Attention, please: Back-to-school Essentials to Support Healthy Cognition
When summer winds down and the school bus pulls up, many families you see in your practice may have more on their minds than what goes into this year’s backpack and lunchbox.
While the start of the school is exciting for some children, for others the return to the rigors of the classroom is a major challenge and source of emotional stress–why are their friends able to follow along in class while they struggle? Why is getting homework and other assignments handed in on time a Herculean task? Why can’t they find their book/permission slip/reading list (again)?
There are many different reasons why children may need healthy cognition support for memory, focus and learning. The US Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2011, the percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis in the United States increased to 11.0%, with some states, like Kentucky, posting diagnosis rates of nearly 19% or one in five children.
As practitioners, it’s important to take thorough histories from these patients and keep those histories up to date at each visit. As children age, the expectations for their behavior change, too. Establishing age-appropriate points of reference for comparison is a great way to help families gauge what’s normal for their child and situation.
Having a whole-body, back-to-school protocol on hand for patients who have cognition support concerns or are seeking additional support for conventional medications is an effective way to group your favorite products and other recommendations. Use this as your base and customize with additional products as needed. A multivitamin, fish oil and probiotic are a good foundation:
Look for high quality ingredients, free of colors and additives. A consistent benefit was observed with administration of zinc, magnesium, and iron in lowering symptoms in children with or at high risk of deficiencies in these minerals, suggesting that mineral deficiency may play at least a partial role in the etiology of ADHD in children. In addition to the nutrients in a multivitamin, extra B vitamins may also support a healthy, focused mind.
Search Product Code: P13176
MetaKids Multi Soft Chew Grape
Search Product Code: M49448
SuperNutes Chewable Multivitamin
Search Product Code: R01001
Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function and development, and studies show that both EPA and DHA support cognitive health, including memory and focus. While omega-3 fatty acids are critical to health in a myriad of ways, children are often deficient in this nutrient. Fortunately, fish oil, the best provider of immediately usable EPA and DHA for brain health, comes in a variety of delicious liquid and chewable options for even the fussiest kids.
ProOmega Junior Strawberry
Search Product Code: PROO6
Search Product Code: M25565
DHA Pedia Burst
Search Product Code: DHAP180
There is a significant amount of evidence presently available confirming that probiotics support a healthy microbiome. With all we know now about the gut-brain axis and the way GI health influences brain function, a daily probiotic for kids makes good sense.
Ther-Biotic Children’s Chewable
Search Product Code: KTCC
HMF Fit for School
Search Product Code: G44006
Multi Probiotic Kids
Search Product Code: IFLO4
A Children’s Focus Formula
These high-quality supplements support a smoother, calmer school year.
Search Product Code: LEARN
Search Product Code: B59258
Dr. Formulated Attention & Focus for Kids
Garden of Life
Search Product Code: G20715
Last, but not least, include whole-body recommendations in your protocol, like regular exercise, fresh air, good sleep hygiene and purging the pantry of any food items with hidden ingredients that chemical-based.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 Lange KW, Hauser J, et al. The Role of Nutritional Supplements in the Treatment of ADHD: What the Evidence Says. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2017 Feb;19(2):8.