Back to school health tips

How to keep your child healthy going back to school

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Goodness Me Nutrition

Back to school time comes around quickly at the end of summer, and suddenly you’re back into rushed mornings, hurried breakfasts, and the busy rhythm of school life. You may be wondering how you can best support your child’s learning potential, or how to keep them from getting ill this winter. Here are my tops tips for children’s health to keep them thriving through autumn.

Eat oily fish every week

Oily fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are rich in omega 3 fats which boost memory and learning. The brain is made of 60% fats, and Omega 3 fats are also anti-inflammatory so they help protect the immune system. They have also been shown to improve dexterity in children with dyspraxia. Try making fish cakes or fish pie. 

Support good gut health   

Children thrive when their gut microbes work with them, not against them. The bugs in our gut outnumber the human cells in our body by 10 fold, and they interact with our brain and immune system constantly. To feed the bugs in their gut ensure your children are eating a lot of fibre (fresh vegetables, whole grains, pulses). Aim for a varied a diet as possible to ensure a diverse set of microbes in the gut. Blend extra vegetables into pasta sauce, offer fruit salads for desert, or get them involved in making smoothies. 

Eat a rainbow

Aim to eat vegetables and fruits from each colour in the rainbow every day to ensure they are getting all the phytonutrients in different plants. You can make a wall chart to get your children involved in ticking off the different colours every day. Look for interesting new fruits and vegetables to expand your family meal time variety. 

Brain boosting eggs

Eggs are rich in choline which promotes memory and concentration. Kids can eat eggs in pancakes (experiment with almond or buckwheat flour) and they can add fruit toppings. Also omelettes or frittatas are a great way to add some extra protein and vegetables into a lunchbox. Or try swapping out cereal at breakfast for a boiled egg and wholegrain toast. 

Let them play outside

We thrive when we interact with nature, and children need time to run around and just play. Relaxation is really important for learning. Aim for at least 30 mins of physical movement every day, and as much time in fresh air as possible. Interacting with animals also supports a healthy gut microbiome. Exposure to the sunlight will also help with vitamin D production. 

If your children start to get ill when they go back to school look at their diet, down time, and opportunities to move their body in exercise, and think about what you can adjust to help them stay in optimal health. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Illustration by: Getty Images, featuring photograph from Lorenzo Antonucci.

How Your Food Can Affect Your Mental Health

by Kiran Nijjer

Romancing the bugs: the secret marriage between our guts and our brain

by Rosemary Bointon
Essential Nutrients and Why Our Body Needs

Essential Nutrients and Why Our Body Needs

by Oliva Ella

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.