Building a Strong Immune System for Back-To-School!

This September, as the kids head back to school, what can we do to equip them for optimal immune function? The last thing you need as you’re just getting into the swing of a new school year is to get hit hard by the cold and flu season! So, how can we prevent, as well as fight off infection?

Raising healthy kids can be challenging! Keep your blood pressure low by knowing that you’re doing all you can to boost their immune response through the whole day. A well-nourished body is less susceptible to illness. Ensuring they have a well-rounded diet and a health-focused routine will keep them protected this fall!

Breakfast Boosting

Before you send them out the door, fill them up with a vitamin C and antioxidant rich breakfast. Try an orange (whole, for the fibre), some scrambled eggs and whole grain toast, or a granola and yogurt bowl with antioxidant-rich fruits like kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe, blueberries or strawberries. An added bonus comes from satiating protein from farm-fresh eggs or the yogurt which is full of probiotics to support their gut microbiome!

Snack Time Support

What will give them that extra push mid-morning to keep them happy until lunch? Spending time outside mid-morning can be a gamechanger! It’s important for circadian rhythm that we expose ourselves to daylight earlier in the day so that we can wind down and feel sleepy as the sun goes down.

Making sure they get outside to run around mid-morning is also a great habit for supporting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Moving the body, stretching the lungs and oxygenating the body can help reduce inflammation. An inflamed body is one that can become dysfunctional and more susceptible to illness.

A healthy immune system is also one that is exposed to a broad range of bacteria. That’s why it’s always a great idea to get outside and play in the dirt!

Lunch Time Life-Line

Pack them a healthy lunch, with vitamin D-rich foods to support that which they were just getting from sunlight! A healthy diet supports immune cells, as well as has overall health benefits. It includes adequate protein for their growing bodies, a variety of colourful vegetables for micronutrients and fibre, some energy-boosting complex carbohydrates, and a little healthy fat. This will keep them sustained and more focused throughout the day.

Vitamin D is vital to supporting and boosting immune function. Without it, we are at risk of overactivity and autoimmune disease. Vitamin D modulates immune responses and deficiency hinders our ability to respond to invading bacteria and infection.

Adequate vitamin D supports the development of a diverse bacterial microbiome. Make sure they’re getting enough through regular supplementation or by consuming foods like oatmeal, fish, egg yolks and mushrooms.

After School Advice

If kids come home feeling a bit run down, it's a great time to cozy up with a book or show. Rest time is important so that our bodies can recuperate from a full day of activity. 

It’s especially important to wind down before eating dinner. We all need to get into “rest and digest” mode to improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. This means activating the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for our secondary functions, like digesting and storing energy for future use.

“Fight or flight”, or the sympathetic nervous system, is responsible for basic survival functions, like breathing, heart rate and our ability to run. Everything you need to protect yourself in the face of perceived danger. The parasympathetic system is activated when we are calm. Unfortunately too often these days, we live in a state of perceived threat and high stress.

Now more than ever, mental health is a challenge for our kids. If they’re really struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional medical advice.

Dinner Time Don’ts

Wondering how to get a stronger immune system? Sleep is key for immune health! This is our time to rest and repair, so we’re better prepared for the following day.

Set them up with a dinner and evening routine that rounds out the day and supports a good night’s sleep. This means eating more protein and vegetables in the evening, and going a bit lighter on the carbohydrates. Prebiotic foods like garlic, onions, asparagus, barley, bananas, oats and apples, are key for supporting the growth and diversification of their immune supportive microbiota also!

If your kids fixate on an after dinner dessert, try this prebiotic-rich and low sugar pudding with avocado, unsweetened cocoa powder, non-dairy milk, vanilla, chia seeds, ground flax, tahini, a few medjool dates, and berries for topping! Chia pudding is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation, support brain development and healthy heart function.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Tuck them in bed and fight the common cold with adequate sleep. What can be tricky though is properly winding down in the evening. Getting into the habit of reducing screen-time and engaging in more grounding activities can really improve the restfulness of our sleep.

De-stressing is important, even for our kids. Gentle movement, a quiet and creative activity, or reading together are all great ways to de-stress. Building stress reducing activities that are meditative, grounding, and social into your routine can be incredibly soothing. Soothing the nervous system is important for lowering cortisol, getting a good night’s sleep, and bonding as a family. In times of increased stress, there’s nothing more healing than quality time with loved ones.

Care for your young ones by following the above steps for how to make their immune system stronger each step of the day! 




Pascoe Canada does not offer health or medical advice as we are not a healthcare practitioner. Please speak with your healthcare practitioner before beginning any program related to nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical, and/or wellness. All content published by Pascoe Canada is developed through collaborating with licensed medical professionals and contributors. This includes text, graphics, images, and other material on the website, newsletter, and products (“Content”). This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The content does not substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always do your own research on whether this is for you along with your healthcare practitioner advice. Always consult your healthcare practitioner prior to using specific herbs because you might have underlying conditions that need professional care. The content is general in nature and is subject to change. It is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

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