At certain times of the year, or at times of increased pressure, our bodies can benefit from a boost from some additional nutrients. So, I enlisted Eight Food Nutritionist Jo to create a Winter Survival Kit to help keep your family fighting fit. As the nights draw in, temperatures drop and we head into the colder months, here is Jo’s pick of supplements for the whole family that really pack a nutritional punch.
An estimated 80% of our immune system is based in our gut, therefore ensuring a healthy tummy is key to supporting a strong immune system. Our balance of gut bacteria is affected by many factors, such as antibiotics, stress, medication, excessive modern hygiene and of course the food we eat. You may be familiar with the good bacteria available in small yoghurt drinks, and of course in live natural yoghurt itself. Unless your diet is rich in fermented foods (kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha) a course of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) may provide useful support over the winter months.
We love OptiBac For Babies and Children, a combination of well-researched pre and probiotics (prebiotics act as a food source for the friendly bacteria) which has been shown in studies to effectively reduce respiratory infections in children. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge, and the sachets can easily be opened and stirred into cooled drinks, porridge, stewed/pureed fruit or yoghurt, ideally with breakfast. Just try to ensure the food isn’t too hot as that may affect the bacteria. Proven Probiotics Fit For School is a great tasting chewable probiotic for older school-aged children.
Vitamin D is required by the body to help absorb calcium and phosphate and is also key for immune health. It is made by our bodies from sunlight which becomes more difficult over the winter months and can be relatively tricky to find from food in decent quantities. Some foods containing vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms and oily fish. Vitamin D deficiency is much more common than most people realise and is found in around 50% of adults.
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The UK Department of Health states that we should all be taking a daily vitamin D supplement between October and April, including pregnant & breastfeeding mothers to support their child’s health. We really like Better You DLux Infant Spray and find that children really enjoy the experience of squirting the spray into their mouth! It is also available in a Junior version for those aged over 5, as well as an adult option to ensure you are meeting your daily requirement.
Elderberries are a nutritious superhero, packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants to offer potential powerful immune and antiviral support. There may still some elderberries to be found on the hedgerows if you fancy making your own (you can also use dried elderberries) – we have our own Elderberry Syrup recipe which you can find here.
Otherwise, we love Pukka Elderberry Syrup which combines some key herbs such as thyme & black pepper with manuka honey for a lovely supportive combination. It is great to take preventatively over the winter, and you increase the dose if required. We also love Lizzie Loves Natural Remedies Be Well which can be mixed with water or juice, blended in smoothies or sprinkled on yoghurt. It tastes great!
Children can, unfortunately, be notoriously picky eaters, and studies indicate that children may not receive adequate nutrients from their diet. As an insurance policy for parents that offers peace of mind, it can be helpful to give children a high-quality daily multivitamin. We love Wild Nutrition’s Food-Grown Daily Multinutrient (Children’s) which provides all the nutrients they need in an easily digestible form. 2 capsules a day are recommended for children aged between 3 and 12, and for younger children, these can easily be opened and sprinkled over food such as porridge or yoghurt.
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We also like My Baba’s Multivitamin and Multibiotic, a berry flavoured combination of vitamins, minerals and good bacteria specifically formulated for children aged 12 months to 4 years. The recommended dose is once a day, mixed with water, milk or juice or sprinkled onto yoghurt or cereal.
All of the above supplements are available to buy at the ultimate family health online one-stop-shop, www.naturedoc.shop, founded by the hugely knowledgable Lucinda Miller.
About Eight Food
At Eight Food we believe wholly in the art of using food to nourish the body. Whole foods, including herbs and spices, offer us a wealth of nutrients to support the body to help keep us in good health. Our range of naturally boosted family-friendly freezer meals and recipes focus on optimising key nutrients to support specific health needs. We spend time designing our meals to be as nutritious, and delicious, as possible and include the most nutrient-dense goodies to complement our recipes. Our meals are flash-frozen after cooking (we batch cook much as you would like at home) so we don’t need to use any artificial preservatives and can keep the salt content to a minimum.
You can find our range of delicious naturally boosted freezer meals plus plenty of nourishing family recipes at Eightfood.co.uk
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