• Dr. Sara Hart

Back To School Health News


The transition for kids and families returning to the school routine after a playful and sometimes exhausting summer brings up a lot of challenges. To spare yourself and your little ones the stress of a new routine, support their bodies naturally.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels


High-Paced Activity

Keeping up with the activity and intellectual demands of the school year can be an abrupt transition from summer’s freedom. Mental overload is a true obstacle that can be very intense for some kids.


Nutritional support to help the brain thrive:

- Blood sugar balance – breakfast feasts are an important way to give your kids the tools their brains and bodies will need to perform their best. Approximately 30% protein, 30% vegetables and 30% complex carbohydrates (whole grains) is the formula for optimal blood sugar. This is especially important during phases of significant growth.

- Omega 3 fatty acids – supplementing the brain with omega 3’s in the form of liquid or chewable plant or fish oils gives kids a neurological boost for extra synaptic activity.

- Fresh fruit or protein snacks are key to keeping the energy going. Crackers, sweets, breads, cookies, pretzels and other carbohydrate full packaged foods will encourage a blood sugar rush and predictable crash that won’t be appreciated by the teachers.


Afternoon Ease

Just when they’re completely wired or totally zapped, kids return home from their active day at school to deal with all the aspects of family life. Chores, homework, connecting with family and the myriad of activities they’re involved with can push stress over the top. Assist the afternoon ease by facilitating a stress free after-school time and help their bodies learn stress management early.


Tools for after-school ease :

- Afternoon napping – Surveys of individuals who routinely nap in the afternoons demonstrate greater productivity and brain function. 30 minutes of quiet reading or just lying still sharing stories of the day’s activity can help make this down time appreciated.

- Attention – while focus is a challenge for many kids at school, attention is something everyone benefits from when received from others. Make the transition out of school activity a special time for parent-child connection.

- Tea time – the tradition of afternoon tea is especially helpful for the transition from one hectic thing to the next. Licorice root is a very sweet, delicious herb that helps balance stress. Combined with lemonbalm, chamomile or other nervine herbs this formula can greatly balance the mood. This is our kid favorite tea at Stillwater, the Tranquili-tea blend.

- Nature – spending time in nature greatly reduces stress hormones in the body. Plan some after-school nature exploration, hikes or just a picnic out back.


Immune Challenge

Back to school means back to the plethora of immune exposures that for some can be year-long sniffles and sneezes. While it is beneficial for the immune system to be challenged, the way we deal with it makes the difference between a beneficial experience for the body or a harmful one.


Boost the immune system naturally-

- Herbal allies – boost immune activity with elderberries and astragalus while feeling well and echinacea when an illness tries to creep in.

- Microbiome aid – pediatric specific probiotics such as HMF Child and HMF Fit for School are a great way to bring regulation to the immune system.

- Hydrotherapy – supporting fevers naturally is the best way for the body to improve overall health. The fever process encourages dramatic detoxification, improves gene transcription and eliminates an illness. Stopping a low-grade fever can create confusion in the body and leave a pathogen to settle deeper into the body.

- Homeopathy – safe and effective, homeopathic medicines allow for quick symptomatic support to the challenges of colds and flus. Boiron’s homeopathic oscillococcinum has shown benefit both for prevention and treatment of flu-like symptoms. Cold-calm and Chestal help general symptoms pass with ease. Spend time learning about the vast abundance of resources with homeopathic medicines to be able to support pain relief, rest and symptoms that arise during acute illness.

- Avoid NSAIDS. Over the counter medications tylenol and ibuprofen and other NSAID containing drugs to treat colds and flus can suppress the immune systems effort to heal. Interfering in a normal fever cycle can inhibit the body’s ability to form an adequate memory response to prevent future illnesses.

- Seek medical attention with a holistic doctor whenever you are unsure of the progress of an illness to support optimal immune development.


Get Great Sleep, Everyone

In order to perform our best both academically and emotionally, great sleep is a cornerstone for health. Anytime we diminish the hours we need to regenerate our bodies ability to manage the days tasks becomes impaired. Even as little as 30 minutes less than the body needs can result in a child performing a grade level below their capability.


Children inevitably experience the nervous system state of the adults that surround them. This can result in a child being extremely agitated for reasons they cannot understand. While it is frustrating as a parent, the little people in our lives serve as the most valuable reminders to find peace and regulation within.


In preparation for a change in schedule, adjust your days rhythm 15 minutes at a time toward earlier bedtimes and earlier wakings as needed. Set yourself up well for changes by taking it slow and planning ahead. Natural medicine remedies for sleep support are a valuable resource to have in the home during times of change.


Stillwater Apothecary is your resource for optimal living! Call us today to order our "Back to School" care package including:


- Super Neurogen DHA chewable fish oil

- Tranquil-i-tea herbal tea blend for relaxation

- Phytoguard Junior immune support tincture

- HMF Fit for School probiotic digestive and immune boost


For more information on tools for natural medicine and optimizing your child and family’s health, visit us at Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary in Lyons today! Resources available for general public through our in-office location, individual patient care, online education, store and more.

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