Summer is sadly coming to an end, which means our kiddos are going to be back in the classroom before we know it. And because of this, many of us are looking for supplements that can help our kids stay better focused during those long school days. Thankfully, we’ve got some suggestions and supplements that can help!
Before I get into supplements that can help with focus and attention, I want to stress just how important a child’s diet is to their mental functioning. You can put your child on every single supplement on this list, but if they are still eating certain things that negatively impact their nervous system, they will still be struggling. Probably the biggest offenders include sugars and artificial dyes. Regularly consuming sugar and the other 200 names that the food industry uses for sugar has been shown to not only decrease cognitive function that results in lower test scores in children but that it also shrinks the brain! Artificial dyes, especially red 40, have been linked to hyperactivity and poor focus. Luckily, it is getting a little easier to find foods colored with natural dyes like beet and turmeric powder. This way our kiddos don’t feel like they are missing out on “fun foods.” Food sensitivities may actually have a stimulating effect to some and can result in ADD/ADHD type symptoms. While some common offenders include gluten and dairy, everyone is going to have their own list of food sensitivities that will affect them differently. One little trick parents can do is pay attention not only to their behavior after eating certain foods, but to look and see if their ears get red. Many times, that is an indication that something they ate recently is negatively affecting them.
Fish oil supplements contain two very important omega 3 oils: EPA and DHA. We all need adequate amounts of these omegas because they are extremely important for brain development and function. Starting at the time of conception, DHA is especially important for the growth and development of the brain. EPA can be helpful for childhood behavior, academic performance, attention, focus, and reducing aggression. And, while we would ideally be getting our omegas from our diet in the form of wild caught fish and some nuts and seeds like chia and flax, most of us are not getting the 3-4 servings a week that we would need to meet our nutritional needs. Thankfully, we have a few options. My kid’s personal favorite is the Omegavail citrus sorbet and I have literally caught my litle one climbing into the fridge to get more of the smoothie-like goodness. If textures or flavors is an issue, we have a very concentrated liquid that can be mixed into smoothies or juices. If your older kiddos can swallow, I would highly recommend Mega Marine. It’s a bit smaller than your typically fish oil capsule and has some added anti-inflammatory benefit with extra SPMs (specialized pro-resolving mediators).
B vitamins, especially the methylated forms of B12, Folate (B9), and B6 (P5P) are essential for proper functioning of the brain and nerve cells. They play a role in neurotransmitter function, which enhances our ability to reason and think logically. They also assist in the production of myelin, which helps to protect our nerves and allows for electrical impulses to transmit quickly and more efficiently along the nerve cells. Depending on your child’s preference, we have topical creams, sprays, liquids, and even casules that can give them the B vitamins that their body needs.
Magnesium has been nicknamed the “master mineral” and is known to have anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, and neuroprotective properties. Magnesium is very important for the brain, but unfortunately most forms of magnesium cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium Threonate can! Studies have shown that this specific form of magnesium increases neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change and grow), which is fundamental for our ability to learn, and can even increase a protein (BDNF) that stimulates the production of new brain cells! Those are definitely things our little ones brains need to be doing in order to learn and retain all sorts of new information!
This great tasting liquid is way more than just a another focus supplement. Yes, it contains herbs like solomons seal, which is very restorative to mental vitality and can nourish the mind, but my favorite ingredients in this blend include the adaptogenic herbs eleuthero and schizandra. Adaptogens support our adrenal glands, which are resposible for our body’s “fight or flight” stress response. This can be super helpful for so many kiddos, especially when they may start to feel stressed out over schoolwork or a difficult lesson.
This supplement aids in the production and processing of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine plays an important role in many brain functions, including learning and concentration, behavior, motor activity, sleep, and mood. It is a capsule, but has an orange flavor to the powder inside and can be opened up and mixed with applesauce or stirred into a smoothie or drink.
This fabulous spray is made up of nanstructured amino acids along with homeopathics to help restore cell signaling in the brain. This results in improved focus, mental clarity, and memory. It can be taken alone or paired with another spray, Peace and Calming, to help with more ADD/ADHD type symptoms.
Call or stop by our Nutrition Shop to talk to a knowledgeable staff member about the best option for your child. Here’s to a successful school year!