Back to School, Back to Germs

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Kids in the U.S. miss approximately 2 million days of school each year due to colds, flu and other infections. The average child comes down with at least 6.5 colds a year, each one lasting about 3 to 5 days. Not only are they being kept home from school and missing schoolwork, but parents are missing close to126 million work days a year to care for a sick child. That’s a lot of numbers—and a lot of germs!

Summer break lasts just a few short months. In no time you’ll be packing up your kids and sending them back to school. Before they even step on the school bus, give them their first lesson of the year at home. Your kids have heard it numerous times, but good advice bears repeating. Tell them to wash their hands often with warm soapy water—it’s the best way to fight germs. Tell them to never share cups or utensils with their friends, eat the healthy snacks that you packed for lunch and if they don’t have a tissue handy, tell them to cough or sneeze into their sleeve. As you send them off you can only hope that they listened to your advice. But, who knows what they’re doing? They could forget to wash their hands, share chocolate milk with a friend, trade their carrot sticks for cookies and forget to cover their mouth. What you can do is start their day with a dose of vitamins!

Ideally kids should get their vitamins and nutrients from a well-balanced meal. The reality, however, is home-cooked meals aren’t always possible for time-crunched parents.  To ensure your kids grow up big and strong, pediatricians recommend supplementing their diet with vitamins.

Here are the most important vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; and healthy skin, eyes, and immune responses.
  • Vitamin Bs. The family of B vitamins—B2, B3, B6, and B12—aid metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems.
  • Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin.
  • Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium.
  • Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows.
  • Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls.

You can find just the supplement that you’re looking for at your local Whole Foods Market Whole Body Department. The same high standards that are applied to Whole Foods grocery items are applied to their Whole Body items as well. You can rest assured that you’re getting the highest quality. They offer superb supplements that are safe and natural. And, unlike lower quality supplements that add things like starch, extra gelatin, artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives, lactose, unnecessary fillers and hydrogenated fats, you won’t find any of that at Whole Foods.

Before the back to school bell rings, take a trip to Whole Foods Whole Body department and pick up the most essential back to school supply—supplements. Mom gets an A+ in healthy nutrition!

This article was featured in the Back to School 2009 Whole Body Today Newsletter by Whole Foods Market.

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