for the intestinal tract and colon of children. FloraBEAR is a chewable tablet with a citrus flavour from real orange and orange peel for a taste that children will enjoy. These are for children aged 4 and up.
    FloraBABY is a 4 billion, 5 strain formula specifically formulated for the intestinal tract and colon of infants and children. Don’t let the name fool you, FloraBABY is good for older children as well. It is a flavourless powder which can easily be mixed into warm or cool drinks such as infant formula, water, juice and milk, or soft foods such as yogurt and apple sauce. This allows parents to provide probiotics to children who do not like, or have a difficult time, taking supplements. It is safe to be taken from the age of 12 months.

The simple addition of a daily probiotic is one way to ensure a healthy gut and a healthy child!

DHA for a Healthy Brain

Many adults take a daily fish oil or omega fatty acid supplement to help with everything from joint pain to heart health. Did you know that more and more research is highlighting the importance of omega fatty acid supplementation for children specifically in the area of cognitive and eye development? It’s true! Nutrition plays an important role in a child’s development and Omega-3 fatty acids are key.

Each cell in our body is encased by a membrane which is made up primarily of fatty acids. This membrane allows the proper amount of nutrients in and ensures that waste products are removed quickly. There are three major types of Omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is converted by the body to EPA and DHA, the two types of Omega-3 fatty acids that the body uses more readily. EPA is believed to play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, while DHA is the necessary for proper brain and nerve development.

Research has shown that DHA has a crucial influence on neurotransmitters in the brain, helping brain cells better communicate with each other. Since 60% of the brain is made up of fatty acids, and the majority of this is Omega-3, it stands to reason that it is very important to have a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids for both adults and children.

DHA supplementation is effective and suggested for all children, not just those with cognitive delays or issues with concentration. Norwegian Gold Kids DHA is intended for children ages 4 through 12. Each tiny chewable capsule delivers 125 mg of omega 3 from fish oil and 375 units of vitamin D. They have a great fruit punch flavour and no fishy aftertaste. Just 2 capsules daily will help with cognitive health and brain function, eye and nervous system development and the vitamin D supports strong growing bones.

Give your child the building blocks for a healthy body and mind. Add a daily probiotic and DHA supplement to their routine and watch them thrive. Yogurt and the odd tuna fish sandwich just won’t cut it!